Monday, June 26, 2006

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

Ah, now I have finally seen the original of this movie. And my thoughts on it? Rather complicated. Okay, let me start off by saying I loved the book, and I loved the 2005 version. Gene Wilder was certainly closer to the Willy Wonka of the book (which I loved). And the ridiculous Wonka backstory wasn't in this one, thank goodness. Now here's where it gets tricky. I'm giving this the same rating as the 2005 version because, although overall it was a better movie, it wasn't moment by moment. You know how there are some movies you enjoy actually WATCHING but they're really not that good as a whole, and other movies are good as a whole but not that interesting to watch? The 2005 version falls into the first category, the 1971 into the latter. So they get the same rating. 3 stars.

Capote (2005)

I'm not entirely sure what to say about this movie. Once I actually sat down to watch it, it really seemed to drag. It seemed slow and plotless, even though it *wasn't* particularly plotless, and it took me three tries before I finally managed to get through it. Usually I don't mind slow, but on at least one night I fell asleep watching this movie. Odd, and too bad, because I was all ready to really, really like this film. 2.5 stars.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

I Am Sam (2001)

Well, I liked this when I first watched it, back in 2001 when I was into the uber sappy movies. I suspect if I watched it again I'd hate it. So I'm giving it an in-between of 2.5 stars.

Monday, June 19, 2006

The Great Gatsby (1974)

As I began watching this, I was unsure if I was going to enjoy it or if it was just going to be one of those long movies that are clearly supposed to be deep but mostly just make me think, "I haven't any idea what that was." However, as the movie kept going, I found I was getting engrossed in the story, and by the time it got to the end I was genuinely interested in what was going on. Pretty slow-moving but interesting. I think I might actually read the book now. 3.5 stars.

Little Manhattan (2005)

In the first ten minutes of this movie, I found myself increasingly worried that I had selected The Wrong Movie for myself. However, as the story progressed and the characters evolved, it turned into a very charming little movie. A bit over-the-top at times, but nonetheless totally feel good and fluffy without being annoying. I'm quite, quite satisfied with the ending. 4 stars.

Hoodwinked (2005)

I heard from a few people who really didn't like this movie, but I disagree with them quite a bit. I think it was one of the most fun animated movies I've seen that didn't come from Disney. Certainly better than, say, Shark Tale or Robots. It felt like there were two halves to the movie, though... the first half was the most fun, as the four characters all told their individual stories. The second half, where everything got wrapped up and the bad guy got what he deserved, was less enjoyable but still had some good moments. All in all, this film made me smile a lot. Definitely recommended. 4 stars.

Adaptation. (2002)

Plot: A lovelorn screenwriter turns to his less talented twin brother for help when his efforts to adapt a non-fiction book go nowhere.

I can't decide whether I really really liked this movie or only really liked it. Heh. I really hadn't any idea what to expect as I sat down to watch it. Halfway through I was thinking this was one of the most interesting movies I'd ever seen. There were many moments of sheer brilliance that made me laugh out loud. And then . . . I don't know. It felt like it fizzled. Maybe I'm missing the point (I do that a lot). I'm going to go ahead and give it four and a half stars though, because two thirds of it was SO SO SO good. Definitely a good movie to see.

Edit: Okay, just got done reading some reviews of the movie that explain what this was trying to do. It definitely makes sense now, and, although I won't give away the ending, I give them definite kudos for trying that... even if it didn't particularly work for me. *grin* I may have to just have my dad watch it so I can re-watch it and see if, knowing what point it's making, it makes more sense to me. If so, I'll update this review once again. 4.5 stars.

Amadeus (1984)

This was an absolutely fascinating movie. Although I don't particularly like classical music, I do like music in general, and I'm fascinated by stories about musicians. Seeing people get this wrapped up in music just intrigues me. Although it's definitely not a completely accurate portrayal of the story of Salieri and Mozart, it's well worth seeing. It runs quite long - 160 minutes - but I stayed interested nearly every minute. Both the lead actors played their parts superbly. I just definitely, definitely think this was a well done movie. 4 stars.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Hide and Seek (2005)

I know a lot of people didn't like this movie... it was panned pretty badly... but I didn't think there was anything all that bad about it. Perhaps I'm just not a seasoned enough connoisseur of the horror/suspense flick, but I rather liked it, except for the fact that the ending battle was drawn out obsecenely long. Once the "big revelation" is made, we really didn't need a half hour battle. Not when the movie's only 101 minutes to begin with. Oh, and one other comment. In this movie, Robert DeNiro looks frighteningly like Gregory Peck. 3 stars.

