Monday, October 29, 2012

The Phantom (1996) Review:

Today there are numerous kinds of comic book characters. Many are separated into their own groups. Some characters are superheroes and while others are non-superheroes. Out of these two types, it is the non-superheroes who are the most complex and in depth characters to understand. There is a reason to why these mortal individuals do what they do and it almost seems like they have more power than the supernatural individuals. The Phantom is one of these characters.

Billy Zane as "The Ghost who walks"
The character of The Phantom was created by the mind of Lee Falk and has the credits to proclaim itself as the first comic book hero. Playing Kit Walker or as his alter ego, The Phantom, is actor Billy Zane. Zane is a good fit for this role. His ability to evade hostile situations is quite peculiar due to the lack of technology of the time. In a sense, he was a super human even though he never had any supernatural powers. Interesting enough, this film comes off as George of the Jungle (1997), but this time, the main character has a college education instead of being raised by gorillas.

Treat Williams as Xander Drax 
Co-starring is Zane's love interest, is Kristy Swanson, as Diana Palmer, who looks good just the way she is.  Along side her is Catherine Zeta-Jones who plays Sala, an air pirate who has some comical exchanges with Swanson's character over who likes The Phantom more. Playing the main villain is Treat Williams as Xander Drax. Williams' plays Drax with finesse as if he couldn't really decide whether he should be a ruthless man with no conscience or a man who just likes screwing up everyone's day. Not to say he acted bad but there were times where Drax acted more goofy than serious.

There are a lot of neat parts that take place in this movie, much of which involves The Phantom. As a moviegoer, it's not often that a chase scene includes a horse. Horses were mans original car. Just listening to the hooves of the animal clop along the ground is much easier on the ears than always listening to the roar of a V8 engine. In addition to The Phantom's horse, Hero, he has a dog, named Devil. Devil, who has a very long tongue, is also a good animal actor. Both Hero, and Devil work together to help their master in the quest for justice. Even cooler is that they can communicate to each other!

And that's not all, The Phantom works with other animals too and they're just as loyal. As stated before, he's just a well-educated "George of the Jungle". The music was to fun to listen to as well. David Newman provided the soundtrack and it's great how The Phantom was able to get its own theme. I say this because there have been other films in the past that have great ideas but weren't executed right partially due to the franchise not even having a musical theme. Besides what viewers see, how else would they remember a film? By something they listen too obviously! Look at Stars Wars. No one even has to say what it is just by listening to the main theme.

Lastly, the action was good too. It is very much enjoyable to see Billy Zane, Swanson and Zeta-Jones swinging swords and firing pistols at various opponents. However, some of these action sequences seemed slowed a little bit too much and too often. There were times where I was waiting for a move to end but it was moving ever so slowly that I thought it would never finish. Also the finale between The Phantom and Drax was weak. I was expecting something a little more than what I saw. But these flaws are so minor that it won't really bother the audience.

Although it is not the first comic book adaptation to hit the theatres, it is an adaptation of the first comic book hero and it is done fairly well. There are some parts that may seem out of place, but overall it is a decent adventure film.

Points Earned --> 8:10

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008) Review:

According to most people the third installment of Stephen Sommers "The Mummy (1999)" is truly the end to this trilogy. I would beg to differ; I actually think this film played out better than The Mummy Returns (2001). What seemed to be missing from the second is back and that's not all. Some extras were added and the story line is a little more improved. Yes, there are some set backs, which I well get to but really it's not a big deal. Even the ending I thought finished better than the second film.

Rick's son Alex (Ford) and his wife Evy (Bello)
The only two actors to reprise their characters in this film are Brendan Fraser and John Hannah. Contrary to what I've read or heard, all the characters are the same as before. Nothing has changed and the jokes are still funny. Stupid slapstick, I think not. Fraser and Hannah still have their charm. As for the other characters, Maria Bello plays Evelyn whom at first I wasn't sure how she would turn out to be the next Evelyn. But in the end, I was pleased with her performance. I would have preferred to see Weisz come back but I think Bello was the next best choice for Evelyn. Alex O'Connell has also grown up which is nice to see because Alex was cool as a bratty child but now that he's grown up, he can really help out his parents (and uncle) to help take out this new mummy. Alex O'Connell is played by Luke Ford who I have not seen act in many other films. However his performance was convincing enough to be the son of the O'Connells.

Jet Li as the Dragon Emperor
Michelle Yeoh and Isabella Leong also play significant characters and it's great to see them give some individuality for once instead of having the same people all the time (although I did like Oded Fehr and Arnold Vosloo). I also think people were turned off because it's a "mummy" movie and yet it takes place in China. OK so the villain really isn't a "mummy" (and wrapped and buried) but he still has the same traits as Imhotep; banished from his lifetime with a curse and awaits to when he is resurrected again to concur the world. And what's even better is that it's not the same story line. The Mummy Returns (2001) was almost like a retread because it was the same story from The Mummy (1999), except this time it included the Scorpion King. Jet Li plays one heck of villain and if he were to head up against Vosloo, Jet Li would still win, especially that he has all the earthly elements at his disposal.

Another thing I didn't appreciate much from the second film was how a lot CGI was used for certain scenes. However, this one had a nice blend and I don't know if that's because this movie took some time to hit theatres after the first sequel or if it was Rob Cohen's direction but I like the feel of it more. The music is good too, which was composed by Randy Edelman, who keeps the feeling real and energetic. The last element to this film that I think really makes it worth while is the story; and I don't mean that because it took place in China! I like the story because it reunites the O'Connell family. In the beginning of the film the viewer will notice that the O'Connell family is not the family they used to be. But once the mummy business starts up again, things return to what viewers love about the O'Connells; fighting mummies together.

This "mummy" film may have a different director, different actors, and a completely different story, but in more ways than one, this film plays better than the first sequel. It has more character development, the same funny comical vibe and still retains exciting action sequences.

Points Earned --> 9:10

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Mummy Returns (2001) Review:

After having The Mummy (1999) perform really well at the box office, Universal pictures decided that a sequel HAD to be made. So it was done, and this film plays nice and retains a lot of it's genuine feel but it seems like there are things that were sorely left out. In other words, things were given precedence over other things instead of the other way around. What seemed to get more attention was the aspect of special effects and the characters were left in the dust,...sand whatever. There are just too many scenes that contain so much CGI, that it's difficult for the viewer not to imagine seeing the actors onset with a blue screen surrounding them.

