It is no secret that ever since the early days of cable, documentaries about the paranormal tend to bring in the ratings. People are naturally curious about things they can not explain and are willing to turn to the warm glow of their television to learn more about the unknown. Networks know this and over the years have had no problem producing documentaries that are completely fictitious. Sometimes this is done for entertainment, other times it is done to maliciously dupe viewers.
Ghostwatch: On Halloween of 1992, esteemed BBC presenters Michael Parkinson, Sarah Greene, and Mike Smith served as hosts taking viewers into a real haunted house. In an old abandoned orphanage in northern London, a ghost known as “Pipes” was the source of fear for the children who ended up there. On the spookiest night of the year, they dispatched a live camera crew live to the site in…
Weird Science is a 1985 American teen science fiction Comedy film written and directed by John Hughes and stars Anthony Michael Hall, Mitchell Smith and Kelly LeBrock. The title is take from a pre-Comics Code Authority 1950s EC Comics magazine of the same name.
The film is about nerds and social outcasts Gary Wallace and Wyatt Donnelly who use a computer program to create the perfect woman, she turns the lives topsy turvy. Both Wyatt and Gary are bullied by senior jocks for drooling aver their cheerleader girlfriends. Turned down and disappointed at their lives and wanting more, Gary tells Wyatt they need shove in popularity in order to get their crushes away from the bullying jocks. Alone for the weekend, Gary is inspired by the 1930 film Frankenstein to create a virtual woman using Wyatt’s computer, making her with everything they can imagine to make the lady of their dreams. After attaching electrodes to a doll and hacking into a government computer system for more power, a power surge constructs Lisa, a gorgeous and smart woman with unlimited magical powers.
Weird Science is not only weird but it is filled with vulgar and tasteless humor. John Hughes wrote and directed a story that seems like the two actors and maybe a high school drama produced. Only teens (boys mostly) will really enjoy this this disaster of a film. It is a film that teen boys will likely want to masturbate to, since there are lady’s undergarments and full frontal nudity shown. Once a teen (boy mainly) reaches adulthood, they are likely to either stop liking the film, forget about it, or only find it to be an okay movie.
This film is not even okay, it is tasteless and seems like a horny teenaged boy wrote the screenplay. It screams drooling adolescent males that have just discovered how to self pleasure and seeing a naked female for the first time. Only a few times did I actually laugh. I really don’t understand the cult status of this movie, as it’s really not very good. It is a tad entertaining, yes only a little bit. It is not one that I can watch over and over again. It is a once or twice and never again type.
From such a great director and the cult classic-ness of this film, I wasn’t expecting anything spectacular (judging by the plot), but something at least good. This is John Hughes’s worst film. A piece of trash that should remain in a garbage can or burned. Normally I don’t give such awful reviews for movies, but this one definitely deserves it. There really isn’t much I enjoy about this movie, maybe how gorgeous Kelly LeBrock was and how she was the best actor in the entire production.
Weak, typical bad teen film, unoriginal plot from a renowned director and too much vulgarity. I’ll be sticking to his Brat Pack and other better films from now on. Did he use a computer and turn himself back into a teenager to produce this? Sure seems like it. 14+ 1.5/5
Funny Face is a 1957 American musical romantic comedy film directed by Stanley Donen and written by Gershe with songs written by George and Ira Gershwin. Although having the same title as 1927 musical by the Gershwin brothers, and also featuring Fred Astaire, the plot is completely different and only four of the original songs from the stage production are included in the film. Along with Astaire, the movie also stars Audrey Hepburn and Kay Thompson.
Maggie Prescott, a fashion magazine publisher and editor for Quality magazine, is looking for the next big craze. She wants a new look that will be both “beautiful” and “intellectual.” She and top fashion photographer Dick Avery want models that can “think as well as they look.” The two put their heads together and come up with the idea to use a Greenwich Village bookshop as the background.
They find the shop they want, “Embryo Concepts,” which is being run by the timid store assistant and wannabe philosopher, Jo Stockton. Jo thinks the fashion world is an utter joke. Maggie decides to use Jo but after the first picture, she is locked outside the shop to keep her from interrupting Maggie’s session. The crew leaves the store in complete disarray and Dick stays behind to help clean up.
Back at the offices of Quality magazine, Dick sees something in Jo’s face that is fresh and new and would be perfect for the newest campaign. They send for Jo, pretending they want to buy some books from her store. On arrival, they make her over and try to cut her hair. She is livid and hides in Dick’s darkroom where is working. When Dick talks about going to Paris, Jo becomes interested in the chance to see the philosopher teacher Professor Flostre and is coaxed into modelling for the magazine. Photo-shoot, after photo-shoot, Jo starts to fall in love with Dick. He eventually falls in love with her too.
It is hard to believe that this film was a disappointment at the box office, because it is cute, fun, clever, humorous, romantic and heartwarming. The are romantic songs like “How Long Has This Been Going On?” and “He Loves You and She Loves You” and fun numbers like, “Funny Face” and “Clap Yo’ Hands.” The choreography by Eugene Loring is random, creative and fun, which of course both Hepburn and Astaire dance perfectly. The costumes designed by Edith Head and Hubert de Givenchy are absolutely gorgeous and probably some of the most exquisite costumes in cinematic history, worn by one of the most beautiful women in film history. Every single article clothing is tailored perfectly for Audrey’s thin frame and she wears the pieces with such poise and elegance.
