Friday, November 17, 2006

National Lampoon's Vacation

The wacky Griswold family is out on a cross-country road trip to Walley World. Let's just say this, the trip does not go exactly as planned! To start off, Clark and his son Russ go to the car dealership to pick up their new car, but the new car they ordered wasn't here, their old car is crushed, and they have to settle for an atrocious "Wagon Queen family truckster." Clark promises the best trip ever, but it proves to be anything but! The problems start right at home as they are pulling out of the garage, and all of their luggage comes off the top of their roof! They set off to St. Louis from Chicago and get lost in St. Louis ending up in the wrong neighborhood. After the family truckster is trashed in the wrong neighborhood in St. Louie, they set off to Cousin Eddie's! This has to be one of the funniest scenes of this hilarious movie, Aunt Edna is cranky, Eddie asks for a large amount of money, and they leave with a new pair of white slippers and a vicious dog! The rest of the trip with Aunt Edna and the vicious dog is hilarious, along with the scenes where Clark tries to imprees the beautiful blonde driving the Ferrari by demonstrating the family truckster's horsepower. Anyway, then the dog dies, followed by Aunt Edna (who they put on the top of the car, and then left in the back porch of a home where the family is on vacation!), they go to the Grand Canyon, and Clark steals the money in the register! So they make it to Walley World, and guess what? IT'S CLOSED! But since they have had such a troubled time getting here, Clark is on the edge and buys a pellet gun and forces his way into Walley World.

Overall, the Griswold's adventure is absolutely hilarious because everything imaginable and more goes wrong! The characters are perfect, Clark is an absolute goofball, and Aunt Edna could not be any more cranky and whiny. For a great comedy, go grab this movie for some classic jokes!

Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark

In the first of the Indiana Jones series is Raiders of the Lost Ark, Harrison Ford plays "Indy" the confident and courageous adventurer. It is very interesting when looking at the very first scene of this film, because it really sets the tone for the movie and the character and reputation of Indiana Jones. In this first scene, Indiana Jones is seen forcing his way through the jungle with his team following him. You actually don't get to see Indy's face until he whips the gun out of a man about to shoot him. This demonstrates Indy's "badassness." Even after he whips the pistol out of the man's hand, he continues to show how tough and smart he is, as he manages to go through the booby-trapped temple unscathed as many others have failed here.

Raiders is set in 1936, as Indiana tries to retrieve a golden idol in an Aztecan temple, and as he achieves this, the idol is taken from him and he has to run from tribes people running after him to kill him. He escapes from a seaplane, and is soon back to his teaching job. Indy then sets out to discover the lost Ark of the Covenant, and the Nazis are also after this biblical piece. He then sets out to Nepal to meet an old aquaintance named Marion who holds a very important artifact and will accompany him on the rest of his journey. They then go to Cairo and wrestle with Belloq and the Nazis over the Ark, but Indiana Jones comes through adversity and settles this and the location and safety of the ark.

Raiders of the Lost Ark is definitely a fun movie, one thing that is great about it is that it makes you think of the possibilities. What if the Ark really is real? What if the Nazis really did set out to gain control of it and its power? Another thing that makes Raiders great is the action, and it is full of it. But the film is a bit overdone in that Indiana is the glorified hero, and always saves the day in sometimes overdone ways.

For more info on Raiders:


Ghostbusters (1984)

I remember when I was younger, I used to watch “Ghostbusters” all the time, and I still get a rood thrill even when I watch it today. An action packed film with a stellar cast including Bill Murray as Dr. Peter Venkman, Dan Aykroyd as Dr. Raymond Stantz, Sigourney Weaver as Dana Barrett, Harold Ramis as Dr. Egon Spengler, and more, gives this film a good combination of action, drama, and comedy all in one.

In “Ghostbusters,” three unemployed professors start their own business which specializes in getting rid of ghosts. All of their missions are whacky, intriguing, and exciting. The humor in this movie comes from the fact that these people are chasing ghosts, creatures that are supposedly scary, and they do it with smiles on their faces, cracking jokes and staying loose the whole time.

The special effects of the film are also very impressive for its time. Nobody can forget the almighty enormous Marshmellow Man as well as the green goblin ghost, both of which came from the old “Ghostbuster” cartoons. Also, it is a great movie to show to your kids… something fun, a pure good guy verses the bad guy film where the good guys have to fight hard but prevail in the end.

“Ghostbusters” is a timeless film, as people in generations to come will most likely be showing it their kids. Films that include a good mix of drama, comedy, and action will usually be remembered, because it is rare that a combination like that is successfully made. For this reason, you must see “Ghostbusters”… no questions asked!

