25 October 2010

Alien (1979)


Come on, cat.
So basically: On its way home, a mining ship detours following a suspicious SOS. The crew are woken up from deep sleep to investigate the planet the distress signal is coming from. One of the crew goes on ahead and is attacked by a mysterious creature. Desperate to save him, the crew brings him back to the ship, against regulation, and into the medical bay. The creature then reveals itself to be a deadly threat and the crew must fight to survive.

Classic sci-fi monster movie right here folks. So if you’re into that, definitely check it out. But, really, all the action takes place on the one (very uninteresting) ship and the pace is pretty slow, which in itself isn’t so bad, but doesn’t build up any suspense. All in all, the movie is pretty boring and, of course given the genre, predictable. There are some colourful characters (and Sigourney Weaver!!) but I don’t think it's enough to keep the general public’s attention.

I swear I’m a science fiction fan and I kno this is like blasphemy, but I don’t think this movie is all that great...

Ziggi seal of disapproval!

23 October 2010

Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain (2001)


Failure is human destiny.
So basically: Amélie Poulain is a slightly awkward young woman living in the heart of Paris and working as a waitress. One day, she finds an old box filled with treasures in her apartment which belongs to its previous owner. She takes it upon herself to return the items and afterwards, devotes her live to helping the people around her. On her quest, she meets Nino and falls in love. Together, they try and solve the mystery of the Photo booth Phantom.

This is a quirky, cute romance story and my summary does not do it justice. Audrey Tautou is almost as adorbs as Giulietta Masina! The first time I saw this (which was after the hype, btdubs) I didn’t know anything about it and really didn’t know what was going on for most of it. I mean, yes, I knew what was going on plot-wise, but not the feeling of the film, or the direction … if that makes any sense. But once it was over, I didn’t want it to end! It brings the audience into this fantastical, yet mundane, world where you never want to leave.

I highly recommend this movie, so yes, it defs deserves to be on the list!

Ziggi seal of approval!

21 October 2010

Saving Private Ryan (1998)


Where's the sense of riskin' the lives of the eight of us to save one guy?
So basically: Touched by the loss of a woman’s three sons, the government sends a platoon of men across European soil in World War Two to find and send home her fourth son.

It’s one bloody sentence! How did a movie that can be summed up in one bloody sentence get on the list? I mean, the characters are all kind of blah, even Tom Hanks! How did that happen?! And the story, tho based on some historical accuracy, is completely and utterly stupid! Even the platoon knows what they’re doing is a complete waste of military resources! I mean, lots of people lost loved ones during the war, what makes this woman so special? Just because three of four sons are dead? Please.

Ahhh! No, no, no, no, no! I do not get this at all!!

Ziggi seal of disapproval!

19 October 2010

WALL·E (2008)


Give me the plant.
So basically: WALL-E, joined by a cockroach, is the only thing moving around on a futuristic Earth. All alone, his only function is to make garbage cubes, in order to clean up the planet for human descendants to return to. On one of his outings, he comes across a plant, which he quickly puts into a shoe for safekeeping. Shortly after, EVE, a robot programmed to scavenge Earth for signs of life, arrives and takes the plant. WALL-E falls in love and follows her to her ship full of fat, demoralized human beings.

Nothing in this film is new. We all have heard the woes about destroying our planet and how humans are becoming fat and lazy. So really, the story doesn’t have anything to do with why this film is awesome. It’s the interesting approach Disney-Pixar took, that is to say, from the point of view of robots. There is barely any human interaction in the film and when there is, mainly the two humans who fall in love, isn’t anything spectacular. The Captain, however, is an interesting and humorous character. The audience is also charmed by the myriad of robots doing their jobs on the ship, which adds a great background for WALL-E and EVE’s adventures.

It’s an adorbs film full of laughs and delightful moments, and some very sad ones, too. I don’t think it should be this high, but it defs deserves to be on the list.

Ziggi seal of approval.

16 October 2010

A Clockwork Orange (1971)


Are you now, or have you ever been a homosexual?
So basically: In a futuristic England, a group of juvenile delinquents are led by charismatic Alex DeLarge. One night, after a bit of the old ultra violence, his droogs desert him and Alex is sent to prison. There, he learns of an experimental aversion therapy to reduce the sentences of inmates and turn them into proper citizens. Being a perfect candidate, Alex is subjected to the practise and released. However, the therapy has terrible consequences as Alex suffers from hearing one of Ludwig Van’s symphonies.

After this movie you will be thinking/speaking in nadsat, no joke. It’s even worse if you read the book (which is highly recommended!). Malcolm McDowell is absolutely amazing in the title role, especially in the in-out sequence when he’s singing Singing in the Rain. I think it was perfectly suited to the 70’s, as that era – in my personal opinion – always gives films an eerie atmosphere. I don’t know what else to say to convince you, but this is one of the best films ever, in my honest opinion, and one of the best books. And of course my summary doesn’t do any justice (tho I added in some nadsat, so if you were having trouble with some words/phrases, that is why).

Totally deserves to be on the list.

Ziggi seal of approval.

14 October 2010

The Shining (1980)


Here's to five miserable months on the wagon, and all the irreparable harm it has caused me.
So basically: Jack Torrance, a writer with a drinking problem, lands a job taking care of a reclusive hotel resort during the off season in the hopes of having little distraction to write a book. He brings his wife and his son, who possesses the strange power of shining, with him. During the course of their stay, however, Jack slowly slips into insanity as the ghosts of the hotel infiltrate his mind.