Rick vs Imhotep
All main characters from the first movie are back in this film. Plus there's an add on. Rick O'Connell and Evelyn conceive a child named Alex. And of course to make the screenplay fun they make Alex an energetic brat that loves to be just as adventurous as his mother and father. Nothing like family genes to keep the entertainment high in this franchise. Rachel Weisz looks even more attractive in this film and she's not as klutzy as she was before, which is good for an undead vanquishing mother. Her brother Jonathan still learns nothing in this film and its funny to see him try and do things right and ends up failing. Nothing changes with his character that's for sure.

The Scorpion King (The Rock)
What's doesn't work is how the story involves so many ideas and concepts that it looks like this film could have maybe passed as the first film. Arnold Vosloo returns as Imhotep, the evil, life-absorbing mummy who cares for nothing except his girlfriend and himself. He didn't even care about his high priest that helped him get to where he had to go. Jerk! Adding to this though is a character called the Scorpion King played by Dwayne Johnson seems to take hold of the reigns in the finale of this film. Wasn't this film about Imhotep returning for his own needs? Well yes, but his focus is to gain control of the Scorpion King's army who is not yet destroyed, yada yada yada. So in a sense, no it's not really about him returning. Imhotep's in this film to create a race against the O'Connell family but he's not the important person the O'Connell's need to kill.

The special effects of this film really starts to overwhelm its characters when the end of the film approaches. The action sequences are still cool to watch but to see giant armies of dog headed zombies, massive forests surround a pyramid, and the Scorpion King himself is just not convincing enough to be real. I think director Stephen Sommers took a chance with that. Although this film was a success, I think they could have held off on the majority of the CGI. It was almost like Universal was saying, "Look how much stuff we can cram into this 24 inch screen",...seriously, you don't have to overload a film with CGI to make it look good. Just look at the first one, it's a perfect example.

The title of this film can be somewhat misleading due to the fact that Imhotep is in this film but is utilized only as another plot device. For the most part it keeps all the elements of the first movie the same, but sometimes CGI is all the audience looks at which doesn't make it anymore unrealistic than it already is.

Points Earned --> 8:10

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Mummy (1999) Review:

Director Stephen Sommers' version of the horror classic, The Mummy (1932), has been one of Universal's most successful franchises. It's also because of this that got Stephen Sommers famous. It also made a slew of other celebrities famous as well. And although it does not play like an Indiana Jones film, it pays homage to archaeologists and the magic within old architecture. Not mention this film made two more sequels.

Rick O'Connell and Evelyn scared out of their wits
Starring in this film is Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, and Arnold Vosloo as the mummy called Imhotep. This is the first film that I witnessed Arnold Vosloo and then later on I realized he also played in two other sequels of Sam Raimi's Darkman (1990) series, which I thought he played really well. Brendan Fraser is not one of my top favorite actors but I do like the way he works in these kinds of films. I enjoyed his performance in Looney Tunes: Back In Action (2003), but I liked him even more in this film. The character of Fraser, Rick O'Connell has serious personality but in a goofy fashion. The rest of the characters in this film act the same way. Rachel Weisz's character, Evelyn can be klutzy at times and so is her nitwit brother Jonathan played by John Hannah.

John Hannah as Evelyn's funny brother
The goofiness is what's good about this movie. The actors know their characters are silly and that makes it funny to watch. The stupidest person of all in this film is Jonathan. Truly, he does not know what he's doing and in the end, he's never satisfied; shows you how grateful he is to be alive (after all he's been through). What also works great is the dialog. So much of it is serious but in such an indirect way that it doesn't come off as serious. I guess this was the idea of Sommers' mummy film. He wanted the audience to enjoy it with some decent action and funny one liners,...and it worked.

The Mummy has a mix of multiple genres because how the screenplay is set up. Arnold Vosloo can play a pretty scary mummy; little kids will be terrified by him. The whole undead idea is the horror aspect. As for the silliness, that's the comedy aspect. The action is great in this film too. Most of it using firearms but it does involve an interesting flight sequence and the finale is really fun to watch. Seeing O'Connell fight off a slew of undead Egyptian guards. Bring it on! Or as O'Connell said sarcastically, "This just keeps getting better and better". Because 1999 was the time where special effects were really starting to get high- tech, this movie has some really nice visuals. Also the music is great which Jerry Goldsmith composed. I enjoyed this film very much and it really has a good reputation although less than half of critics liked it.

Besides having a villain with the same name, this mummy movie is nothing like the original classic from 1932. What makes it different is Stephen Sommers' direction of abandoning the slow droning tone and mostly replacing it with comedy, action and some shades of horror.

Points Earned --> 10:10

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Mean Season (1985) Review:

Usually in crime related thrillers, the viewer is exposed to the killer quite early. Everyone is introduced to what they look like, the faces they make, and how they speak. And along with this key element, are the police. This is obviously one of the main materials that's needed for a "police" thriller, but even that is not the main substance in this film. But what makes this film different from the others is that the killer is NOT exposed until very late in the movie. In my opinion, this is a great psychological effect that heightens the senses of the viewer and makes them more intrigued about seeing the killer. I'm disappointed that this film wasn't critically acclaimed. The body of the plot is more or less the same as Law Abiding Citizen (2009): an individual with psychological issues makes calls to a contact and tells them whose next to be killed.

Malcolm Anderson (Russell) being lectured by policemen
Kurt Russell stars as a Miami news reporter who's tired of writing stories about the recently deceased/murdered. Unfortunately, his co- workers are not willing to let him go so easy. Co-starring with Russell is Mariel Hemingway who plays his girlfriend. Both of them want to move out of Miami to escape to a place that is less crowded. Unfortunately, Russell's character, Malcolm Anderson, is having a hard time convincing his boss that he's tired and wants to leave. Kurt Russell is great actor and he plays well at being a tired reporter. Mariel Hemingway is convincing as Russell's girlfriend and although we never see her actually doing her "job" as a teacher in this film, she is good at caring for her and her boyfriend's safety.

