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All reviews - Movies (14)

The Seventh Seal review

Posted : 7 years, 4 months ago on 11 March 2011 09:51 (A review of The Seventh Seal)

As every movie lover knows, this story about a knight playing chess against death is one of the essentials of world cinema. The so-called "dark and depressing" film is actually much more hopeful and humorous than it's reputation suggests.

The knight himself is understandably obsessed with mortality, the nature of God and the meaning of life, since his chess game has the highest of stakes. The Knight, Antonius Block, and his squire encounter many characters along their journey home from the crusades, each one usually presenting new themes and subplots to be explored. Not only is the Black Plague wiping out the population of Block's homeland, but this has caused widespread religious fanaticism, moral decay, and various other forms of panic throughout that medieval society. In terms of historical significance, Bergman made this film as an examination of not only medieval European society, but also the 1950s cold war paranoia caused by the Soviet discovery of nuclear weapons. Despite those gloomy themes, the main characters are generally warm, funny and caring of one another. While this could have evolved into an angry indictment of humanity, Bergman actually goes the opposite direction, as he suggests that even in this darkest of times there is still good to be found in the world.

Technically speaking this film is perfect in every way. There are countless images that are iconic in the film world, and the acting is flawless all around. Since Bergman is considered one of the greatest directors who ever lived, and this is one of his defining works, I will simply agree with all the praise already heaped upon this film instead of repeating it endlessly.

As for recommending it, well let's face it, if you want to pretend to know anything at all about the art of motion pictures, then this is one of a handful of films you absolutely must see, whether you want to or not. But who wouldn't want to after all?

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Yojimbo (1961) review

Posted : 7 years, 4 months ago on 10 March 2011 04:48 (A review of Yojimbo (1961))

Brilliant acting by Mifune and veiled anti-capitalist themes make this a masterpiece of the "Samurai Movie" sub-genre. There are so many tensions: corruption vs morality, greed vs self-sacrifice, samurai order vs gangster chaos, even the sword vs the gun. It's hardly a surprise when the streets are eventually filled with dead bodies!

The directing by Kurosawa is geared towards building up the tension that often explodes into violent action sequences. There are several dark humor moments that illustrate the cynical attitude of the main character, but also remind the viewer that above all, he is a pretty decent man. The action scenes from Yojimbo have been duplicated endlessly by action movie directors ever since - especially the iconic arterial blood spray.

I would recommend this classic for anyone, as it is one of the more accessible foreign films around, and has a remarkably modern anti-hero as the catalyst.

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Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen review

Posted : 7 years, 4 months ago on 10 March 2011 04:39 (A review of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen)

Spoiler: "Megan Fox doesn't die and get resurrected, but everybody else in the movie does."

Is that the pitch you use to get $100 million+ budget from a movie studio? Of course it would be followed by the accurate prediction, "Don't worry, every buffoon in America will pay to see it, and you'll make at least half billion off it."

I was one of those buffoons who paid to see it. It barely delivers as a spectacle of explosions and gunfire, but fails in every other aspect of entertainment. Honestly, there are only so many times you can watch LaBeouf and Fox jump out of an exploding building before you start to wonder how incompetent these robots actually are. After each action sequence, I had to ask myself once again, "Are they even trying to kill these humans?"

Still, most kids seem to like it, so I'd give it a flattering 2/10 instead of a 0.

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Birdemic a Bird vs Human opus.

Posted : 7 years, 4 months ago on 3 March 2011 06:09 (A review of Birdemic: Shock and Terror)

This film has everything. There are sex scenes, people driving around in cars, people shooting in the air and of course people driving around while shooting in the air. Sure, there are cell phone videos on Youtube that look more professional than this movie, but do they have people shooting up in the air at birds? Hell no!

If you can understand the badly recorded dialog, you will be treated to some of the worst writing outside of the internet. The plot unfolds at a snail's pace to allow the viewer to learn about the characters. We see them drive to work, fall in love, play basketball, become millionaires, have sex, etc. Then, just as you are about to tie the noose around your own neck, the action finally begins. The birds attack random places and random people around San Jose by eating their eyes, and/or spontaneously exploding. What follows is a lengthy series of scenes involving several characters running from birds, shooting at birds, walking around in the open so the birds can attack once again, and complaining about climate change.

The phrase "worst movie ever made" gets tossed around a lot these days, and sometimes it's even justifiable. The Transformers movies aren't actually "The Worst", they just suck in the context of the budget that was spent on them. This film mounts a real challenge for the title, with its honest effort at being terrible in story, acting, directing, and special effects. To sum it all up, I would quote the film itself, "Hey look, there's an old guy on the bridge!"

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