Coming To America

Coming To America (1988)

A comedy/drama, “Coming To America” is a great film that is very fun to watch. Starring Eddie Murphy as Prince Akeem (and a few other characters), he travels from his throne in Africa to Queens, New York to find the love of his life, whoever it may be. While he is in America, he indulges in their society and is amazed at all of the cultural differences.

Most of all, this is a film dominated by blacks, ranging from Africans to African Americans. What makes this movie so fun and entertaining to watch is the humor that Murphy’s character provides. Throughout the film, his oblivion to American society as well as his generosity to strangers in a bad, foreign neighborhood is funny in itself, and not to mention the delightful pleasure of watching an Eddie Murphy comedy, one of his originals at that.

This movie is not strictly a comedy; it is also a light hearted love story at the same time. However, it never is too serious, as it is constantly on the humorous side of things. The film also includes other well known actors such as Arsenio Hall as Semmi (and a few other characters), James Earl Jones as King Jaffe Joffer, and a cameo appearance by Samuel L. Jackson in his first Hollywood movie.

Eddie Murphy gives a deliberate goofy side to all of his characters which makes this movie very humorous. If you are looking for a good laugh but something not too intense to watch on a random night in which you have nothing to do, head to the movie store and rent “Coming To America” if you have not already seen it.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Cocktail (1988)

Tom Cruise fits easily into the character of Brian Flanagan, a young, charming, ambitioius, and sometimes cocky bartendar who becomes the protege of restaurant-bar guru Bryan Brown. The music in this film is very catchy with your typical feel good 80's songs. Tom Cruise plays the character well and makes you think he has done this before because he has a certain charm and sex appeal. You can tell that the actors had a lot of fun making this film with all of the impressive bar tending tecniques.

Brian Flanagan, a young man recently out of the service decides to go to school for a business degree. To make extra money on the side he works at a cheap restaurant as a bartender (since his family was in the business.) His boss, Doug Couglin, becomes somewhat of a role model to Cruise and teaches Cruise everything he knows about bartending and how to make money off of it through his good looks and charm. After spending time on the Manhattan bar scene with Doug they have a fallout and Flanagan moves to Jamaica to become a bartender there. While there he meets Jordan Mooney, played by Elizabeth Shue. She is on vacation while her friend is passed out from drinking too much. After a while they become madly in love and she extends her vacation. After a while he gets scared of how much he likes her and has an affair with an older woman that visits Jamaica. When Doug commits suicide Flanagan has a change in heart and realizes that life is too short to be alone. Meanwhile Jordan is back home in New York and pregnant with his child. Flanagan goes to apologize to her and her father freaks out and says he cannot be with her. Finally she decides she loves him and goes with him even though her family disowns her. The couple ends up having a thrown together at a bar he opens for Doug called Cocktails and Dreams. After this, Jordan tells Flanagan she is going to have twins.

This movie is like a late day Romeo and Juliet because Jordans family disowns her for going with Flanagan. You can tell from watching the film that Cruise and Shue have a lot of on screen chemistry and their romance is very believeable. It is a very feel good romantic 80's comedy that is mainly directed toward adults.

Evil Dead II

So if you're wise, you took my advice and saw the face melting brilliance that is Sam Raimi's "The Evil Dead". If you havn't taken a moment to readjust all the furniture that has no doubt been thrown around the room in an orgy of cinematic awsomeness, then do so now because Ash is coming back at you in his equally brilliant sequal, "Dead by Dawn".

The story picks up where the last one left off--well--almost where it left off. You see, the five minutes that Raimi takes at the beginning of the film to explain what happened isn't exactly accurate. But that tends not matter because Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell do what they want and no one will tell them otherwise! After the brief moments of lies and deceit, Ashley J. Williams (played by the aforementioned Campbell) proceeds to chop off his hand, shoot it, get drenched in a tidal wave of blood, attach a chainsaw to his bloody stump, and finally get sent back in time.

I would venture to say that this is the best film in the trilogy. It has a good balance of horror and comedy which lays the groundwork for the dry, one-liner sense of humor that Ash developes in the third installement entitled "Army of Darkness". Also, a corpse ballet in the pale moonlight! Does it get any better? I think not. See it or suffer the consequences!