Anderson and his girlfriend Christine (Hemingway)
The real problem arises when a person calls confessing that he killed one of the people Anderson reported about. The killer is played by Richard Jordan. I think Jordan is a very competent actor. I say this because of the way he portrays his character. The personality of the killer is very stealthy. Whenever his voice is heard on the phone, it has a very unpleasant sound. The way he talks isn't smooth; he pauses with his sentences. This can make the conversation sound even more uncomfortable. That is how good Richard Jordan is at his character. Every time I listen to his voice it still gives me the goose bumps. It's unfortunate that his career never took off to big heights. I know that he was cast in many movies, but very few were well known films.

Lastly, what really makes this an effective thriller is the suspense, and the music. The suspense in this film is different from the regular action thriller. For every scene, the viewer must listen to what is going on. Without the conversations, the viewer will be lost on what is happening. I would suggest watching this film like it was regular horror flick. The difference is that the story is on a more personal level. It's very rare someone will have a spirit haunting him or her inside their house, but when serial killer is on the loose, one can never really feel safe.

Adding to the suspense is the musical score provided Lalo Schifrin. There are two different tones that Schifrin puts in this movie: the first is when the film is focused more on the press. Schifrin has the music sound like everyone's busy and scrambling about. The other side to that is when Anderson talks to the killer. When the camera is focused on them, it has a very ominous feel, in a sense that something bad will happen in a couple minutes. All these factors of music, suspense, and character personalities add up to a strong thriller. I'm glad I was able to see it.

The Mean Season is a gripping crime thriller that deserves more than what it has minimally achieved. The tension between scenes are really agitating thanks to a chilling performance by Richard Jordan.

Points Earned --> 10:10

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Mask (1994) Review:

For the few Dark Horse Comics that have been adapted onto the big screen, this one was done right. Along with Dumb and Dumber (1994) and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994), this is the other film that really had the public tracking down who in the world was Jim Carrey. In my opinion, just like how the character of Lara Croft fit Angelina Jolie really well, the character of The Mask is the perfect role for Carrey. From what we've learned about Carrey, he is a living cartoon and still loves to watch cartoons. So in a sense, being The Mask was not hard task for this actor.

Carrey as wimpy
Stanley Ipkiss
Originally the personality of The Mask was much more violent and brutal than the one in this film. Jim Carrey wanted to give the character of The Mask more of a comedic touch. This was a good direction to go because that IS Jim Carrey's strong point. Carrey can be psychotically funny but not psychotically insane. He even proves in this film that he can sing! Another individual who starts off her career at a promising level is Cameron Diaz. And not only did she start her career off right, but also she's now one of the highest grossing actresses. That's luck if you ask me.

What's great about Carrey is how he acts. He can be great as a cartoon character AND he's even more convincing as a wimp (as his alter ego, Stanley Ipkiss). What made Carrey more effective in this film than the other two he made in 1994 was that his energy (which is pretty high), was under control. Because of that, this probably gave Carrey's character more of likableness. As Ace Ventura or Lloyd Christmas, he was more or less free to do whatever he thought was funny on screen. In movies like those, you either really love the character he plays or you absolutely loath it to no end.

Need I say who this is?
As for the comedic part of this film, CGI is used, but it is used as it should be used; as a tool. All the CGI does, is enhance Carrey's cartoon mannerisms into a heck of a performance. From bouncing around like a rubber ball or having his eyes popping out, it makes the scenes that are funny even funnier. There are even parts in this film that have The Mask reference other characters from other movies. Things like that are what make this film all the more better to watch. Composer Randy Edelman provided the score behind this film. I like the music that he made for this. Edelman made good use of making the music sound animated when The Mask was on screen and calm when Stanley Ipkiss took over. Although I liked the music, my real appreciation lies within the film of Gettysburg (1993). The kind of music that he made for that movie was spiritually moving.

As a last comment, I would like to say that I really did like this movie. This was my first Jim Carrey movie and after watching his performance, he has become one of my favorite actors to watch. However, I would be interested in seeing a remake of this film sometime in the future. Not to say Carrey's performance wasn't good but I would be more interested to see The Mask in his true form; a brutal, narcissistic psychopath. I say this because that's what the character originally was. Jim Carrey does quote a couple of moments from the original comic book but it isn't carried out the same way in the end. As a first choice, I would like to see Carrey play The Mask again but in the way The Mask originally was. And if Carrey wouldn't do it, then I would just be in the mood of seeing how it would turn out. But to be realistic, this is probably as good as its going to get.

With a role that practically IS Jim Carrey, The Mask succeeds on all levels. It's a funny comedy, with great special effects and although it's slightly altered from its comic book origins, it still leaves a memorable impression.

Points Earned --> 10:10

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Legend of Zorro (2005) Review:

When watching the first Zorro film, I felt like I was watching The Three Musketeers (1993). Swords swishing, clanging, and their wielder's jumping and ducking. This sequel has that too if not more. All of this was great to watch but what made the first one better was with a helpful performance by Anthony Hopkins. With Hopkin's character being a mentor it really brought in the idea of the next Zorro to fill in the boots. Much of it was very noble and understanding. As for this film there were parts of this film that were too childish for the franchise.

Adrian Alonso plays Zorro's son
Antonio Banderas stars once more as Zorro, the sword-wielding revolutionary. It's a delight to see Banderas play Zorro once more because he played his part really well in the first film. Catherine Zeta-Jones also comes back for another round and this time she uses the sword just as much as Zorro did in the first one. It's nice to see some mutual cooperation when it comes to husband and wife fighting off a group of bad guys. Playing as their son is Adrian Alonso who does a good job at speaking English because before the film was made, he had no idea how to. If this film were to have a sequel I would hope to see Alonso play the upcoming Zorro. Even though he is not Banderas' son, he shows all the same qualities in the character he does Zorro and that's a good sign. But I don't think that'll happen anytime soon.

Zorro on his trusty horse Tornado
The only thing I thought seemed out of place in this film was the main source of the plot. For almost two thirds of the film, Jones and Banderas argue as parents (which is normal) about their relationship with their son and the Zorro business. That part isn't normal obviously but it's like every minute the two stars meet up with each other they argue. How childish can this get? At first their son is uncontrollable and the marital relationship seemed to be diminishing and it creates a very negative tone. However, there are some parts that do have some comedy put inside of it but it's doesn't occur very often. It's like this film was destined to end with a divorce. I'm glad it didn't end that way, though it does go out with a bang, which was nice to see.