This film does focus a lot on Jo (Hepburn) as a model and they should’ve gave equal time to her modelling life and outside life, but they didn’t. Very little of this movie focuses outside the fashion life of Jo and the magazine. It has a lot of scenes where it shows Jo posing for Dick’s camera, so not a whole lot of acting is done by Hepburn, but she still does a wonderful job in her role. Fred Astaire is outstanding as photographer Dick Avery, although in real life he was 58 years old and Audrey was 28. It is said in the movie that Jo is young, but they never say how young, no ages are actually mentioned, not sure if ages are mentioned in the stage production or not. But you can tell Dick is much older than Jo, just by looking at the characters.
This is truly a wonderful film filled with love, fashion, music and dance in two of the most breathtaking cities on earth, New York City, New York and Paris, France. Why this film received mixed reviews is beyond me, as find this to be a masterpiece of cinematic art. A few scenes are slow and yes it does spend much of the time on her photo-shoots and fashion shows, but it is still a fantastic movie. Lovely, heartwarming and fun-filled until the end. 11+ 4/5
Broadcast News is a 1987 American romantic-drama film written, produced and directed by James L. Brooks. It stars William Hurt, Albert Brooks and Holly Hunter. The film follows the story of a television news reporter who has emotional breakdowns every day, a picky yet genius reporter and their charming but significantly inexperienced rival.
This film is does a great job at showing how the daily life of a TV news station. It doesn’t shy away from showing the good and not so good of being in the TV news world. It does it so deeply, letting learn all about different the professions, but it also has many other elements too. It has drama, humor and romance. Although this is considered a romantic comedy as well as drama, it isn’t super mushy gushy like so many romantic films. The different elements are all executed with the right amount of each genre.
This movie shows how life throws curve-balls sometimes and that sometimes life can be great. Although the story is about a news station, they don’t focus too much on the reporting, because they reveal not just their working world, but the main characters life outside the studio, how they live, their love lives, etc. Jane is portrayed as a spunky and socially awkward, yet assertive in her work type character, a female warrior type that was rarely seen in movies and still rarely seen today.
This film is serious at time but not too serious serious like other movies about TV news stations (Network). It has drama and depth as well as charm and humor, though much of the latter. All of the acting fantastic. This isn’t the most exciting movie, but it’s far from boring. Each character is unique and they are intertwined in some ways until the end.
The ending may or may not turn out the way you want it too, but is the beauty of film making, to leave it up to viewers to have their own opinions. You’ll laugh, cry, cheer and get angry, because this movie bring out all emotions and does it so brilliantly, not many films today can do that. The casting is perfect, the cinematography is excellent, as well the story. This is motion picture has many different things going on, which may confuse some viewers.
This is a story of not just a news station, not just the reporters lives, but of working life, love and friendship. The characters may get mad at each other but they always have each other’s backs. You also really feel like you are there at the station in those scenes. Some critics may say this film has a bit of a sitcom feel to it, but they are wrong in my opinion.
The character of Tom Grunick (Hurt) can be a tad stiff and self absorbed with being successful. Jane Craig and her breakdowns from stress do get a bit old and make you want to tell her to get a therapist. But that doesn’t make them bad characters, just a a bit annoying, but it doesn’t make the film less enjoyable. With it’s drama, it’s small percentage of humor and romance, it is one that can enjoyed over and over.
This film is so smartly written and directed, that so many news related films haven’t come close to the brilliance of this one. A truly fantastic movie with different stories that make it truly one of a kind. 18+ 4/5
Soul is a 2020 American computer animated fantasy comedy drama film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and directed by Pete Docter and co-directed by Kemp Powers. The film stars the voices of Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Graham Norton, Rachel House, Alicia Braga, Richard Ayoade, Phylicia Rashad, Donnell Rawlings, Questlove and Angela Bassett. The movie follows the story of middle school music teacher named Joe Gardner, who tries to reconnect his soul and his body after they are accidentally separated, just before his start as a jazz musician.
This is definitely one of Disney’s darkest and deepest films. The main themes of this movie are death, afterlife, finding purpose and the meaning of life. These themes were executed well, though far from perfect. Too much time is spent in the “Great Beyond” and “Great Before” (AKA Heaven) with the soul creatures, a lot of mature themes, is quite slow much of the time and just really depressing until the end. I like the message of finding purpose, but the rest are heartbreaking and almost sacrilegious.
The animation is phenomenal, as well as the soundtrack that both Jamie Foxx and Trent Reznor composed. I found myself both bored, a bit offended and appalled at times and not really entertained by this film at all. Being a Disney and Pixar fan I was hoping to really like this movie like majority of critics and viewers, but I really didn’t. The story seemed push religion, philosophy and psychology, to the brink at times to offensiveness. With an all-star cast and production companies, you’d expect an outstanding motion picture, though like I said I didn’t care much this one.