Nanny McPhee (2005)

What a fun movie! I really hadn't any idea what to expect, but it had a delightful whimsical feel to it. My sister described it as "Willy Wonka meets Mary Poppins." There were a few moments that had me rolling my eyes and thinking, "Well, THAT was silly," but overall it was quite a satisfying movie. 3.5 stars.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

101 Dalmatians (1996)

Plot: A woman kidnaps puppies to kill them for their fur, but various animals then gang up against her and get their revenge in slapstick fashion.

Overall, very underwhelmed by this movie. I suppose it'll have its appeal for some people, but... those people are not me. This felt silly, over-the-top, and without any of the charm of the original. 1.5 stars.

Bambi (1942)

Although I personally don't like this movie - cute little animals in the forest have never really been my thing - I must say it's one of Disney's better animated features. There's a definite beauty to it in its depictions of the forest. 3 stars.

A Bug's Life (1998)

Plot: A misfit ant, looking for warriors to save his colony from grasshoppers, recruits a group of bugs that turn out to be an inept circus troup.

Probably my least favorite out of all the Disney/Pixar films, but that's still not saying anything bad about this movie. It was a very fun plot with interesting characters, and an innocence to it that I missed in Antz. 3 stars.

Friday, June 9, 2006

Godspell (1973)

I saw this for the first time at my aunt's house in Rhode Island, and it in turn introduced me to the theater version of this. Godspell is just such a fun show... so upbeat and energetic and full of fun. The cast of the movie is pretty good, definitely does justice to the score. 3.5 stars.

One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961)

Plot: When a litter of dalmatian puppies are abducted by the minions of Cruella De Vil, the parents must find them before she uses them for a diabolical fashion statement.

Quite a cute movie... and I don't think Disney's ever written a villain quite as great as Cruella. 3 stars.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Plot: Mankind finds a mysterious, obviously artificial, artifact buried on the moon and, with the intelligent computer HAL, sets off on a quest.

Okay, so it's a classic. Okay, so it's supposed to be one of the best films of all time. I still don't get it, and I still don't particularly like it. Weird random symbolism doesn't particularly interest me if it doesn't seem to connect to anything... which is the problem here. 1 star.

Air Force One (1997)

Plot: Hijackers seize the plane carrying the President of the United States and his family, but he (an ex-soldier) works from hiding to defeat them.

Pretty good movie, although certainly not perfect. Very solidly interesting. 3 stars.

A Sound of Thunder (2005)

Plot: When a hunter sent back to the prehistoric era runs off the path he must not leave, he causes a chain reaction that alters history in disastrous ways.

Teehee. Such silliness this is. Loosely based on a Ray Bradbury story that I absolutely loved, this goofy little action flick is full of plotholes and cheesy dialogue. However, I have to admit I enjoyed it more than most action/adventure flicks. It does have a good premise (hello, Bradbury!) even if it then does slice it up so that it's harder to tell it's a good premise. Pretty mindless fun, but nothing in the least special. 2.5 stars.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Raising Arizona (1987)

Early Coen brothers . . . such fun! I tend to find their films always pleasant, if never spectacular. This certainly held true to that. Definitely had a couple moments that made me giggle. I'm not sure I'd recommend it as a hugely amazing movie, but it was certainly fun to sit down and watch. (I liked Intolerable Cruelty better, I must say.) 3 stars.

Must Love Dogs (2005)

Well. This was unstellar. It was unhorrible, too. I like John Cusack as an actor, so that was a plus, especially since his character was quite likeable. I have no doubt that I thoroughly enjoyed watching the movie. But now, three days later, can I remember anything about it? I cannot. And this is why this movie is far from great. 3 stars.