As for the action, the sword fights, and on the brink of death moments are numerous if not more than the last film. The Mask of Zorro (1998) was more about discovering what Zorro was like and how he would transform into that character. This one is out of control and expanding boundaries but in good way. Action sequences vary from saving people from burning buildings, messing around with C4 explosives or swashbuckling on a runaway locomotive. Sounds intense if you ask me. The music was composed once again by James Horner who also did the first film. Horner keeps the music energetic and cultural to the story's background, which I feel is partially essential to a movie's success. Nothing sounds different from the first soundtrack, which is good, because the good things should be left untampered with.

Despite the fact that for the majority of the film, Banderas and Jones argue like children, the film amounts to a decent sequel. The action is fun, and the music is enjoyable.

Points Earned --> 8:10

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Mask of Zorro (1998) Review:

Not many films start off with an interesting introduction. However, director Martin Campbell did a great job at bringing a new Zorro to take over the old aging Zorro. The way the characters act, the time that is put into making Zorro is done meticulously and it shows. It's great to see how everything in the plot starts out simple and then becomes more complex. Once the complex situations start to arise, the execution of it is beautiful.

Is that not spicy or what?
After becoming famous for being El Mariachi in Desperado (1995), Antonio Banderas is cast as the new Zorro to take over. Because Banderas is of Hispanic decent, the role of Zorro really fits him. So who's the old Zorro - none other than Anthony Hopkins. What makes Hopkins great as the older Zorro was the fact of how he became the mentor for Banderas. And although for the most part when he's lecturing, he's very serious, yet he shows that he still has a lot of energy for being elderly. Along side those two actors is Catherine Zeta-Jones, the daughter of the original Zorro. When Jones and Banderas are together, they have really great chemistry. My favorite part is when they were dancing together; it's very sexy and culturally attractive.

Even Zeta-Jones knows how to use a sword!
The action sequences in this film are really something to behold. Much of it also entails a bit of comedy too. This is all helped by Banderas' charm as the new Zorro. It is because he is new and inexperienced that he makes things funny. The sword fights are really cool to see. The style that is put into using the sword in this film is truly whimsical. Much of these events take place with Banderas, Hopkins or the villains they're fighting. However, we do get a glimpse of Jones using the sword for a while too. It's nice to see some female domination in a setting like this because in the time that this took place, obviously women were not expected to take on a male's role such as that.

Finally, the two other elements that make this movie great are the music and the plot. The music was composed by veteran James Horner. I really liked the way Horner captured the feel of the environment during the setting of the story. Much of the soundtrack has Hispanic instruments and it is obvious when listened to. And that is the icing on the cake. As for the story, I was pleased with how it was carried out. In the beginning of the film, the story was about a man only looking out for others but then landed in trouble. So who rescues him out of his trouble - a friend he made from years past. Not to mention his friend falls in love with the troubled man's daughter and the troubled man resolves his problems. The end result of this film is more than satisfying, and it will make viewers look inside themselves for what values they stand for.

It can be interpreted as The Three Musketeers (1993) spin-off with a Hispanic twist, but for the record, this film holds its own and is really entertaining to watch. The performances are more than gratifying, the action is wondrous and the music is very lively.

Points Earned --> 10:10

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Incredibles (2004) Review:

Before this film was released, one could say the Pixar was too soft of a movie company. After making successful films like Toy Story (1995), A Bug's Life (1998), could think Pixar wasn't going to produce a film that had a little more action in it. Well for those who thought that, they were wrong! This is possibly one of the most exciting family hero films ever created.

The Incredibles Family
The story of The Incredibles actually originates from just one super hero’s surname; Mr. Incredible, played by Craig T. Nelson. Along with Mr. Incredible is Elastigirl, voiced by Holly Hunter, Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson) and various other super heroes. And as for the other super heroes (and villains), all of them are voiced to up most accuracy. There is not one character that sounds out of place, which is a nice thing.

The action is what will really bring the audience to a stand still. To watch Mr. Incredible and all his companions fight all the villains is really intense. It's even more intense to watch the super heroes as their alter egos because they have to restrain the supernatural powers. Most of the time, this is when some comedic moments are intertwined with the story to create some laughs with audience. The music was composed by Michael Giacchino and I really like his sense of style. It feels like the viewer is watching a Spy film! Plus it's great for any brass lovers because in this soundtrack, one can definitely hear all the trumpets and trombones.

Etna (far right),...a great comedic character
Speaking of comedy however, there are plenty of comical parts to this film and it varies too, it's not just one gag the whole time. Each superhero has their moments and so do groups of characters as well. Viewers will get a real kick out of two specific moments. The first is The Incredibles' boss Etna. She has a serious attitude yet she can never be taken seriously. Another moment is when The Incredibles are driving through the city. They argue just like a normal family would and it's even funnier because almost anyone if not everyone can relate to that!

It's a rare that Pixar makes a film that's this violent and yet family oriented, but it's definitely a joy to watch. A great voice cast, peppy music and energetic action make The Incredibles a nice add-on to the genre of super heroes.

Points Earned --> 10:10

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Expendables 2 (2012) Review:

Back in 2010, action star Sylvester Stallone introduced his fans to an action experience many would not forget; The Expendables. The Expendables (2010) was a hit for various reasons: its cast was strong, the music was entertaining, the dialog was funny, and the action was violent. Thanks to all that, Stallone (and several other cast members) wanted to make a sequel; well here it is!  The sequel to The Expendables (2010) is almost perfect except for its lack of attention to a couple specific characters.

Van Damme as the antagonist (Vilain)
After another successful mission, Barney Ross (Stallone) and the rest of his gang are drawn into taking on another Mr. Church deal when on the job, one of their team members is killed. This is when the expendables go full bore into taking out their enemy. Who’s their new enemy? Vilain played by Jean-claude Van Damme. Van Damme plays a pretty lethal character. Roberts from 2010 was good but Van Damme makes his character much more dangerous.

Toll Road (Couture), Gunner Jensen (Lundgren) &
Hale Cesar (Crews) provide a lot comedy relief
As for the rest of the cast, everything was done well. I really liked how there was more screen time for when the characters hung out together and not beating the crap out of bad guys (there’s still plenty of it). It allows the audience to believe they're real people and not that they're their own little secret club. Plus even the sarcasm/jokes are turned up and half of it doesn't even belong to Statham, Stallone, Willis, Norris or Schwarzenegger. I also like how they gave special attention to Lundgren's character by not making him seem like he's all brawn and no brain (like from the first film).

