Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Leaping Lizards!

Annie is probably one of my favorite musical films. I really enjoyed the original version from 1982, and if I can remember correctly, the 1999 remake was not terrible either.

This is such an uplifting movie, it is a great one to watch if you are ever feeling down. I absolutely love the message of it about how things may suck right now, but there is always tomorrow and eventually things will brighten up. This message is spelled out perfectly in the famous song "Tomorrow" sung by little Annie.  I also love how orphan Annie finds the positive in all the negatives. She is thankful for the little she has rather than sad about what she lacks. If only we could all be a little more like Annie, I'm sure we'd be happier in general.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


I decided to watch Men in Black thinking that it must be good since there was a couple of sequels. I realized that my logic was flawed after thinking about all of the bad movies that ended up getting sequels. Big Mama's House and Dumb and Dumberer for example. Some of the big blockbusters are terrible movies. It often comes down to advertising and how much hype they can create before the movie comes out. But I wouldn't say that MIB was a completely terrible movie, it just wasn't a great movie.

Men in Black was not as horrendous as some movies, but I will admit, it was not my cup of tea. I can see why some people would like the movie. I love Will Smith and all, but occasionally his humor is a little too over-the-top for me. I guess I have a very particular taste in humor.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Memoirs of a Geisha

Learning about different cultures has always been a passion of mine. The various Asian cultures have caught my attention long ago. There is just something about their uniqueness compared to the American culture that intrigues me. Back in high school, I read the book Memoirs of a Geisha and was drawn into the world of a young Japanese girl around the time of World War II. The story enthralled me with the intricate details of the life of a geisha and the rituals they perform. The author painted a wonderful picture in my head with the descriptions of the beautiful silk kimonos and the elegant performances. I was so intrigued that I desperately wanted to watch the movie, and I am pretty sure I did. But that was ages ago and I wanted to be brought back to Kyoto, Japan during the 1940s.

The movie did not fail to grasp my attention. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the more traditional Japanese culture before the Americans had a significant influence. The story was portrayed wonderfully, but as usual, I enjoyed the book more. But I was still inspired by little Chiyo's story of overcoming the devastation of losing her entire family and having her whole world turned upside-down. She managed to create a life for herself despite all the obstacles thrown in her way. This just shows that anyone can overcome the downfalls that may come in life.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Breakfast at Tiffany's

After watching a series of movies with a lot of brutality in them, I wanted to watch something more light-hearted and up-lifting. Breakfast at Tiffany's seemed like a less gruesome choice to watch this time around.

Photo Credit: Imdb
I've always heard of how fabulous Audrey Hepburn was and have seen pictures showcasing her beauty. But after watching Breakfast at Tiffany's, I truly understand why so many were fascination with her. She was absolutely stunning! Her voice was soft and delicate, it just added to her charm.

As far as the movie goes, I felt it was an enjoyable one. I did get a little frustrated with Audrey's character, Holly Golightly, though. She was such a gold digger! She was so afraid of finding true love, that she was willing to marry anyone who had money. And Paul Varjak, the struggling writer who falls madly in love with Holly, has such patients, I don't understand how he could stand it! Talk about being friend zoned! But I was happy that in the end, Paul stood up to Holly and called her shenanigans and she finally came to her senses. 

Breakfast at Tiffany's  was a good choice for lightening my mood.  

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Photo credit: Wikipedia
After watching American Psycho, I was in the mood to watch another serial killer crime movie. However, this time, the movie was from the perspective of the "good guys." Seven follows Detective David Mills (Brad Pitt), a new transfer, and the soon-to-retire Detective William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) on their quest to find a sadistic serial killer. The serial killer justifies his crimes by claiming to be setting an example for the world by not ignoring people's sins. Each of his victims represents one of the seven deadly sins--gluttony, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and wrath.

I was thought Seven was an interesting film that is slightly different than the stereotypical crime thrillers. It was much slower in developing the story line and was not jammed-pack with action sequences like most movies in the genre. However, I felt that this did not subtract from the movie. Was it my favorite crime thriller? No, but I still found it intriguing.

