Wednesday, December 23, 2009

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Since I posted my Top 10 Christmas Movies, I thought I'd keep with the holiday spirit and review one of my favorites - National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

I saw this film recently and it never gets old. Every time I watch it, it always brings a smile to my face and gets me more into the holiday spirit. It's definitely one of those long lost, family type, holiday films.

Let's face it - the holidays are great but we all know it's also a crazy time of year. It's a time of being with family and loved ones. But, we all know that sometimes being with family can bring about conflict. And, that conflict is brilliantly displayed in this movie. (Maybe that's why it brings people together only at certain times of the year!)

This movie has it all - humor, conflict, drama and of course - those little tiny things that can really add up that can really bring a family together. It shows you what can happen when you put multiple family members under one roof - very different perspectives and personalities. And, believe me the personalities really come out in this movie.

For every personality in the film, there is probably one or more personalities I can relate to. From the neighbors, to the brother/sister, to the in-laws, to the boss, it definitely presents a lot of different personalities that come out when people and family are brought together during Christmas time. I think that's what makes it a great movie - it has something that everyone can relate to.

What I really enjoyed about this film is seeing the little traditions performed as the Christmas holiday approaches. It starts off with the tradition of picking a family Christmas tree - something we can all relate but also very comical. (If you've seen the film, you'll know what I'm talking about).

And, then it progresses with the shopping, the cooking, family visiting, and of course that special thing called a "Christmas bonus" some people look forward to receiving every year. All in all, it's a film everyone can relate to in the spirit of the holiday season.

If you're looking for a good holiday movie to watch, I definitely recommend this one. It's a classic!

(Note: If you're looking for some good holiday movies to watch, definitely check out these Christmas movie reviews by my tweeps:

Action Flick Chick - National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Just Chick Flicks - It's A Wonderful Life
Kelly Whyte - Christmas Specials
Reel Artsy - The Quest For Indie Christmas Movies

Happy movie watching!

Video Link

Monday, December 21, 2009


Lately, I've been really debating whether to see this film or not. (Had many conversations back and forth with my tweep ReelTalker about the film).

After seeing the movie trailer the first time, I still wasn't sure. So, I read a couple reviews - they were mixed. Some people enjoyed the film, while others did not.

Being James Cameron's next big film after Titanic, I was really intrigued. There was a lot of hype about the amount of money and time put into this film. Apart from that, I've heard James Cameron is a really great storyteller.

After much debate, I decided to go ahead and fork out the money to see the film. There is the option of seeing the movie in 3D - I wasn't quite sure which route to take. Though, I decided to go ahead and see it in 3D since the film was made for it. I'm glad I did.

Let me just say, seeing the film in 3D really was an awesome experience. Not just because the film was made for 3D, it was also because the film was a futuristic type movie. Being a film set in the future, watching the film in 3D just gave for a better movie watching experience.

I felt like I was right there in that world the entire time - I felt a part of it. If you plan on seeing the film, I definitely recommend seeing it in 3D.

Speaking of 3D, the special effects and animation were great. In a way, it was a different type of animation - very different from what I've seen before. The characters and animals in the "Avatar" like world were very different and unique. Each character and/or animal had very detailed and unique features. Even the language(s) spoken were very unique in their own way.

Watching the film, it felt like Cameron put a lot of thought and time into this film. It was very aesthetically pleasing to the eye - the scenery and the "Avatar" like world alone is breathtaking. I could tell there's a lot of details in the film to make Cameron's world come to life.

As for the storyline, it was very unique in its own way. Some aspects of it reminded me of this film. (If you've seen the movie, you'll know what I'm talking about).

The story itself is really about perspective. Throughout the film, you see the situation from different points of view. This is what sets the tone of the film. And, from the different perspectives you learn more and more about why they are there in the first place and each character's purpose for being there.

Though you are presented with different perspectives in the beginning, the main story is told through the main character's, Jake Sully (played by Sam Worthington), viewpoint.