The music and action are just as good. Brian Tyler still knows what he's doing when it comes to composing music. And the action is still heavy. Thank god Stallone decided to keep this film rated R. If he didn't, I would have had a bone to pick there. There are some things that can't be toned down.

My only issue with this film is the script (story wise). How is it that writers, Stallone and Wenk pen in new characters and keep old ones but somehow leave out other significant individuals? Charisma Carpenter (Christmas' girlfriend) was even in this movie and yet both writers couldn't find a way to mention what happened to Tool, Mickey Rourke's character? Plus, I really enjoyed Jet Li's performance in the intro and then he's moved out and we never hear from him again? Come on now. There's got to be some coherent story to tie the first to the second. But overall still, this sequel is a pleaser.

The Expendables 2 is a loud actioneer that's fun and is chock full of inside jokes and one liners. A good follow up to the first.

Points Earned --> 9:10

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Expendables (2010) Review:

In some cases, having a large cast of actors is not the best idea. Sometimes the chemistry just isn't there. An example of this would be like City Heat (1984). It was not an awful movie but it wasn't great and I thought that Reynolds and Eastwood were not the best choices for the movie. On the other hand, you get your occasional movies with a great cast AND they work well off each other. The Expendables is one of these great films, and that's only the tip of the iceberg.

The original "Expendables" team
The Expendables are a deadly team of mercenaries that are hired to take out certain individuals. In a sense, they are like The A-Team (2010), but a little more unforgiving. At least we get this feeling from the MPAA rating and we see it throughout the film. Sylvester Stallone who hasn't directed his own set of films in a while besides Rambo (2008) and Rocky Balboa (2006) has done a superb job with this film.

I really enjoyed the interactions between the main characters. I say this because the screenplay seemed so laid back, but in good way. The Expendables are trained killers, they show no mercy to the people they must kill, BUT they also show some light heartedness. The trailer itself shows an example of this; in the beginning when there is a Mexican standoff, one of the character's phones vibrates and one of them asks, "What's that", "I'm getting a text", "Excuse me". Its simple but funny dialog like this that made me admire the film even more.

Sylvester Stallone still can do action even in his 60s!
Sylvester Stallone stars as the leader of The Expendables along with a whole slew of other good actors that make this film really only a guy would like. Yes there are some women in this film and they are attractive but this movie's main theme is not romance. It is a "Blow 'em up real good!" film. Before I went to go see this film, I heard from other viewer's comments saying how it's only in theatres for its enormous explosions. Isn't this not what action and adventure are about? Explosions are practically half the "action" in any action adventure movie! That's what people like about this kind of genre.

One other feature that I liked about this movie was the energetic soundtrack provided by talented composer Brian Tyler. For any movie involving action I feel that it should be backed up by good music and Tyler does this well. Throughout this film, you will here a lot of strings and timpani and the way it is used is great. This plus all the action you will experience will keep your eyes glued to the screen because this movie is done so well.

Much of the violence is heavy during this film, but for any action adventure lover, The Expendables will pack the punch they're looking for. Even more fun will be listening to the screenplay and dynamic soundtrack by Brian Tyler.

Points Earned --> 10:10

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Elephant Man (1980) Review:

The elephant man has always been a marvelous character to comprehend. From the day he was born, he was doomed to live a shortened life span and that's not the worst part. He had to live as a disfigured individual and there was nothing he could do to change it. He lived in a time where cures for diseases were very rare and if they were available, it cost a fortune. So it is fair that this film will be tragic because it is explaining the life of a tragic individual. But it's the way it's portrayed that is questionable.

A very young Anthony Hopkins
Anthony Hopkins, an actor whose performances I've enjoyed multiple times plays Frederick Treves, a Victorian surgeon who happens to run into the elephant man while visiting a carnival event. Playing the elephant man, or by his real name, John Merrick, is John Hurt. Hurt honestly gives an emotional performance as Merrick, especially in the beginning. Merrick is quite sensitive since he never experienced any real appreciation from anybody until Treves finds him. Even more astounding is how Hurt makes his voice so gentle as if he couldn't swat a fly. That's good characterization.

John Merrick's cover
But what squashes this exceptional acting is how the view of John Merrick wasn't ever changed. The only people that saw the potential in the character of John Merrick were Dr. Treves and his wife. All of Dr. Treves fellow doctors took him only as a lab rat. The public viewed him as a freak. And the people that Merrick was with originally, saw him as an outcast, because to them, he didn't deserve what the upper class had. If Merrick wasn't in his room, which was specifically made for him, he never had it easy. I'm not saying life was supposed to be easy for him, but the script could have been written so society was a little more flexible.

I felt that this film might explore John Merrick's nightmares but I didn't think it would drag him so far down to the point of no end. I thought this project was written in recognition of the life he lived. Not to have audience sit through two hours worth of good acting and for what? To see a man, who has a troubled life get even more complicated than it was before? It at least should have had a satisfying ending but that didn't even happen. It felt more like it was a story of humiliation more than nobility. How's that recognition?

The story of John Merrick or the elephant man is a sad one, but no one said the film had to be this depressing. The actors perform well but the tone needlessly blacks it out.

Points Earned --> 6:10

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Day After Tomorrow (2004) Review:

In the category of "disaster" films, the real attention grabber are chaotic scenes where things are either blown away or demolished. Sure, imagining and actually witnessing a city flooding are two different things, but that's all these films really have to offer. Plus, these kinds of events only happen once. Disaster films normally do not include the main event, and then a second dose of the same thing.

Jack Hall (Quaid)
This movie actually has a political agenda to it as well. It is easily noted that director Roland Emmerich was picking sides with this. It is clearly stated that Emmerich picked Kenneth Welsh as the vice-president to resemble Dick Cheney from the Bush Administration, and Global Warming, which is the topic of main importance in the plot. Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid), is an engrossed climatologist who has a hard time convincing authorities above him that Earth's climate will change drastically if something isn’t done soon. Along with this is the relationship with his son, Sam (Jake Gyllenhaal), whom he's struggling to maintain close to and his wife Sela Ward (Mrs. Hall).

And then out of the blue, all the predictions Mr. Hall made came true, but much sooner than he predicted. that wasn't expected. A lot of the struggling scenes involve peril and they do keep the viewer on the edge of their seat, but much of it is so predictable. For example, before the disaster even happens, we learn Sam is going on a field trip for the possible reason of a girl being involved. Nothing more needs to be said; we all know where this is going.