On a slightly different note, it was quite obvious that this movie was from the 90s. Not only were the cars boxier, but the computers were big chunky desktops and the detectives had actual "paperwork" to do. It always amuses me seeing older movies with old technology. It's also somewhat awe-inspiring to see how far we have come technologically in a small span of time.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

American Psycho

After watching this movie, I cannot honestly say that I enjoyed it. I have seen graphic movies with lots of gore before; that wasn't what bothered me. I can't quite put my finger on what really disturbed me. Maybe it was the main character's complete apathy, utter cruelty, and sociopathic ways. The movie was just not as thrilling as I had hoped it would be.

However, I have to admit that Christian Bale did a fantastic job portraying the psychopathic Patrick Bateman. He was superb, maybe even a little too convincing. I was also a bit surprised to find that Reese Witherspoon and Willem Dafoe had roles in the film.

On a slightly different note, Bateman briefly mentions Ed Gein, a psychotic killer from Wisconsin. Gein's story actually inspired many famous characters in popular culture, including Norman Bates from Psycho, Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Jame Gumb from The Silence of the Lambs. Just a little random fact that American Psycho made me remember.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Boondock Saints

"And shepards we shall be.
For thee, my Lord, for thee.
Power hath descended forth
from Thy hand, that our feet
may swiftly carry out Thy command.
So we shall flow a river forth to Thee
and teeming with souls shall it ever be.
In Nomine Patris, et Filii,
et Spiritus Sancti."

This is probably the most popular quote from The Boondock Saints. It is the prayer brothers Connor and Murphey say before they shoot their target.

I have seen The Boondock Saints probably 50 times. It is my mom's favorite movie, and possibly one of my top 10 favorites. It is a movie about these two brothers who after a chance encounter with a few members of the Russian mafia decide to take matters into their own hands and clean up the streets of Boston by killing members of the various mobs that terrorize the city.

The idea of this type of vigil anti is a controversal one. On the one hand, the guys are taking care of things that the law cannot due to copious amounts of red tape. They are, in a sense, protecting the people of Boston by dwindling down the number of mobsters. On the other hand, they are acting as judge and jurry by executing the bad guys. The movie definately shows both sides to this debate, but lightens the mood with well placed humor.

I think this movie is pretty darn good, especially considering the tiny budget it had and the fact that some big name actors took a pay reduction to do it. Willem Dafoe  ( the Green Goblin from Spiderman 3), Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead), Billy Connolly (from many, many movies), and Sean Patrick Flannery (The Dead Zone) all played major rolls in the movie.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pulp Fiction

Photo credit: TV Tropes

It is extremely hard for me to describe Pulp Fiction in an eloquent manner. Best leave it to the critics to do so.
"Outrageously violent, time-twisting, and in love with language, Pulp Fiction was widely considered the most influential American movie of the 1990s." - Rotten Tomatoes
"The new King Kong of crime movies...Ferocious fun without a trace of caution, complacency or political correctness to inhibits its 154 deliciously lurid minutes." - Rolling Stone

Quentin Tarantino did a spectacular job with intertwining the three different stories in this film all while telling them in a non-linear fashion. Not many films can successfully pull off either of these tactics, let alone both. The film is a dark comedy that follows the stories of a pair of small-time robbers, a couple of Los Angeles mobsters, and a boxer with unpaid debt. There is a major focus on the dialogue to establish the personalities of the characters and is often laced with profanity. Actually, that is a slight understatement: there is an obscene amount of profanity in this movie. It is also a very violent movie and involves a lot of drugs as well as sexual encounters. Needless to say, this is not a movie for children.

Pulp Fiction features a cast full of big-name actors, though some were not as prominent back then. For example, John Travolta, who played Vincent Vega, one of the hit men, revived his declining career. The film also helped Uma Thurman (Mia Wallace, the mob boss’ wife) establish her career in the movie business. Other famous actors in the movie were Samuel L. Jackson(Jules Winnfield, the other hit man), Bruce Willis (Butch Coolidge, the boxer who owes the mob boss money), and Christopher Walken, who made a short appearance at the beginning of the movie.

Although most of the characters were interesting and had memorable dialogue, one of my favorite characters would probably be Fabienne, Butch’s girlfriend. She may not have been a main character, but she was a perfect foil to her boyfriend and most of the other characters, for that matter. She came off as innocent with her big doe eyes and delicate features, as well as with her accent highlighted by her silly chattering.  It was a nice contrast to the roughness of the rest of the movie. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Yet Another Peculiar Movie

"I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey."