However, his perspective begins to change once he puts himself in the shoes of the very beings (aka The Na'vi People) he is sent to seek out (and if need be destroy) in the name of claiming their precious mineral, unobtainium.

The story unfolds as Sully learns the way of The Na'vi People, and learns they are not the ones who are "savages." (aka the term the Humans have given them). He learns of their ways to live simply and preserve nature - their way of life really opens up his eyes.

Though, not everyone sees what Sully sees. And, this is where the conflict begins. There are those who just want to take and claim the precious mineral for their own in the name of greed and power. And, the question then is posed - who are the real savages here?

Overall, I enjoyed the film. I felt entertained for the entire movie. Though, I have to admit - this is not a film for everyone. After seeing it, I can understand why this may be a film for those who are very interested in the "fantasy" and "sci-fi" type genres. It's a good movie, but I can't say it's a great one. Though, I'm glad I went and saw it.

If you're in the mood for a fantasy and/or sci-fi type film, I recommend seeing it (and in 3D). Though, if you don't consider yourself a "fantasy" and/or "sci-fi" type movie goer, I'd say it's a toss up if you want to wait until it comes out on DVD. For me, I'm glad I went and saw it - it's definitely a film that kept me entertained.

(Note: For other perspectives on the movie, check out the following reviews from my tweeps:

Action Flick Chick - Review Link
Just Chick Flicks - Review Link
Kelly Whyte - Review Link
Reel Artsy - Review Link
Zen - Review Link

Happy movie watching!

Video Link

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Top 10 Christmas Movies

With Christmas coming up, I thought I'd post up my Top 10 Christmas Movies. I enjoy watching these films from year to year - they never lose their touch.

If you're in the mood for a good holiday movie this season, or if you're looking for a good gift for someone, check these films out.

Happy movie watching!

1. A Christmas Story
2. A Charlie Brown Christmas
3. It's A Wonderful Life
4. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
5. A Christmas Carol
6. The Family Man
7. Miracle on 34th Street
8. Scrooged
9. Home Alone
10. The Original Christmas Classics

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Public Enemies

"I'm not here for your money. I'm here for the bank's money."

- Public Enemies

Ok, so I really wanted to see this film when it first came out. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to catch at the theater. So, I had to wait to see it. Now that it's out on DVD, I finally had a chance to see it. It was definitely worth the wait.

Since I enjoy watching gangster movies, I really did enjoy watching this film from beginning to end. Let me just say, it's not for everyone. There are parts in the film that seem to kind of drag but bring a sense of history to the film. (If you've seen the movie, you'll know what I'm talking about).

There are times when there are some characters introduced and/or discussed in the film that may sound familiar to those who have studied and/or are interested in "gangster" type history. This is why I say - it's not for everyone.

For those who do enjoy historical type movies and have an interest in "gangster" type films, you may find this very interesting and entertaining. I did.

I really enjoyed Johnny Depp's performance of John Dillinger, one of the most notorious gangsters of all time. He really brought life to the character and insight into the gangster world at that time. The quote above sums it all.

It portrayed Dillinger as a man trying to survive - rebelling against large banks who did have the power to take advantage of people's money. Back then, the FDIC had not been fully established yet. So, people had to have faith that the banks would hold their money (in the form of deposits) for them. However, like any other institution that has too much power - it can corrupt.

It portrayed Dillinger as non-violent man. When him and his crew robbed banks, they made it a point not to kill innocent civilians. Very interesting. Though, there was violence with the action sequences between Dillinger's crew and the police. Being wanted by the law, it was very much a game of cat and mouse since Dillinger and his crew were always on the move.

By the end of the film, Dillinger had seemed to change. He wanted a more simpler life, a normal life. I really enjoyed how the director, Michael Mann, showed another side of Dillinger - the side that wanted to get away from the fast life and want simpler things. He no longer wanted the fast money, the fast cars, and the fast women.

Though, getting away from it all wasn't that easy - it was very hard for him to escape the world he once longed for. I don't want to ruin it for you but let's just say the saying, "Be careful what you wish for," can sometimes hold true.

