Thriller

Review of Reservoir Dogs

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Reservoir DogsRating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

Review

Groundbreaking and mind-bending, Reservoir Dogs historically introduces us to the dynamic and twisted mind of famed American director Quentin Tarantino. Though his career can almost entirely be dubbed “cult,” his mainstream appeal is still very much apparent. Though there is little doubt that this low-budget early 90’s gem brought the life of Tarantino’s aesthetic to the masses. Reservoir Dogs takes a group of psychotic men to the brink when a botched robbery brings them circling around who to trust and who is out to out the entire group. there are plenty of homages to crime films of many eras, and the film is almost seen as a homage to crime film making as a whole. The film is violent, twisted, and accounts for some of the most iconic scenarios in modern crime films. It can be said that Tarantino began a new trend of homaging old school films and bleeding turmoil for all with 1992’s Reservoir Dogs.

Reason to Watch

The film acts as an early introduction to some fantastic actors with a great cast. One scene in particular is simply astonishing effective at being both emotional and merciless. Yet it is the introduction to Tarantino’s style and the films overt influences that makes it a worthy watch.

Context

The film is undoubtedly violent, but the plot structure and characterization creates some crime staples seen throughout many films following it. The film is intense and merciless in its construct, and is a stand towards what a directorial debut can accomplish with a fantastic cast and a blender of influence and creativity.

Most Memorable Quote(s)
  • Joe: He was the only one I wasn’t 100% on. I should have my fuckin’ head examined, going on a plan like this when I wasn’t 100%. 
    Mr. White: [shouting] That’s your proof? 
    Joe: You don’t need proof when you have instinct. 
  • Mr. Blonde: Listen kid, I’m not gonna bullshit you, all right? I don’t give a good fuck what you know, or don’t know, but I’m gonna torture you anyway, regardless. Not to get information. It’s amusing, to me, to torture a cop. You can say anything you want cause I’ve heard it all before. All you can do is pray for a quick death, which you ain’t gonna get.  You ever listen to K-Billy’s “Super Sounds of the Seventies” weekend? It’s my personal favorite. 
  • Mr. Blonde: Eddie, you keep talking like a bitch, I’m gonna slap you like a bitch. 
What You Need to Get Through This Movie

A lack of knowledge of Pulp Fiction would be a great addition to your viewing experience. The film spoils the Tarantino style and arguably executes it better. Also, a color chart is a necessity, as every core character is based on a color. If you skipped grade school or never seen a rainbow, you may be confused.

Trivia

The film uses the word “fuck” 272 times.

The film completed final editing and pressing just 3 days before its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival

The film budget was so low, many actors wore their own clothes

Reservoir Dogs is consistenly ranked as one of the best heist films- a heist that happens entirely off screen

The film was filmed in just over a month

Director Quentin Tarantino plays Mr. Brown. he is also quoted as probably being the most inexperienced person on set

Mr. Blonde is considered the most ruthless, yet he is one of the only characters to never kill in the film

Educational Content
  • Pink is a good luck color
  • robberies are probably a bad idea
Justification for Rating

There are 8 key characters in the film, 1 star for every character that is a total Rambo badass

Clip

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-qV9wVGb38

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Thriller

Review of A Clockwork Orange

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A Clockwork OrangeRating: ★★★★★★★★★☆

Review

Having been banned in countless countries, including rape scenes and controversy, and the utter hatred of the author who created the original story, the film version of A Clockwork Orange is polarizing and simply awesome. Stanley Kubrick is a tue visionary of the film medium, and by making a film so outwardly bizarre and controversial, it has essentially confirmed the film the status of “cult.” Yet despite the status, the film manages to say something about society, commercialism, greed, and corruption in a way that is so fresh and inventive it still stands the test of time as a primeir film of the horror divine. Kubrick is a cult mastermind, and A Clockwork Ornage arguably stands as his greatest creation in film-making.

Reason to Watch

Without getting into too great of detail, two scenes in particualr are enough to watch this film. it is also culturally historic. if you haven’t seen the move, i’m sure you’ve missed a few references to it in other areas. The cinematography is exquisite and astonishing effective in setting the mood. For you move newbies and dingdongs, that basically means it’s really cool to look at. On a final note, if you have no knowledge of Stanley Kubrick (or awesomeness) there’s no better place to start.

Context

The movie is not without its detractors. its controversy and message still holds up over time, and if you want to hear what all the fuss is about, might as well dive into the film right. it may offend you, even for its time, and it may keep you reeling from thoughts such as “how did they get away with that?” and “I want to learn cool dance moves and rape things.”

Most Memorable Quote(s)
  • Alex: Welly, welly, welly, welly, welly, well. To what do I owe the extreme pleasure of this surprising visit? 
  • P.R. Deltoid: I’ve just come from the hospital; your victim has died. 
    Alex: You try to frighten me. Admit so, sir. This is some new form of torture. Say it, Brother Sir. 
    P.R. Deltoid: It’ll be your own torture. I hope to God it’ll torture you to madness. 
  • Chief Guard Barnes: Are you now, or have you ever been a homosexual? 
What You Need to Get Through This Movie

Hallucinogenic drugs wouldn’t hurt, though we would never condone behavior such as that. A bottle of Nightquil will do. Ok, maybe just a backscratcher. Do not watch with a new date!

Trivia

One of only two films to ever be nominated for an Academy Award to debut with an X rating.

The film’s first cut was just over 4 hours, a notorious typical action for Kubrick

Director Stanley Kubrick handled a large portion of the marketing for the film, a rarity, especially in the early 70’s.

The film largely uses a made up language, a mix of Russian, English, and slang words of both. It was an original invention of original author Anthony Burgess, which you would think makes the book unreadable but contrarily makes it amazing.