Sam Hall rescuing his girl,....saw that coming

It's not to bash on the acting. The acting is definitely there. It even contains a few comical moments to relieve the audience from recalling that the main characters are in the middle of a global crisis. But screenwriter Jeff Nachmanoff must have not put much thought into the story at all. Nothing really makes this movie stand out like any of the other disaster films.

The background music by Harald Kloser was effective. He made scenes tense and emotional when they
had to be. But once again, there wasn't much of a reoccurring theme. If a film and a composer really want to be remembered, there should be a repeating theme. The only other bone I have to pick here is the continuity. There are scenes where they describe how intense and deadly the weather is; yet I see characters walking around in the weather, which was just described, with nothing covering the important parts of their body. Um hello, Mr. Nachmanoff, where are you again?

The movie would definitely have the support from Al Gore, but even he wouldn't have much influence on how the film plays out. There are various elements that make it enjoyable but the story is lacking.

Points Earned --> 7:10

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Cove (2008) Review:

Documentaries are a good source of knowledge. Of course, there are fake ones out there, but there are some that are just to real to ignore. When was the last time a film was made on dolphins that actually represent a serious issue? Not too many I'm sure. Directed by Louie Psihoyos and led by Ric O'Barry, these two gentlemen show the horrors of a small area called "The Cove".

Louie Psihoyos & Ric O'Barr
Ric O'Barry, an animal trainer who was on the set during the television show of "Flipper" during the 1960s, leads the head of a rescue group whose main mission is to rescue dolphins. What's interesting to watch and listen to are how he explains this connection that he has with dolphins. It's hard to believe that someone could understand an animal so well but his range of knowledge for these creatures is quite remarkable.

But why O'Barry's focused on "The Cove" is another story. The Cove is a place in Japan where fisherman heard and slaughter dolphins, mercilessly. In this documentary, O'Barry will attempt to record footage of this area and reveal it to the Japanese public and as his greater hope, the world. O'Barry even explains to why the dolphins should not be killed besides the fact that it's inhumane.

This is how they heard them,....I can't show the rest here.
To show how ridiculous the concept of this practice is, O'Barry even asks Japanese civilians to if they knew about this issue and shockingly enough, practically none knew about it. So there's actually a conspiracy now to this story too. The music is also another great aspect to this film. Produced by J. Ralph, the score can stir up emotions real fast. Much of it feels like underwater music.

The only thing that can be picked on about this film is that it doesn't focus on the fact that dolphins aren't the only ones in danger. There are animals out there that are in worse off conditions. The African elephant for example. Who's protecting them? Who's risking their lives to expose the corruption there? And the only way that'll happen is if we get more people like Ric O'Barry, but those kinds of people are hard to come by nowadays.

Louie Psihoyos' documentary is overwhelmingly shocking to how bad dolphins have it when they're caught in "the cove". Hopefully for those who see it, will become inspired to do what Ric O'Barry does: got out of their way to save animals in danger.

Points Earned --> 9:10

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Cable Guy (1996) Review:

Jim Carrey is one of the masters of slapstick comedy and he has made some really funny movies. He's also made some comedies that are funny but do not the reach the expectations of the viewer to the highest level. That's what The Cable Guy did for me. I had some good laughs but it was few too many. The Cable Guy is a roller coaster ride of emotions.

Imagine going from this,........
In this movie, The Cable Guy, played by Jim Carrey is a lonely character who has a lisp and is only looking for friendship. Except he doesn't know how to really keep a friend the right way. We learn this as we see Steven (Matthew Broderick) get sucked into a heap of trouble that takes an awful long time for him to clear his name. At first, The Cable Guy seems like a guy who's only trying to help. But he soon turns into a bad apple. Jim Carrey can be funny as a bad apple but it has to be done the right way. This is not one of them. By the end of the movie I still felt conflict because I couldn't decide whether The Cable Guy was likable or not. I still can't now.

So besides Carrey being an annoying character, what else is wrong with this movie? Here's what - the film never took a side on what the viewer should really feel. There are so many times in the film where I was at a loss of what to feel for The Cable Guy. Some moments, I felt really bad for him and others times where I laughed at the things he did or said. Then there were other moments where I wanted to leave a couple knuckle imprints on his face. And it's not even how fast the movie changed tones but it was how frequent these feelings occurred. Seriously Stiller? Pick one tone will you? Stop making me laugh in one scene and get mad in the next! That's one thing I could not agree with.

To THIS! (No nothing's edited here)
Matthew Broderick along with several other actors, including Ben Stiller (director cameo), do a good job portraying their characters. I will give credit to Jim Carrey that he did have me feel The Cable Guy WAS annoying. I did laugh a couple times but I expected more. I truly DID wish I laughed more, but the film didn't speak to me in the way it spoke to me in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. I am glad there was not a sequel to this film. I'm not sure if I would want to see another cable guy film unless somehow The Cable Guy's personality changed for the better but still had his silly goofiness. That would be more interesting to see.

The Cable Guy has its funny moments due to Carrey's forte in slapstick, but there might not be as many laughs as expected. Due to the negative connotation that The Cable Guy is portrayed, viewers may be turned off by his obnoxious personality.

Points Earned --> 6:10

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Bodyguard (1992) Review:

Romantic thrillers can work, they just need to have good direction. But for this film, directed by Mick Jackson, did not keep a steady eye on where the plot had to be. Much of the time I was trying to figure out what on earth was happening with the plot that seemed to go on endlessly.

Mr. Costner's face through almost the whole movie....
The story of the bodyguard is about Frank Farmer (Kevin Costner), a veteran in the art of protection and now only takes care of special VIPs. Sadly, the character of Farmer is so thinly written that nothing ever changes for the better in this man. His entire outlook on his job is strictly to be emotionless. The audience isn't even explained to why the only beverage he drinks is a glass of orange juice.

Co-starring Costner is Whitney Huston, a pop culture icon ironically playing a fictional pop culture icon named Rachel Marron. Her character is eccentric and snobby but it works. At least she tries to excite  Mr. Farmer, but even she is not able to get him to come out of his cage of cautiousness. It's almost as though the lines written for Huston's character were supposed to be more entertaining than Costner's.