Overall, I enjoyed the film. If you enjoy historical and "gangster" type movies, I definitely recommend this one. Check it out!

(p.s. If you enjoy historical type films, you might also enjoy this movie as well. Happy movie watching!)

Video Link

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Indie Short Film - Daredevil Cleaners

I thought I'd post up this short film by my tweep, King is a Fink. Check it out!

"Daredevil Cleaners is a short film that we made for the Film Racing Grand Prix. We made it in less than 100 hours. We were assigned a theme (evil) and an action (counting money) that we had to incorporate into the film.

Early on in the film race we agreed that we didn’t want to make a moralistic film but rather something more unconventional. We wanted Wade to be deeply conflicted about his inner evilness and to be seeking a way to exorcise his demons. This was more appealing than creating a film where someone who is evil is judged and punished.

Let us know how you think it turned out!"

If you'd like to see more of their work, check out their website).

(p.s. If you have a project(s) you'd like me to check out (i.e. fan trailer, short, spoof, animation, etc), feel free to contact me. I'm always on the lookout for fresh stuff from emerging filmmakers!)

Video Link

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Law Abiding Citizen

"It's not what you know. It's what you can prove in court. That's how our justice system works."

- Law Abiding Citizen

After seeing the trailer for this movie, I knew it was a film I wanted to see. It seemed like a film that had something to say. And, it did. The above quote sums it all.

This is a film about a man, played by Gerard Butler, who played by the rules. And, when an unexpected event happened in his life - he tried to be reasonable and play fair seeking justice for an unlawful deed. Though, he did not get the justice he was seeking. Instead, the justice system freed a criminal based on an unadmissible piece of evidence - the very proof of the unlawful deed done.

Since the justice system could not help this man, he decided to take the law into his own hands and teach the justice system a lesson. This is a story about what's right and what's wrong. And, the morality that can sometimes be lost in our criminal justice system.

I enjoyed watching this film. This is a story about revenge - plain and simple, not too complicated. It's very much a "cat and mouse" type movie. The main character sets up a series of explosions and traps to teach his attorney, played by Jamie Foxx, the impact the justice system can have on an individual who feels wronged by the system.

This film really had something to say - it made a statement. And, the story was told very well. It kept my attention throughout the movie. There's a mix of powerful dialogue and action sequences. And, through it all I wanted to keep watching more.

As for the ending, it really did surprise me - it had an unexpected twist. I don't want to ruin it for you but let's just say the saying "You get what you wish for" can sometimes hold true.

If you're in the mood for an action type movie, I definitely recommend this one.

(Note: For other perspectives on the movie, check out the following reviews from my tweeps:

Action Flick Chick - Review Link
Sultryminxzoe - Review Link

Happy movie watching!

Video Link

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ninja Assassin

When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I thought it looked pretty interesting. The notion of growing up and being trained to be a ninja as a kid sounded very intriguing. With all these "assassin" type movies out there, it kind of made me wonder - are these people real?

Let me just warn you about the film - it feels very low budget. From the very beginning, it just felt that way. There is some corny dialogue and some scenes that just makes watching the movie feel like a B movie. (If you've seen the film, you'll know what I'm talking about).

Once I accepted that, it made it easier to watch the film. Going into it, I knew it was not going to be an over the top movie - I didn't have high expectations for it.

Surprisingly, I found myself entertained. All through the film, there is a lot of action and lots of large explosions. The fighting scenes alone were very entertaining to watch.

As for the story line, it was ok. I think it could have been done better and presented well. Though, the concept was very interesting. I just think they could have gone deeper into the story and the background. (If you've seen this film, I think they did a good job of presenting the story well).

Overall, I think this was an ok film to watch. Would I recommend paying to see it? It depends. If you're really in the mood for an action type movie and there's not much else out there you'd like to see, I'd say it's a toss up. If not, I'd recommend waiting till it comes out on DVD.

(Note: For another perspective on the film, check out my tweep's, Action Flick Chick, review).

Happy movie watching!

Video Link