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Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
Good film but hampered by the presentation
Kill Bill commits the cardinal sin of giving the audience only a half baked story and it hurts the film. Throughout Kill Bill, I got the sense that Tarantino thinks he is being more clever than he actually is. This is easily the worst of Tarantino's four features (the other three being Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, and Jackie Brown). At this point, it's difficult to tell whether the story as a whole is worth telling - that judgment will have to await the release of Volume 2. But, based on what's available for the time being, I can only recommend Kill Bill for die-hard Tarantino buffs and Hong Kong action junkies. Everyone else would do better to stay away and avoid the bitter disappointment of seeing how the greed of a distributor can degrade the movie-going experience. The action scenes are, as expected exciting but the dialogue(Tarantino's strong trait) aren't much to sneeze at.
Paint Your Wagon (1969)
Miscast leads is the reason this is just average
Clint Eastwood is an inappropriate lead for a musical. Not so much because he can't sing very well (although he CAN'T sing as well as the genre requires), but mostly because he is too closely identified, at least in our minds, with his "tougher" roles, and we just can't take him very seriously when he suddenly starts singing. Lee Marvin isn't a very accomplished singer, either. And the two miscast leads aren't the only problems of this musical-Western. It's also pointless, slow and plodding. Its only strong redeeming quality, which keeps it bearable, is the lovely presence of Seberg. She gives the best, the most likable performance in the film, providing a center of strength and dignity. If she wasn't around, this movie would be nearly unwatchable. As for the songs, there are lively ones (like the title song) and there are boring ones (like "I Was Born Under A Wandering Star").
Mars Attacks! (1996)
A movie that divided opinions
This star studded dark comedy is a good film although it often drags and sometimes becomes too heavily burdened by the star power. The premise is simple: Earth is invaded by Martians but unlike what HG Wells envisioned, these sinister aliens have a different agenda. Looking at other reviews it is not easily to classify this film as good or bad- some love it others cannot stand it and then some consider it a guilty pleasure. See and decide yourself.
True Colors (1991)
A decent one time watch but nothing more
True Colors is an alright movie- like a diversion and would seem cheesy by today's standards. These films were so common in the time it was made you can call it a product of its time. John Cusack and James Spader play friends from opposite sides of the street- one rich the other poor. Cusack is good as the scheming friend with an ulterior motive and the film never really becomes too saccharine. A good afternoon diversion but there is other Cusack or Spader movie you can consider if you want to watch their work.
War of the Worlds (2005)
Spielberg's hostile alien invasion take
This is a great movie based on the famed HG Wells novel of the same name. A list actor teams up with A list director to make a good entertaining film that needs to be appreciated. The effects of the alien tripods are amazing especially the sound design- they evoke fear. The plotting and pacing is efficient which should be expected from Spielberg and the acting is good. You know how the film ends and yet this film keeps you engrossed. If you haven't read the famous novel I suggest you read it before seeing this film.
An existentialist piece filmed in Antractica
Werner Herzog is a living legend in my opinion and this film explains why. He is willing to go to the edge of the world to find meaning and purpose- and he finds them in people, geographical objects and even penguins. Herzog goes to a base camp in Antarctica to learn about the inhabitants and why they are there. We learn about the kind of people and the kind of mindset they possess. But this isn't just a point and shoot interview. Featuring gorgeous but humbling vistas of the ice sheets and barren white land there is a poetic quality to the work. A scene featuring a lone penguin walking to its impending doom reeks of existentialist pain. This is a fantastic documentary by the amazing Werner Herzog.
Kate & Leopold (2001)
A cute rom-com featuring some time travel
This is a charming movie starring Hugh Jackman- yet to hit his stride in the big leagues, and Meg Ryan- on a downturn. Featuring a bit of time travel an Englishman from the 17th century lands up in modern day New York City and falls in love with an advertising executive alongside trying to settle in the new century. The film is cute and would make for a great afternoon relaxation offering. Its rather sad to see Meg Ryan fall of the face of Hollywood because she has an endearing personality and an infectious smile. James Mangold directs(he would reteam with Hugh Jackman for Wolverine and Logan).