Educational Content
  • Sex isn’t always fun or awesome
  • The message: over saturation of media is bad, in case you haven’t heard that before
  • You can change a person from bad to good if you force their eyeballs open and have them watch depictions of cute puppies cuddling
Justification for Rating

After it’s all said and done, A Clockwork Orange says more than most films ever could and does it more splendidly and with greater enthusiasm than most films could ever achieve- all capped with an unrivaled eye for perfection from director Stanley Kubrick.

Clip

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9C-20JyOgMY

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Action

Review of Orca, The Killer Whale

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Orca, the Killer Whale movie poster

Rating: ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

Review

Orca, the Killer Whale is a heartwarming tale of a killer whale and the captain that killed his mate. A new spin on Moby Dick, it features Richard Harris (known as the first Dumbledore to Harry Potter fans) trying to outsmart a pissed off killer whale.

Reason to Watch

The fine acting by the killer whale, squawking in horror as his dying mate gives premature birth to a rubber whale fetus, is a performance for the ages, and was sadly ignored by the Academy that year.

Context

In the great Hollywood tradition, this scientific travesty of a movie was green lit in an attempt to cash in on the popularity of Jaws. The human acting is questionable, effects are decent, and you can tell when they are shooting captive whales in tanks. Produced by one of the high kings of 70’s and 80’s cheese, Dino De Laurentis, this is a pungent offering for fans of animal horror.

Most Memorable Quote(s)
  • It is known that they have great memory and, even after many years, they will always remember the human being who has tried to harm them.
  • But you’ll murder him – you’ll sit here safe on the jetty, and shoot him through the eye? You’re not a man, you’re an animal! Its creatures like you science should be observing!
What You Need to Get Through This Movie

I did just fine with a bottle of spiced rum. Taking a shot every time they show a closeup of the whale’s mournful eye will get you loaded within an hour.

Trivia

In the mid-80s, Dino De Laurentiis considered a sequel to King Kong that would have had him going head-to-head with an Orca.

Educational Content
  • Killer whales are vengeful dicks, who will eat Bo Derek’s leg to teach you a lesson.
Justification for Rating

Vague references to Native American mysticism, vengeful sea mammals and a score by Ennio Morricone make for an entertaining, one-time experience. Sadly, as in most cases, the movie is nowhere near as epic as the poster.

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Horror

Review of The Screaming Skull

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The Screaming SkullRating: ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

Review

When a stale looking newlywed couple show up at the home of the husband’s late wife. Some odd placed mysterious events cause his new bride to believe she is going absolutely insane.

Reason to Watch

It’s just so bad its good. The twisted up face of actress Peggy Webber make you want to laugh but also hide behind your pillow. The dreamy creepy scene where moments before Jenni (Peggy) show some skin, is my favorite part because she just pops up and scares the heck out of me.

Context

This is a gem of B rated horror flicks, falling into the times of other great films like “20000 Leagues” and “OK Coral”. Its a must see that should be added on the belt notch of cult movie fans.

Most Memorable Quote(s)

Jenni Whitlock: Eric, when you found me, what else was there?

What You Need to Get Through This Movie

Any opiate close at hand paired with a bottle of NoDoz trucker pills, along with love for black and white films will help you through the first 15 minutes. After that you’ll need a good pal to sit there with you, each taking turns slapping the other awake so that you don’t miss the mysteriousness of bad music and a whole bunch of nothing.

Trivia

How many skulls does it take to drive a newlywed batty?

Educational Content

If a priest gives you intimate details pertinent to your survival, don’t believe he’ll keep that abortion a secret.

Justification for Rating

There’s just enough screaming to possibly drive anyone watching it nuts, if a film can do that it deserves 3 stars in our book.

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Action

Review of The Phantom Ship

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Phantom ShipRating: ★★★½☆☆☆☆☆☆

Review

This movie is the action/thriller/mystery/horror film about the legendary Marie Celeste. A phantom ship that was found floating adrift in the ocean in 1872. The ship was still fully stocked with the goods it was preparing to deliver. The sails were fully set and no one was found on board.
The movie is a fictionalized account of what they believe might have happened. In the story, the crew are disgruntled from day one when they were forced to join the crew. The animosity is present at the start and each member of the crew has their own reason for wanting the captain dead. To make matters worse, he has brought his new bride which only adds to the tension.
It doesn’t help that the person in charge of the crew hands is sadistic and continually beats the crew. He is brutal and mean, and it sets the sailors all on edge.

Reason to Watch

This movie is a classic B picture. If you are looking for great acting…this ain’t it! The movie is worth watching for 2 reasons.
1. The overacting, especially Bela Lugosi, is worth watching. It’s truly comical to watch how some of the actors in this movie contort their fact to show the horror of what is happening.
2. The big murder scene, we see one of the characters getting shot in the butt. You would think this would just knock him to the ground, instead we see him do a classic over the top death, with a quick shot to the butt.

Context

This movie was made when Bela was a big star. I’m sure this was a vehicle that they had hoped would draw off his star power. Done in the 50s, and in black and white, there was no need for big special effects.

Most Memorable Quote(s)

“Black cat…that’s bad.”

What You Need to Get Through This Movie

I would recommend watching this movie with a high potent energy drink. While spots have some comedic value, there are times this story draaaags!

Trivia

I couldn’t find any trivia for this movie…sorry.

Educational Content

It’s amazing in the movie that even though they just threw the corpse in, there was a shark immediately there to be attracted to it. I have always understood that sharks are actually attracked to the movement and thrashing…and that if you are near a shark, you shouldn’t move so it would swim by.

Justification for Rating

While you may find yourself wondering if you should set the snooze alarm to keep yourself awake, there are moments this movie isn’t that bad. The story is pretty well written, but the acting prevents you from fully enjoying it.

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