I figure I’d finish out black history month with Straight Outta Compton. Where do I start with this one. Well first off, I don’t normally see movies like this. Mostly because I don’t listen to gangsta rap. I only listen to rap when it’s a song I like. So why did I watch Straight Outta Compton. Well I saw it mostly because everyone was talking about it. It’s a good movie for what it is. Very well put together and relevant for the times. The movie delves into the beginnings of N.W.A. and how it made an impact on society at the time. We see the rapper’s struggle and eventually success in their genre. As well as how each member is effected and how they ended up. The most well known members today being Ice Cube and Dr. Dre. If you are interested take caution. There is a lot of profanity and debauchery going on. If you can get past all that, I feel it’s an important movie to watch.
The Room is often referred to as the Citizen Kane of bad movies. Does that make it a bad movie? Yes it’s bad, I mean really really bad. But not offensively bad. No The Room falls under the category of “so bad it’s good”. In case you’re unaware, The Room is an independent low-budget movie written by, produced by, directed by, and starring the infamous Tommy Wiseau. I can’t really say what it’s about, because I don’t even think Tommy Wiseau knows what it’s about. It’s labeled a Drama, but the movie’s so hilariously bad that most consider it a comedy. That’s what makes the movie good in a bad way. Every line in the movie is so bafflingly bad that it’s kinda clever. The movie has several scenes that go absolutely nowhere, the sex scenes are uncomfortable and stupid, and the acting almost has to be seen to be believed. It’s just a really bad movie, beginning to end. I definitely recommend it.
Citizen Kane is often regarded as the “The Greatest Film Ever Made”. So is there any truth to this claim. Short answer: yes. Long answer: debatable. First I’ll start with the premise. Citizen Kane is about an old wealthy newspaper publisher named Charles Foster Kane who has just died, but not before uttering the famous last words “Rosebud”. After his death, an investigative reporter is tasked with uncovering the meaning behind his last word. Along the way the movie swaps back and forth between Kane’s life and reporter seeking answers. So what makes Citizen Kane so good exactly? Well the movie was directed by the late Orson Welles. The man responsible for the famous radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds…
Orson Welles was a pioneer in his own right. Citizen Kane was revolutionary for being one of the first movies to utilize a non linear storytelling method. As well as using old person makeup to show a time lapse in a movie. It’s also one of the first movies with dramatic camera work and a twist ending. There’s a lot movies today have Citizen Kane to thank for. So is there anything bad about the movie? Well here’s what I’ll say. Citizen Kane has had an interesting history. Believe it or not, Citizen Kane didn’t win Best Picture at the Oscars. No they gave it to a movie nobody will ever think to watch. It wasn’t until way later that it was declared “The Greatest Film Ever Made”. After that everybody knew about the movie. That includes the twist. Which everybody should know pretty well by this point. I still consider it an amazing movie whether you know the twist or not. I actually saw the movie on my own. I wasn’t forced to by a film class or anything like that. Long story short, this is a great movie that everyone should see at least once in their life.
Splash is a regular “fish out of water” story. Both literally and figuratively. I think it’s safe to say that Splash is the second greatest mermaid movie ever made. The greatest mermaid movie is obvious. Interestingly enough, Splash was Disney’s first movie targeted towards adults. Not to say that it’s mature or anything, but this is a mermaid we’re talking about. There is brief nudity. I would say the movie benefits most from the “fish out of water” style humor. As well as the idea of a human/ mermaid romance. Tom Hanks is as good as to be expected and Daryl Hannah shines as the mermaid. In many ways, Splash was a pioneer in the mermaid romance genre. So dive on in, the water’s fine.
Dirty Dancing is a fun dance movie. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s also a great romance movie. I guess there’s just some parts of the movie that turned me off a bit. In particular, the baby related subplot that most people forget about. Aside from that, it’s a harmless enough movie to watch. Most people remember it for its cheesy line “Nobody puts Baby in the corner”. That famous lift scene which many couples have tried to imitate (and injured themselves tremendously). As well as the Oscar winning song “Time of My Life”. If you just focus on the dancing and romance, then you’ll have fun watching it.
Eight Legged Freaks, the perfect blend of cheese and over the top animal attacking. It’s definitely my second favorite spider themed movie from 2002. I didn’t see it theaters, but me and my mom watched it several times on VHS. My brother has a fear of spiders so I had to convince him that it was tame enough to watch (and it is tame). The movie tries to emulate B movie horror. Which in my opinion, it succeeds. I just have fun with it. A diverse collection of spiders gets contaminated with toxic waste and grows to enormous size. What’s not to like? If you like either spiders, bad CGI, or David Arquette. Then you’ll love this movie.
Why does nobody talk about Pleasantville? The movie is so relevant to modern social issues that it’s hard to believe it’s so underrated. Pleasantville of course is another movie I grew up with. Tobey Maguire was everywhere in the late 90’s early 2000’s. In case you’re unfamiliar, Pleasantville is about a 90’s teen and his sister getting stuck inside a 50’s sitcom. A show called Pleasantville, which satirizes the “perfect town and family” premise of that era. Things take an unexpected turn when the duo introduces change into their perfect little world. Arguably the best thing about the movie is its special effects. Characters and objects will turn to color and everything else will stay black & white. It’s really quite beautiful. Another strength is the movies humor. Especially if you get 50’s sitcoms. Definitely check out Pleasantville, it really deserves way more attention.
Whiplash is about as perfect as a movie can be. I’ve never played the drums before, but if it’s half as demanding as it appears in this movie, then no thank you. Why do I say that? Well let’s examine the premise. Whiplash is about a young drummer who joins a studio band and receives lessons from an instructor. Simple right… wrong. This instructor happens to be abusive, insulting, and ruthless. Played to pure perfection by J.K. Simmons who is most known for playing J Jonah Jameson in the Spider-Man Trilogy. J. K. Simmons manages to make his character both unlikable and likable at the same time. I will admit that there were times where I tried to contain a laugh. The insults he hurls out are just so creatively vicious. Whiplash is definitely one of my favorite films of the last 5 years.
Well it’s Presidents Day. I thought I’d review a presidential movie. So I chose to review The American President (and I ain’t talkin Trump). No I mean the 1995 movie The American President. I first watched the movie in my Junior year government class. Honestly if it wasn’t for that I probably would never have seen it. This is actually a very charming movie about the personal life of the President. It brings up interesting questions like “what if the President was dating?” An interesting scenario that would only be worse in this day in age. Even if you’re not that into politics, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the romance, humor, and subtext.
School of Rock rocks! I first saw the movie in class and I was instantly hooked. The movie mostly benefits from Jack Black’s signature brand of manic man humor. It’s probably Jack Black’s most career defining role as well. For those who don’t know, School of Rock is about a deadbeat rock star who pretends to be a substitute teacher in order to make some extra money. He later learns that the stuffy kids actually have musical talent. So he teaches them how to rock. It’s a really fun movie with lots of catchy songs. Even those who don’t like rock music will love it.