* = Terrible
** = Had some redeeming qualities, but probably would not watch again.
*** = Recommended movie with some flaws.
**** = Perfection
The Big Lebowski ***
Better than I was led to believe by many, I found this an entertaining that owes a large part of its success to the outstanding acting of Jeff Bridges.
One of the first “talkie” crime movies, this German film by Fritz Lang is also notable for being one of the first major roles of Peter Lorre. The cinematography is outstanding, and the psychological thriller plot is engaging. I would highly recommend this movie for many reasons, but it avoids the fourth star with parts that seem to be unintentionally comedic in an otherwise serious movie.
The Parking Lot Movie ****
A poignant and occasionally hilarious documentary about a group of parking lot attendants in a college town, you’ll learn a lot about humanity from this movie without even realising it.
Another name for this film could be “costumed individuals with no super powers do morally questionable things.” After being warned that this was a mediocre film, I was questioning the judgements of my friends after viewing the first half: I loved it! It was dark, gritty, and revealed superheroes as normal people. The Comedian is simply a fascinating character.
So why only two stars? Simple, I watched the second half. With a plot that suddenly shifted to a weird bigger message about humanity, it simply fell apart into an insane and ultimately unrewarding viewing experience. Awkward sex scenes and unnecessary graphic violence simply added to this train wreck that held such promise at first glance.
Le Samourai ***
I’m not sure how to describe this movie, except that it was an enjoyable view. Filmed in French with English subtitles, the movie follows a “lone wolf” who is hired to murder a club owner and suddenly finds himself in the middle of a massive police dragnet. To top it off, his contractors decide they want him killed as well. Cinematography is good, the plot is generally solid, and there’s nothing really wrong with this movie. But then again, there’s nothing really too outstanding about it.
Starship Troopers ***
I kept going back and forth on this movie. On the surface it has a rather iffy plot, massive amounts of violence, and a rather campy atmosphere that almost seemed a parody to Sci-Fi films. Yet the more I thought about it, I realized I actually liked the film. It was a good science fiction action movie that didn’t take itself too seriously, which a lot of others in this genre tend to do. The plot that many accused of being militaristic and jingoistic was showing us the nature of humanity and our tendency to kill all that is different.
This is a good movie as long as you realize that you’re not watching it for the plot, but the action.
The Road Warrior *
Many call The Road Warrior the far superior “Mad Max” film, but I disagree. With a plot that never really goes anywhere, very weak character development, and set that didn’t change, I was very much disappointed. Mad Max is everything The Road Warrior is: a good movie.
The Madness of King George **
I had high hopes for this movie, but was disappointed. Despite the acting performances by the main characters and consistently good costuming, the plot never got around to actually taking place.
Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog ****
At only 45 minutes long, I hesitated putting this into my review, but it qualifies in my book. Campy, witty, and ultimately somewhat of an anti-hero film, I enjoyed this Joss Whedon work.
A zombie movie that manages to both parody others of the genre, yet add something to it. It runs out of steam about halfway through, but in its defense, it doesn’t turn into a large parable about humanity.
The Lives of Others ****
I wish I could give this film more than just four stars. It’s one of the most outstanding films I’ve ever seen. It’s subtle, emotional, harsh, and ultimately a stirring film that you won’t want to turn your eyes or ears from.
An overly layered plot and characters not acting in entirely rational ways turned me off to this movie.
3:10 to Yuma **
A good movie to watch once, but doesn’t have many redeeming qualities to want to ever view it again.
It kept switching languages in the middle of dialogs, and I found the backstory of the device much more interesting than the modern plot.
The Baader Meinhof Complex ***
I liked this movie, but the method of revealing major plot points with newspaper and broadcast montages was not a huge hit with me. Despite me saying “hunh???” in my mind a few times while watching it, overall I would recommend this as a glimpse of a German radical group in the 60s and 70s.