I’m all for a black lead character, but this film seemed to do like so many films and do black against white, like when 22 (voiced by Tina Fey), an unborn white girl switches body with Joe (Jamie Foxx), it just feels really uncomfortable and a tad racist by some of the remarks made the two lead characters. There’s lots of adult humor, talk about death, souls and the meaning of life and finding your spark. Young children will not understand this movie at all. Just the fact Joe is killed within the first 10 minutes, is not the message you want to send to kids. Yes, kids do need to learn about death and all, but not like this.
You can do a film about death and the meaning of life, without it being so dark and not going quite so deep into these subjects. Even a family movie can use these themes and not confuse and/or frighten children. I’m sorry but Disney took this one too far. The best scenes to me aren’t in the “Great Beyond,” which the most of the movie’s setting, but when Joe’s playing music. I’m just dumbfounded that this story ever got green lit. Yes, Disney has a percentage of darkness in all it’s films, but it’s usually not for the majority of the movies’ runtime.
I wish the movie had focused more Joe’s own life rather than his adventures with 22. More about his childhood, education and things like that would’ve made it more fascinating. Overall, this film had me scratching my head as how this ever got made and why people love it so much. A movie that is pretty blasphemous and heavy-hitting and very sad. I guess you can call this Disney’s “Anti-Disney” film. Whether you believe in afterlife and heaven or not, it’s blatantly obvious what they were going for here. I’m all for pushing the boundaries and a little controversy, but don’t sell it for kids.
Overall, the animation is spectacular, so is the soundtrack, but I really didn’t enjoy this film much at all, it was lacking far too much and kept me scratching my head. While I normally cry at Disney movies, this one didn’t do that to me, like it did the others I watched it with. Conservative Christians may or may not like this movie. At the same time for older children, it will give grown-ups an opportunity to talk about God, Death, help them find their “spark.” Younger viewers will be bored and confused, as this movie is very complex in the themes and there are two different settings.
Do I hate this film? No. But do I like it? A little bit. Maybe Pixar’s next film will be more exciting and not offensive. Nice try guys, but you struck out on this one. 10+ 2.5/5
The Sound of Metal is a 2019 American drama film directed by Darius Marder and stars Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke, Paul Raci and Lauren Ridloff. The story follows Ruben Stone, a heavy metal drummer of the duo Backgammon who loses his hearing. He and his girlfriend Lou live in an RV and tour around the U.S. performing.
When Ruben (Ahmed) starts to lose his hearing, he goes to a pharmacy trying to get a diagnosis. The pharmacist refers him to a doctor, who concludes that Ruben has lost most of his hearing and the rest will be lost fast. Even though cochlear implants may help him, their costly price is not covered by insurance. The doctor recommends that Ruben keep away from loud noises permanently and go for further testing, but he continues to perform regardless.
Lou (Cooke) wants him to stop performing for his well-being, but he wants to keep going. She is also concerned about him being completely sober. as he is a recovering drug addict. They call his sponsor, Hector, who finds him a shelter for deaf recovering addicts in a rural location, run by a man named Joe, a former alcoholic who lost his hearing in the Vietnam War. Ruben doesn’t want to want to stay, because they will not let Lou live there with him and he only wants the implants. But Lou, concerned about his health, leaves and coaxes Ruben to stay at the shelter.
This is an inspirational film, not just for anyone with hearing loss, but anyone with any sort of disability. It proves that sometimes life sucks, but you have to make the best of it and do what you have to do. It also proves that sometimes you have to let something or someone go in order to better yourself. Ruben starts out selfishly not caring about his well-being, only about performing and making money, until he gets a slap in the face that that isn’t going to work until he works on himself, stopping drugs, going to the shelter and getting the implants.
There isn’t tons of dialog in this film, much of it is in sign language with subtitles, which is neat. The movie is very slow, at times to the point of being boring. The acting is superb and the story is great, but the film itself could have been more engaging. A movie doesn’t need lots of dialog or any at all to be captivating, just needs more exciting scenes and more locations. The majority of this movie’s location is at the deaf shelter and deaf school Ruben volunteers at, which is okay, but needed more action, less sitting around just learning sign language and how to read lips.
After seeing the trailer for this film and all the rave reviews, I was expecting a spectacular film and I didn’t get that. I got a wonderful story that was executed boringly. For a budget of over $5 million, this one seemed more like a low budget independent documentary. It was lagging in the excitement and engagement categories. To me, this didn’t deserve Best Picture or Best Director nominations, there were far better films in 2019, 2020, that did deserve them and weren’t nominated.
If you have an inspirational story, you have to carry it out right, make it worth the viewer’s time and not bore them to tears. I found myself between crying from both certain emotional scenes and being bored. This is not a movie that I can see myself watching over and over again. It isn’t one that I wouldn’t not recommend, as people have different opinions, but I’ve seen movies with inspiring story-lines that actual reeled me in, unlike this one, that I kept wondering if it was ever going to end and when it finally did, it was disappointing. Not a sad ending, but it leaves you hanging, wanting more. The whole, “That’s it?,” ending, which works sometimes, but not with this movie. Effective plot, but a bit of a bore of a film. 18+ 3/5