Whitney Huston in her younger years
The problem with these two characters is that the connection between them just didn't feel or look like it was there. That and the fact that the film focused more on these two people more than the plot. The main plot here was to about Farmer protecting Marron from a psychotic killer whom when, on screen, seemed like he had some serious issues. Turns out though, this creep is hardly ever focused on at all. And it's because of this that the tension in this "romantic thriller" is lost. Nothing gets tense at all until the finale.

The music, which was for the majority of the time provided by Huston, nonetheless has energy but all this does is support the fact that Huston is better at singing. Of course her acting is good but her voice is the top gun that she has. The rest of the score was produced by Alan Silvestri and once again, just like Unlawful Entry (1992), was a let down by the fact that there was not enough music to keep the scenes tight. But then again, who could blame him; how could you produce a score for a thriller film that rarely focuses on the thriller aspect of it?

Huston isn't bad at acting here but all this does is prove that she should stick to singing. Not to mention, the lack of balance in romance and thriller makes this film hard to enjoy.

Points Earned --> 5:10

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Blob (1988) Review:

In 1958 and in 1972, audiences were able to see the most vile of all alien life forms come onto the screen; the blob. But the word "vile" would not be in the interest to use for these films. The blob in both previous films were slow moving and were barely on screen and when they were, it wasn't for long. Thirty years after the first "blob" movie, director Chuck Russell, The Mask (1994), takes charge of this franchise and decides to rejuvenate this creature once more. And although, it had a mild reception from critics, it is arguably the best movie of The Blob.

The film actually starts out relatively the same as the first in 1958. However, there are several parts to this film's story that are quite different from all the others. For example, in the 1958 version, Steve McQueen starred as the so-called "hero", a good-natured kid who was only trying to warn the residents of a flesh eating Jell-O mold. The viewer may be surprised however to find out, that the hero is not who they'd expect it to be.

Brian Flagg (Dillon) & Meg Penny (Smith)
(an unusual duo)
Kevin Dillon plays Brian Flagg, a punk whom nobody likes just because he's a little bit misunderstood. Co-starring with Dillon is Shawnee Smith who plays Meg Penny, a good schoolgirl whom which both encounter The Blob. Another thing that is different from the other films is that this movie doesn’t have the main characters trying to find the authorities and convince them of what happened. It seems that the authorities find them more than half the time. Interestingly enough, Russell's direction put quite a twist on the beginning story line. It may not be original, but it definitely good to see something out of the ordinary.

There were only a couple elements in this remake that did not really work here. The music was composed and conducted by Michael Hoenig. His music did have a lot of dark tones in it, but it failed to leave a memorable chord and it wasn't scary enough either. The other element that needed work was the dialog. Not all of it was bad, Dillon had some funny exchanges between characters with his wisecracks. But the issue was that much of it was predictable. The viewer will be able to tell what will happen next even before it happens. It's actually disappointing for a remake that was done this well.

My grotesque!
However, the good outweighs the bad by far. The Blob is so much more appealing to see for its grotesque and vulgar look. The Blob is no longer that solid maroon color from the past two films. To describe it in the most simplistic way, it looks like a mass of human brains that were mashed together as a whole. It really is a mess (in a good way) and that's not all. This particular Blob not only has looks, but is also quick on its feet! The special effects in this film are stunning. Of course it looks dated now but compared to the others, it is by far the best looking.

Another great aspect is how much more graphic this film is. The other two for its time, I guess, you could call rated "R" but this version, is by all accounts rated "R" for a reason. The killing scenes in this movie are just all out gruesome. It's not a blood fest but it can be nasty at times. The last thing to mention about this creature is how closely it followed the traits of The Thing (1982). It seems like anything that resembles these two organisms share the same weaknesses and yet they are very different from each other.

Chuck Russell's version of the 1958 "blob" not only pays homage to its predecessors but it redefines what The Blob should be like as a terrifying, flesh-eating, gelatinous life form. The only things holding it back are it's somewhat undeveloped dialog and not a dark enough musical soundtrack.

Points Earned --> 8:10

Monday, October 8, 2012

Beware! The Blob (1972) Review:

Some movies, like the original "blob" film, can be looked at as being cheesy, but it also can be very much appreciated for how it was constructed for a 1950's audience. And then there are movies that are just plain dull and not worth the viewer's time. For the first "blob" starring Steve McQueen, I was impressed with the visual effects, but with everything else, was disappointed in. You'd think that 14 years later something a little more interesting could have been added in the next chapter of The Blob series; but that's a falsity.

After the first time The Blob was rid of, it was dropped in the arctic where it would have thought to never thaw again. Unfortunately, more parts of The Blob were found. And it wasn’t in the arctic? There wasn't an explanation behind this, so that questions the continuity of this film. Apparently, this movie is a sequel to The Blob of 1958. But how can it be if it has a different origin? This movie can't be even counted as a prequel, in terms of the story, it would have to be called a remake because none of the original characters are in this film and the story isn't the same.

Yeah,....these actors really don't matter at all. Just shameful.
The characters don't even matter in this film either. All of them are too thin to really have any dimension to them. This film was solely made just to bring The Blob back to the theatre. To make things worse, none of the special effects were changed. With The Blob consuming so many victims, you'd think the viewer would want to see something longer than five seconds of The Blob rolling over someone or a quick scare. There's nothing to really look at, plus that much of the movie was in the dark and it's hard to see what's going on.

The second "Blob",...still looks like berry jam.
Alas, the only redeeming qualities to this movie are The Blob itself, the music in the background, and it's somewhat funny (very few) scenes. For the scenes, there were just some instances that either did not make much sense or just took way too long before The Blob was supposed to take over the screen. Mort Garson who has some nice tunes created the music but nothing was truly special. As for The Blob in this film, the only credit I can give, is that it’s SOMEWHAT smoother moving than it's predecessor in 1958, but that's about it. It still has its silly gelatinous look and it still never really shows how it devours its victims. Nothing has changed for the good in this movie.

Beware! The Blob is no improvement over the original; it’s a step backwards actually. Something unique could have been done but the only changes that were made was the story and having The Blob move through various other cracks and crevices that the 1958 version didn't move through.