Oh, Stanley Kubrick. You all know how I love this director and my love stays strong during the watching of this film. Though, I gotta say, the first time I watched this I found it slow and couldn’t actually get into it (to be more honest, actually, I turned it off without finishing it! That was before I gained my love of Kubrick and a solid appreciation for film, though). Srs, if you’re like me, and you found it boring on first viewing, and vowed never to watch it again, please please reconsider! It’s totally worth it and one of the best horror-type films ever. Get a group of friends together, watch it with the lights off and a bag of popcorn on your lap, you won’t be disappointed.

This movie is sooo fascinating and defs deserves to be on the list.

Ziggi seal of approval!

12 October 2010

Paths of Glory (1957)


War began between Germany and France on August 3rd 1914.

So basically: During WWI, under the command of General Mireau, the French army tries to take The Anthill from the Germans. When the time comes to advance past the trenches, however, the French troops either refuse to leave or retreat, some not even making it past their own wire, as they know the attack is futile. To make an example, three soldiers are picked to stand at a court martial. Colonel Dax sees that Gen Mireau is doing this just to save his own neck and stands as lawyer for the three accused, all innocent and brave soldiers.

This is my least favourite film of Kubrick's that I really like - if that makes any sense. This film tries to show the absurdity of war through the eyes of three soldiers, and I think it does that very convincingly. The protagonists in this film are a little eccentric, but it was necessary to the message and plot of the movie. This movie stirs great emotion from the audience which, I think, makes it such a great film.

Of course this should be on the list!

Ziggi seal of approval!

11 October 2010

The Departed (2006)


I want my environment to be a product of me.
So basically: Two Boston police officers have ties to the South side and Irish crime and both of them are going undercover, but for two different reasons. Colin Sullivan has been in crime boss Frank Costello's inner circle and has infiltrated Boston PD to feed information to him. Billy Costigan is using his knowledge and roots in the South side to climb the ranks and get into Frank's inner circle for the Boston PD. Both sides are eagerly searching for their rat and the two cops are trying to capture the other.

Usually when I watch a list movie - and now anything - I form an opinion on it and know exactly what I'm going to write in my review. Watching this, however, I didn't really have any strong feelings one way or the other. For a cop drama - which isn't my favourite genre - it's a pretty awesome movie. It does have a bit of stereotyping, but that's a product of the genre. The trick is to get the audience to be able to connect with the characters, and this movie succeeds in that. The plot is good and the dialogue is interesting, also.

Despite the ever so slight annoyance of the Boston accent and the similarity to the leads’ names, this movie is still good. It does deserve to be on the list, but certainly not this high.

Ziggi seal of approval!

10 October 2010

The Pianist (2002)


I love to see a woman playing the cello.
So basically: Wladyslaw Szpilman is a Jewish pianist in 1930's Poland. He and his family suffer the prosecution of the Nazi party after Germany invades. Reluctantly, his family moves into the Warsaw Ghetto and tries to make a living while still keeping to their principles. When all of the Jews are being transported to concentration camps, Wladyslaw gets pulled out by someone he knows in a place of authority. Now stuck in Warsaw with nowhere to go, he must seek the help of several friends to keep himself alive.

World War Two movies usually work. I think a large part has to do with the sheer absurdity of the genocide, people just can't get their heads around how something like that actually happened. The movies keep audiences watching. That being said, I don't think this is one of the best WWII/Holocaust movies. I think a lot of the things that happened on screen were purely put there for shock value - yes, everything probably did happen just like that (I don't want to say it did just because I don't kno everything myself), but there was one instance of each case. If they had shown things many times, like a women was begging for water for her dying infant, or people fighting over food then eating the scraps on the ground, it wouldn't have as great an impact.

If you like holocaust movies, then check this one out for sure, but it's not one of the greatest movies ever and defs doesn't deserve to be on the list - though Adrien Brody's performance was really good.

Ziggi seal of disapproval!

08 October 2010

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)


Atticus says cheating a black man is ten times worse than cheating a white.
So basically: In Depression-era Alabama, Scout Finch tells of a year in her young life when her father, Atticus Finch, was working on a particularly trying case. A black man is accused of raping a young woman, with Atticus representing him. Scout also tells of her first year at school and a new boy, Dill, spending the summers at her neighbours. The two, along with Scout’s older brother, Jem, get to know the local spook, Arthur ‘Boo’ Radley, a shut-in with rumours circulating about him stabbing his father.

Okay, so before this viewing I had “read” the book in school and the teacher also put the movie on for us … I have to admit, I only saw the second half. And I have to tell you, I found the book boring and the movie wasn’t any better. On this viewing, I learned not to hate the movie so much, but I still don’t think it’s as great as everyone seems to think it is. Okay, so there are some very important lessons on how intolerance and prejudice is wrong, but a lot of stories have that and it’s not anything special to this particular story (it might have been groundbreaking then to have a book/movie deal with it, but that’s no grounds for an amazing story). So yeah, there’s some merit, but the story overall isn’t very interesting and the characters are all boring. I also don’t find Gregory Peck to be a fine actor ...

Don’t hate, but I don’t think this deserves to be on the list.

Ziggi seal of disapproval!