Chris Weber (cosmo313)Missouri
Chris' Recent Reviews
This was Hitchcock's final film, and, as far as this sort of thing goes, I suppose it could have been worse.
The plot is a convoluted and sometimes confusing lighthearted mystery romp involving 'psychics', kidnapping, ransom, and, of course, the dead (or presumed to be). It's not as funny as maybe it should be, and, while I am okay with humor, I think this might have been far more effective and interesting if it was played darker and more serious. Don't get me wrong, it's interesting stuff, but I think it could have been even more so if done differently.
I liked Karen Black and Bruce Dern, and, while the not as notable cast (at that time) are fine, I think this would have been better if it had some major star power behind it.
The music by John Williams is pretty good, and the film has a nice look to it, but I can just tell that Hitch was probably not trying all that hard here. I know it's cliche to rant about the dip in quality of his later work, but all things considered, this could have been far, far worse.
This might be lesser Hitch, but it's still kinda decent, so sure, give it a watch.
In this mostly light comedy, we get a fun look into the world of competitive college a capella singing groups.
Beca is a loner college freshman who can't find a clique to belong to until she gets muscled into the last one she thought possible: an all girl a capella singing group surprisingly made up of a diverse group of girls from all walks of life.
Having a background in music, I was able to appreciate this film a little more. Granted, the music being performed here is cover versions of stuff I'm not into, but I can recognize something entertaining and crowd pleasing when I hear it.
The cast is made up of typical tokens, but somehow I really didn't seem to mind, no matter how predictable and unoriginal this all is. As Beca, Anna Kendrick is really good as the alternative chick, but, like most people, I found myself being most entertained by Rebel Wilson's turn as the odd and eccentric Fat Amy. She's the clear scene stealer and best thing going on here, though Hana Mae Lee as the super quiet and creepy Lilly was also pretty awesome.
The film is really predictable, formulaic, and cheesy, yet I found myself not caring about any of that. It's a feel good crowd pleaser, quite funny, and yeah, even the music performances are done pretty well.
It's nothing new, but is done far better than it has any right to be. I say give it a watch.
Chris' Favorite Movies
My favorite film of all time. An all-time classic through and through. This, along with John Carpenter's Halloween, and Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver are the three film that first got me to become more than just a casual fan of movies, and turned me into a cinema fanatic. Many critics (especially Siskel and Ebert) saw that Tarantino had talent with this movie, but deserved to make a better one. I can see where they're coming from, but I disagree. True, an initial viewing doesn't give the viewer the finer points it has to offer, but it does evoke a strong urge to keep one watching it over and over to truly discover how brilliant it really is. As a straight up crime film, it is great, witty, original, and very cool, but when viewed as an experience, Reservoir Dogs is a brilliant, one-of-a-kind thrillride that truly is very deep, thought-provoking, and unmatched. The dialogue and music (both very original and quirky) have since become QT trademarks, and it's hard to imagine what the world of film would look like if Reservoir Dogs had never been made. Thank God I've never had a desire to have or elaborate upon such thoughts. This is one film that everyone should be required to see before they die. Not doing so is unforgivable.
Director/co-writer John Carpenter is a genius. Thanks to him and co-writer/producer Debra Hill, a little independent film was released in 1978 that has since gone on to become one of the most revered, respected, influential, imitated, and brilliant films of all time. Aside from a few continuity erors and plot holes here, and there, this film hits all the right notes, and is executed flawlessly. Oh sure, the idea of an escaped maniac terrorizing people is nothing new, but under Carpenter's masterful direction, he takes a traditional scary story, and through the use of genuine pathos, character development, wonderful acting especially from Jamie Lee Curtis(in her film debut, and the always reliable Donald Pleasance (giving a performance that has since come to embody sheer iron will and determination and the ability to do what it takes to stop evil in it's path), ridiculously high amounts of tension, suspense, and an atmosphere and score that are STILL chill inducing to this very day, he manages to craft one of the absolute finest American horror films of all time, and does so with a minimal to moderate amount of violence, allowing just enough to be shown as a pay-off for the scares he's built up in the audience's imaginations. By keeping the most of the graphic aspects of the story under wraps, the viewer is left hanging, building up further anxiety, and giving Carpenter even more credibility when it comes to freaking viewers out. As many sequels, and countless imitators and outright ripoffs as this film has inspired (including the Rob Zombie take. you would think that those filmmakers, and all future ones to come would have taken (and will) more time to study the finer points of Halloween, to see what must be done in order to create a film that is truly breathtaking in it's brilliance and the genuine horror and countless feelings of dread that it creates, and not just some violent heartless splatterfest that while shocking, doesn't scare. Despite that this film is associated with the slasher subgenre of horror films, calling this film a slasher is a true insult. If anything, this is morre of a suspenseful thriller with heavy amounts of horror elements. For all those unfortunate souls who have yet to experience John Carpenter's masterpiece, do yourself a favor, and see this film through any means necessary.