And a strange journey it was. The singing pair of lips that began the movie pretty much guaranteed that The Rocky Horror Picture Show was going to be a bit peculiar. Although this was my first time seeing the movie, I knew that it was going to be a weird one. However, I did not know quite how weird it was going to be.

Photo credit: IMDB
I have always been a bit curious about this movie since I have overheard so many people talk about it and how outlandishly awesome it was. The movie temporarily slipped of the map for me until I saw The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which has an entire scene referencing it. With renewed interest, I was introduced to the world of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a "sweet transvestite from Transsexual Transylvania."

Rocky Horror  was probably my favorite strange movie that I have recently seen. And if my last few posts haven't indicated a pattern, I have seen quite a few weird movies lately. Though, I will admit that I was a bit confused/lost during parts of the movie. However, I soon realized that I didn't really care because I was thoroughly entertained.

The costumes, the singing and dancing, and the nontraditional story line made the movie intriguingly crazy. Add to the mix the memorable and equally crazy quotes ("Hot patootie, bless my soul! I really love that rock n' roll!") and it's no wonder that Rocky Horror is considered by some as one of the most popular cult classics of all time.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sleepy Hollow

Photo credit: Jessica Finson via Photopin
This week I decided to pay tribute to Johnny Depp. Johnny has quite the repritua of out-of-the-norm films under his belt. He is an exceptional actor who puts his own twist on every role he plays. And even though he tried to avoid the heart-throb title, many girls, myself included, find him dreamy. I mean, who could resist him? But I digress.

The movie I chose to watch was Sleepy Hollow. In the beginning, I thought that Ichabod Crane was more of a serious character, which is out of the ordinary for Johnny. Boy was I wrong. After he pulled out the crazy contraptions and gave a dramatic show for a small crowd, I knew it was just another weird role that suited Johnny. And who would be surprised that it was a Tim Burton film? The two seem to have pretty similar tastes in stories and have an interesting partnership going on. They have worked together on eight movies over the years.
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Overall, the movie kept my interest. I have always thought the story of the headless horseman was somewhat spooky, but in a curious manner. Christopher Walken did an excellent job portraying this spookiness. And as always, Johnny made the character of Ichabod his own. The only thing I thought the movie was lacking was in developing the romance between Ichabod and Katrina. There was not much of a story line there, it just sort of happened without fully explaining it. But in the end, I am glad I raided my roommate's movie collection.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

More Sparkles than Twilight

Photo Credit:
Whenever someone makes a reference to a movie that I haven't seen, I am usually curious as to what I might have missed out. A while back, my friends made a reference to the Labyrinth, which sparked my interest. Part of my curiosity came from not knowing who David Bowie was. (I know, I know! I've been living a sheltered life.) What a surprise I was in for.

Labyrinth is an interesting movie, to say the least. I will admit, I was not expecting an almost-musical with puppets, nor was I expecting all the sparkles! I thought the movie was going to be dark, which it was, but not in the same creepy (and sparkly) kind of way. It was marketed as a family movie but I can tell you that had I watched it as a kid, I would have had nightmares! All the creepy goblins and a big, red furry thing with horns... I've had scary dreams from cabbage-patch dolls before, so those things would have for sure brought on night tremors.

Even though it may sound like I dislike the Labyrinth, I was quite amused. For one thing, David Bowie is very eccentric, which may explain the glitter. He sort of reminds me of a male version of Lady Gaga from the 80s. The hair, the make-up, and the pants! Oh gosh the pants! Add in the singing and dancing goblins, it was all so... strange. But from what I've heard, that is David Bowie for you.

I couldn't help making other comparisons throughout the movie. One of the first things that caught my attention was the dwarf that Sarah, the main character played by Jennifer Connelly, met at the beginning of her journey. His name was Hoggle, but Sarah made the mistake of calling him Hogwart, which immediately made me think of Harry Potter. Another thing that crossed my mind was the similarity to The Wizard of Oz. Sarah, like Dorthy, was on a journey through an unknown land and happened to make three interesting friends along the way.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Raiders of the Lost Ark

I have always known that the Indiana Jones series was an iconic movie, but I did not realize until I watched the first film just how spectacular they really are. My friends were actually commenting on many of the famous scenes from the movie that have been replicated in other movies. For instance, the scene where Indy uses a bag of sand or something as a weight to replace the treasure and the whole booby-trapped hidden temple ideas have been borrowed by other films such as The Rundown.