Points Earned --> 5:10

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Blob (1958) Review:

"The Blob" is an interesting creature. It's not like any other creature cinema history has ever seen. It doesn't have a skeletal structure. It doesn't have a face, and it doesn't have a body (a specific figure). So the question in mind, is how does a group of filmmakers and special effects artists make this idea a reality. The answer was just being innovative and creative. And for the amount of technology that was available at the time, it was an astounding feat.

Steve McQueen,...who really doesn't look like a teenager.
Starring as the hero (if that's what he really is) is Steve McQueen. McQueen plays an ordinary teenager who ends up running into The Blob and notices the horror that it causes. Honestly, calling McQueen's character a hero or an ordinary teenager is hard to say. The plot of this story runs at a slow pace and much of it is focused on how McQueen tries to convince people that he's not hallucinating. There's not much of any character development at all really. As for the other characters involved in this story, there isn't much to talk about because much of the dialog is bland and sluggish.

Amazing for it's time but ultimately poorly used throughout
What stands out from that however, is The Blob creature itself. To watch  this creature on screen is intriguing enough to wonder how the film crew could have gotten this to work so well. The Blob truly does slink and slush its way around in this film. It's almost like Jell-O but filmed in slow motion. Unfortunately, the fun really doesn't begin until the film starts to end. The way that "fun" is used in the previous statement describes what it's like to watch The Blob move in every scene, not the death scenes of its victims.

What was most disappointing about this film was how little The Blob was in every scene. Sure it's fun seeing what it can do but wouldn’t viewers want to see more? They probably never did. Adding to this was the fact that the death scenes did not even last long on screen. It is to the assumption the reason why the film was no graphic was due to the generation it was released to. This can be understood but it still can be frustrating. Surely someone would be thinking, "So what happened to the victim? Can't we see what happened?". As for the musical score, which was produced by Ralph Carmichael, has a nice tone to whatever scene is currently happening. The only song I have in question is the one at the opening credits. Why so jolly sounding?

As the first of a couple "blob" films, this one isn't a masterpiece but it is something worth admiring for even if the part worth admiring is relatively small. Somehow though, if this movie wasn't about The Blob, this story would ultimately would have been left in the refrigerator where it belonged.

Points Earned --> 6:10

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Black Hole (1979) Review:

Disney's Black Hole is a very ambitious movie. Back then, it may have been a great disappointment, but through the years it has gained the reputation of an underrated classic. Unfortunately, that's the sad truth. There are a lot of good elements in this movie and for some reason not many people became attached to it. Sure Star Wars is much more popular but looking at space through Disney's eyes is quite a trip. As soon as the opening credits start rolling (or typing), the viewer is flown across what seems to be a plane or a grid. It almost seems like Disney's hinting at Tron (1982) is coming in the near future. It's odd but very intriguing.

So what's there to like about this film? To start off, who's done a movie on one of the most powerful forces in the universe? Leave it to Disney to take on such a project. Although the special effects are dated now, they still make a lasting impression. The way the black hole is crafted in this film is really interesting to see. When I first saw it, I was thinking for a good five minutes of how they could have pulled off such a neat trick.

The long forgotten Dr. Reinhardt (Maximillian Schell)
To name a couple: Maximillian Schell, Anthony Perkins, Robert Foster, and Ernest Borgnine star in this film. Perkins, Foster, Borgnine and some other actors are a crew that travel through space that stumble upon what seems to be an abandoned U.S. space shuttle called the Cygnus. But it's not abandoned - the only crew member still on board is Schell, who plays Dr. Hans Reinhardt. The traveling space crew soon realizes that the Cygnus is not far away from an enormous black hole, but they are not being sucked in. Why - because Dr. Reinhardt developed a stabilizer that keeps the ship at bay. Pretty nifty.

VinCENT & Old B.O.B, two great characters
Adding to the human characters are some friendly and unfriendly robotic individuals. One is sure to adhere to VinCENT (long format: Vital Information Necessary CENTralized), a psychic droid who knows how to mix wit and humor into every statement he makes. Then there's Maximillian, Reinhardt's deadly weapon who has sharper hands than your regular paper shredder. These two droids and others are some things that have always stuck with me since I've seen the film and it probably has done the same for any other viewer. NOTE: This is Disney's first PG rated film. This film can frighten little children.

One last thing that makes this film so good to watch is its soundtrack composed and conducted by John Barry. There's a certain way Barry makes his music, and the way he does it is by cycling many parts of the same tunes. This is a good method because some composers make a theme for every song in the track list. Then you think, "Wait, what's the theme song for this movie - oh right there is none". Barry makes sure you know what the main theme of this movie is.

The Black Hole is definitely a dated movie but its dazzling visuals have lasting appeal. Adding to such a component is John Barry's haunting score, which will stick with the viewer for a good long time.

Points Earned --> 10:10

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Big Red One (1980) Review:

The Big Red One directed by Samuel Fuller bases the story line off of his own life and has done it well. Along with several other war tributes to the generation that served our country during the 1940s, Fuller's version is another good film to see.

The Sergeant (Marvin) & his platoon
Starring as the main character is Lee Marvin. For anyone who does not know of Marvin's background, he too served in the military in World War II. And now he's fighting for his country again but on screen; where he can't be really killed. Lucky him! Along side Marvin is actor Mark Hamill. Yes-Luke Skywalker is in this movie too! Now America has the force on its side! Hamill plays a character named Griff who is a little bit insecure about himself. He's the kind of person that does not acclimate to war so easily but tries to cope with it.

Pvt. Griff (Hamil), yes that's him!
The main things that will grab people's attention are the accuracy of what most of the war was like. Everything was grueling. Everything was communicated by hollering orders. Everything was at war. There are not a lot of characters involved with the plot but you see many brave soldiers die; no doubt about that.

There are also some touching moments in this film. Sometimes platoon's would run into run-down foreign European towns where many people did not have food and water. What makes moments great like these is that the soldier's would help them, which is what America does. We help people. We release people from their captives because everyone has the right to be free.

The only reason why I did not give this World War II flick ten stars was the way the story line moved. Everything seemed too choppy. First they start out in some place in Africa. All of a sudden, they're in Europe. Wait, where's the transition here? It just felt like the platoon was just migrating from place to place just because they felt like it. That's the only thing that bothers me in this movie. Everything else I appreciate and respect to up-most degree.

Containing less gore but the same amount of zeal, Fuller's version of World War II is heartfelt and touching altogether. For any World War II buff, this is another classic that should be on your list to watch.

Points Earned --> 8:10