Bee Season (2005)

I'm not sure what this movie was trying to do or say, quite honestly. I got it expecting it to be a movie all about a spelling bee, rather like the "Spellbound" documentary, but it definitely wasn't. It became a family drama, except the family was entirely too messed up for my taste. And I never felt like anything got resolved. Mostly it just felt messy and choppy and unfinished. I wouldn't recommend it. 1 star.

The Producers (1968)

Sometimes Mel Brooks really rubs me the wrong way. At other times I find his stuff absolutely hilarious. This one was mostly the latter. Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder were hilarious in their roles. A few moments of this actually made me laugh out loud, which doesn't happen very often when I watch movies. Now I'm looking forward even more eagerly to seeing the musical movie. 4 stars.

First Blood (1982)

Why did I watch this movie? Now, that's a good question. Because it was in my house and I was sick of it being in my house. So I watched it. And then I sent it back to CleanFilms. I'm not sure it was worth any more than that. At the very end of the story, it suddenly turned into a morality message movie, which I will say I didn't expect. I will also say that that seems to make the idea of sequels somewhat . . . not quite right. If the whole point is him giving himself up, then it's not cool to have him come back to kill again. Puh-lease. 1 star.

About a Boy (2002)

Plot: Based on Nick Hornby's best-selling novel, About A Boy is the story of a cynical, immature young man who is taught how to act like a grown-up by a little boy.

Now I can finally take it off my "want to see it" list and put it on my "finally saw it" list. This movie was recommended to me by both Anna and Sarah L, so I figured there had to be something to it. There definitely was. This movie kept me solidly entertained the whole way through, and there were even a few moments where I laughed out loud. But besides just being amusing, it was also making a bit of a point. Sometimes movies that make a point end up sounding pretentious and preachy, but this was... surprisingly heart-warming. Definitely quite a good movie. 4 stars.

The Secret of My Succe$s (1987)

Teehee. Such silliness. It's loosely based on the story of How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, although I have to admit I preferred that one. This one has a few moments, though, as the main character masquerades as two different people, and at one point even successfully attends a party attended by people who know him in both personas. However, it is CHEEEESYYY in quite a few spots, and I'm not sure I could actually recommend it to anyone because I'm not sure anyone but me would actually enjoy this, since it is such avid fluff. Oh, what the heck. Give it a shot if you like some nonsense in a movie. ;-) It's definitely one of the least inspired films I've ever seen, but it is harmless. 2.5 stars.

Sunday, June 4, 2006

Ice Age (2002)

This is such a fun movie. It actually made me laugh out loud in a few spots. Too bad Robots didn't measure up to the same standard, Fox could have had a really good thing going here! 4 stars.

A Little Princess (1995)

Plot: A young girl is relegated to servitude at a boarding school when her father goes missing and is presumed dead.

I always have rather liked this story, even if it's cliched, and even though this version doesn't mesh with the book's, I actually like it much better. Very cute movie. 3 stars.

A Raisin in the Sun (1961)

Plot: A substantial insurance payment could mean either financial salvation or personal ruin for a poor black family.

This was a really interesting play - I enjoyed reading it - and I really enjoyed it as a movie as well. Really well-done as an adaptation. Definite classic. 3.5 stars.

An Affair to Remember (1957)

Such a fantastic chick flick. The characters are interesting, and even though it's loaded with sap, it still manages to keep me interested, proving that when sap is surrounded by good characters and dialogue, you can most definitely still have a good movie! 3.5 stars.

Alice in Wonderland (1951)

AAHHH! I read the books and DESPISED this movie. It was nightmarish, and I'm not describing the quality of the movie but the way the movie felt. It felt like a nightmare. *shudder* Scary stuff! 1 star.

Saturday, June 3, 2006

Brigadoon (1954)

SO. SO. BORING. 0.5 stars.

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

Plot: Repelled by the commercialism he sees around him, Charlie Brown tries to find the true meaning of Christmas.

One of the absolutely best Christmas specials ever. Nothing can truly capture the heart quite like Peanuts. :-) 4 stars.