K.O.

Raging Bull is either the most beautiful ugly movie or the most ugly beautiful movie ever made. Martin Scorsese once again delivers a winner. And Robert De Niro delivers his best performance in a Martin Scorsese movie. Raging Bull tells the true story middleweight boxer Jake LaMotta. In one of the harshest ways possible. As he goes through a tragic downward spiral. Something else that Martin Scorsese likes to do. So that’s what makes Raging Bull an ugly movie. What makes it beautiful is its use of black & white. Which became much more artistic as the years went on. The light and shadows are captured perfectly in this style. Making the brutal reality look great. Raging Bull is another necessary Scorsese film to watch.

Raging Bull

Jake LaMotta fights

Neither Antz Nor A Bug’s Life

The Ant Bully is definitely my third favorite computer animated ant movie. Which is really saying something. Since I won’t being reviewing those movies for quite sometime, I figure The Ant Bully will do for now. The Ant Bully is something I can relate to, because I myself was an ant bully. I used to step on, pour water on, and capture ants all the time. The Ant Bully is about what happens when ants fight back. Which means shrinking the boy to the size of an, well you know. On its own, The Ant Bully is just a harmless kids movie. It’s not deep, but there is a good moral about bullying. The Ant Bully may even change the way you look at ants.

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Lucas (center) and the ants enter the house

Love is Crazy

Silver Linings Playbook is a unique mix of themes. There’s a lot going on in this movie. Which only makes its themes of mental disorder seem more poignant. Silver Linings Playbook focuses on a man who has just been released from a mental institution. Which, through a series of mishaps, leads to him meeting a woman who is just a crazy as he is (maybe more). This is the first of many movies that star Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence starring opposite on another. Jennifer Lawrence delivers her best performance yet. Playing a mentally unstable person is not easy. It’s part of the reason why it fascinates me so much. The movie also includes football statistics and a dancing competition. Which will all make sense when you see the movie. It’s funny, tragic, and surprisingly heartwarming. You’ll go crazy for Silver Linings Playbook.

SLP

“You think I’m crazier than you”

Yeah

Yeah, Fargo is just super duper there. Fargo is another cult favorite from the Coen Brothers that I knew I had to see. It’s based on the (mostly) true events of a salesman who has his wife kidnaped in order to pay off a debt. Being a Coen Brothers movie, things go from bad to worse when the hired thugs kill a police officer. What follows is a series of violent and disturbing events that in any other movie, would have been hard to watch. The best thing about Fargo is the setting. Every character (except the thugs) speaks in a Minnesota accent. Making the movie a lot more fun to watch. I dare you to count every time they say “yeah.” Another positive is Frances McDormand as Marge Gunderson. She’s probably the most unconventional action heroine ever. She’s a married, pregnant, well mannered, police officer. Fargo is such a interesting blend. Fully deserving of all its acclaim. Yeah.

Marge catches the perp

Silence is Golden

There are no words to describe The Artist. If you were to tell me that a silent film would win “Best Picture” 84 years since the last winner, I wouldn’t have believed it. Then again, Hollywood loves old Hollywood. The Artist is so simple yet so genius. I don’t usually watch silent films, but I think I should see more. The lack of sound was not a problem for me at all. I actually followed the story by creating the dialogue in my head. Turns out I knew exactly what was going on. Like Singing in the Rain, The Artist is about the transition to sound in film. Only, The Artist takes a far more literal approach by being silent and black & white. By far the best character in the movie is the dog. He’s such a good actor. All in all, The Artist is just the kind of movie that we need sometimes. Something old fashioned that feels so fresh.

The Artist

George and Peppy are finally stars

Chefs Do That

The Long Kiss Goodnight is a highly underrated gem. I’ll bet you didn’t know Geena Davis could be a badass action heroine. The Long Kiss Goodnight is about a housewife with amnesia who turns out to be a deadly government assassin. Being a Shane Black movie, it takes place during Christmas. The action is just the right blend of over the top and high stakes. I grew up watching Geena Davis in more family friendly movies, but she’s a natural as an action star. Something she should have done a lot more of. I wasn’t sure if it was a comedy or not, but there is a lot of humor (especially from Samuel L. Jackson). The Long Kiss Goodnight deserves way more attention than it has.

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Charly (right) and Mitch (left) prepare for action

Have You Seen this C̶r̶a̶z̶y̶ Woman?

Gone Girl is just the kind of movie that keeps me interested. Believe it or not, if I didn’t want to be an actor, I might have considered being a psychologist. Until I realized that acting and/or filmmaking directly involves getting into someone’s head. Gone Girl is fascinating to me. Amy Elliott Dunne is crazy, but calculating. She’s psychotic, but manipulative. That’s what really drew me in about the movie. Gone Girl is about the disappearance of this woman who goes to extreme lengths to prove her husband is responsible. Being a David Fincher movie, it has a unique color palette and a unique directing style. Which includes a non-linear storyline. It’s a very engrossing story that will keep you guessing until the end. Don’t let the cast throw you, they all do a terrific job. Tyler Perry is actually really good in this. Gone Girl is definitely on my list of favorite movies of this decade.

Gone Girl

Nick puts out a search for his missing wife Amy

Just Pretend to Be Normal

Little Miss Sunshine is not at all what I was expecting. At first you might think a movie about a girl going to a beauty pageant is going to be sweet and innocent. Little do you know, it’s actually really dark and depressing. Little Miss Sunshine is rated R, mostly for harsh language. I definitely wasn’t expecting that. The movie is labeled as a dark comedy, but I didn’t laugh once. I guess I didn’t really know what was supposed to be comedy and what was supposed to be drama. So I just took it all in as drama. A good majority of the movie focuses on the trip to the pageant. Which allows for lots of character examination. Abigail Breslin shines as the young lead and Alan Arkin actually won Best Supporting Actor. Little Miss Sunshine is not a kids movie. It’s about the reality we face in our everyday lives. One that can be dealt with by simply being there for one another.

Little Miss Sunshine

The Hoover family try to start their van

He’s Killed the Original Alfalfa!

The Little Rascals is not really a childhood movie for me. I’m still not even entirely sure I saw the entire movie beginning to end in one sitting. Though I do know I saw the whole movie even if it was in a weird way. I never saw an episode of the series in which it’s based, but I get the gist of it. The Little Rascals is about a group of boys who don’t like girls. Which leads to all sorts of wacky situations including soapbox racers, ballerina disguises, two pickles, and Donald Trump. The acting is okay, but they’re child actors. It’s a fun movie that kids of this generation are sure to enjoy.

The Little Rascals

Alfalfa and Darla row together

How to Create the Perfect Woman

Weird Science is a John Hughes movie that usually gets mixed up with more well known movies like Sixteen Candles or The Breakfast Club. Weird Science is about two losers who decide to make their dream woman. Which in this case, requires computers, bras on their heads, and a “Barbie” doll. I’ve often thought about what I consider to be my dream woman. The movie presents this question in the weirdest possible way. Anthony Michael Hall once again plays the nerd. Bill Paxton (R.I.P.) also plays the meathead character that he is most known for. And look out for a young Robert Downey Jr. as well. The plot seems simple enough, but it takes a lot of weird turns. The woman they created somehow possesses magical powers. Which just cause all sorts of crazy situations that are likely to catch you off guard. Is it as big of a classic as the other teen movies of the decade? Not really, but it’s a whole lot of fun regardless.

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Lisa makes her entrance