Ever since I became a fan of the TV show Bones, I have had a slight interest in archaeology. However, watching Raiders of the Lost Ark and all the adventures Indy has been on made the job seem even more interesting; though I'm not sure I'd ever like to go on such drastic quests. The movie was just overall exciting for me. It also had a little bit of everything in it. It is definitely an action-packed movie, but it also had a little scifi to it with the powers of the Ark of the Covenant and a tid-bit of romance in it as well, not to mention the  humorous overtones throughout the film.

I am quite glad that my friend suggested we start watching the Indiana Jones series for my educational purposes. I even learned a few fun facts. For instance, Harrison Ford was not George Lucas' first choice for the role of Indiana. Tom Selleck was originally offered the role but turned it down to film Magnum P.I. Also, the famous scene where Indiana shoots a crafty swordsman in the marketplace was slightly altered because Ford was sick and was not up for the intricately choreographed sword fight. Who knew you could learn something (albeit something relatively useless) while having fun?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

First Up: Batman

Throughout the years that I've known them, my friends have tried to "educate" me about movies, though it has not always been consistent. Once they heard about my blog, they immediately began discussing the various movies that they should show me. While they were debating amongst themselves which ones they thought I would enjoy and which to skip over, they temporarily forgot that I was in the room. Needless to say, they are very enthusiastic about this mission.

The first movies to be crossed off of my list were chosen by my friend who is an avid Batman fan. He decided it was time for me to be introduced to Tim Burton's Batman and its sequel Batman Returns. Having previously seen Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight and the The Dark Knight Rises, it was hard for me not to compare the two series. Now I understand that the movies are based on different Batman comics, but they still had similarities. 

The most obvious parallels between the two series would be some of the characters that appear. For instance, the Joker was a central character in Batman as well as The Dark Knight. What I found most interesting, though, were the different mood the movies took. While the Joker in Batman, played by Jack Nicholson, was quite menacing, the Joker, played by the late Heath Ledger, in Nolan's series was pure evil. To me, The Dark Knight had a much darker tone to it. You can see this simply by comparing the two Jokers.

Photo credit: Luke M. Schierholz via photopin cc
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Another character that appeared in both series is Catwoman, but like with the Joker, she is completely different in the two adaptations. When we started watching Batman Returns, I thought that Catwoman would turn out to be a heroine like she was at the end of The Dark Knight Rises. However, I was taken aback when she turned out to be a psychotic woman in a leather bodysuit that she haphazardly sewed together. Overall, I found her to be quite the interesting character.

Although the latter made me question my obsession of penguins for a brief moment, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Batman and Batman Returns. However,  my preference lays with the most recent adaptation of Batman. I feel that newest renditions had a little more substance to them and I generally liked the darker mood of the movies. Nevertheless, I still look forward to finishing the original series. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mission: Must See Movies

Watching movies is a favorite pass time among people of all ages and ethnicities in this country, well all over the world, for that matter. There are countless movies in existence in every language imaginable, on every subject and in many genres. There are movies for everyone! Although I love watching movies, sadly I have not seen as many as I would like.

There seems to be this hypothetical list of movies that everyone absolutely must see in their lifetime. It almost seems taboo to have not seen one of these movies. I have been met on numerous occasions with expressions of shock and disbelief when people hear that I haven’t seen a certain movie. For instance, my friends all shook their heads when they first found out that I haven’t seen any of the Star Wars movies, which they are proud to say is no longer the case.

Over the years I have compiled a mental list of ‘must see’ movies, a list that seems to grow daily. Which brings me to the purpose of this blog. About a year ago I set off on mission to cross off as many movies on the list as I can. So far I have been successful; I have taken care of the first three Star Wars movies (yes, I started with Episode IV), Braveheart, Mary Poppins, The Matrix, and a few others that I’m drawing a blank on. It is my plan to chronicle the next portion of this self-imposed mission here.