Dirty Dancing: Fun Film

Every girl has seen this movie, at least all of my girlfriends have. This is a great movie to watch when you're feeling down. It's fun, light and easy without boring you. Summer love is the best. For me, the best part of the film is the narration in the beginning, it gets the movie going with a nostalgic tone. Baby is adorable and Johnny Castle is dreamy. I love Baby's relationship with her family, being the more liberal, progressive one. Is this movie quality? No. That being said, the dancing is really quite good and the soundtrack is a lot of fun. This movie touches on what it is like to disobey your family, and beat the odds(as Baby does by dancing as well as does). It also reflects on the importance of selflessness, love, friendship and acceptance. I love at the end of the film when you see Baby's parents in the audience, smiling at how proud they are of their daughter, who, may I add, they spent the majority of the movie disagreeing with. A lot of people find Patrick Swayze very dreamy in this movie, but I can't laughing at him. He IS a great dancer, but it’s just hard to keep a straight face—boys who dance make me laugh, I don’t know. The movie is generally uplifting and leaves you wishing you could dance like they do. It also leaves you wishing you could get back to 1963! On that note, the greatest quote from the film is… “That was the summer of 1963 - when everybody called me Baby, and it didn't occur to me to mind. That was before President Kennedy was shot, before the Beatles came, when I couldn't wait to join the Peace Corps, and I thought I'd never find a guy as great as my dad. That was the summer we went to Kellerman's.”

buy the movie:

Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1985)

Girls Just Want to Have Fun is the crappier version of Dirty Dancing that includes a lot of dancing, a good girl- bad boy character combination, strained family relationships, and bitchy girl drama. Sarah Jessica Parker and Lee Montgomery star in this bad dancing chick flick.

Janey is new to Chicago. She and her new best friend Lynn have a love for dancing and when they hear about a dance contest on Dance TV they immediately go to town and try out. Janey is ecstatic when she finds out that she is a finalist, but hides this from her father whom she has a strained relationship with. She is given her dance partner, Jeff whose evil ex girlfriend will do anything in order for Janey and Jeff to fail. She tries to eliminate the competition by inviting Jeff to her debutante ball at her fathers country club. To get back at Natalie, Janey and her friends make copies of the invitations so transvestites and body builders could attend her ball. After this, Natalie's father agrees that he will do anything in his power to make sure that his daughter wins. He tries to threaten Jeff by telling him that if he danced his father would be fired from his job (his father worked for Mr. Sands). After speaking with his father, Jeff decides to enter the contest anyway. Even though Janey is grounded for sneaking out of the house, she still goes to the contest. At the finals there is a dance off between Janey and Jeff and Natalie and her partner. In the end, Janey and Jeff win and are named the new DTV regulars.

Whereas Dirty Dancing is actually interesting and keeps your attention, after watching this film you are wondering why it was so bad. Was it Sarah Jessica Parkers frizzy hair or the fact that the dancing and acting was terrible? Of all the roles that Helen Hunt played, this is probably the worst. This movie is so predictable and at the same time you are laughing at how bitchy girls can be to each other, especially when it comes to boys.

This movies definitely does not stick in my head as one of the better 80's dance movies. If you want to see good dancing rent Flashdance or Dirty Dancing, not this knock off high school beginners stuff.

another woman

This Woody Allen film is fantastic. Allen truly channels depression in this film, and shows viewers a realistic look at what its like to be on a mental downfall. Gena Rowlands character. Marion, is a very intelligent professor. She has an apartment where she writes, or attempts to, until interrupted by sounds coming through a vent on one wall of the room. She initially puts a pull over this to drown out the sound, but soon realizes that the sounds she hears are sessions with a physciatrist. This part of the movie confused me. She continues to overhear a pregnant woman (Mia Farrow) talk about her morbid depression and life. I was unsure for a good deal of the film as to whether or not this was a figment of her imagination. In keeping with Woody Allen's films, this one is set in New York. I find that Woody Allen manages more so than any other director to depict New York City in a light that resonates with New Yorkers. Back to Marion's eavesdropping; she uses these overheard sessions to reevaluate her own existence, ultimately leading her to realize many things about love's lost and her estranged relationship with her husband. She comes to find that her professional achievements and seemingly nice life simply serve as a facade to cover up her own feelings of loss and failure. The film has a cold air to it, there is some disconnect between the film and its viewers. This film isn't one to sit back and watch when you’re trying to get your mind off of things. It will make you think about your life and how you relate to these ever so complex characters. I love Woody Allen!

check out what other people thought about the film!

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)

Last night, Comedy Central aired the 1988 classic comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels starring Steve Martin and Michael Caine. Steve Martin is not as funny as he is in some of his other films but he still does a good job of providing comedy to a well developed and clever plot. Martin plays an amateur conman named Freddie Benson who has much to learn about the game of swindling wealthy women out of hefty bundles of cash. He falls into becoming an apprentice of Lawrence Jamieson (Caine) who teaches him the trade of conning as they team up to fool upper class women in Europe. Soon Freddie grows tired of being the apprentice, thinking he can do the job better than the master Jamieson himself, and they take opposing sides in double-crossing one particular woman to see who has become the better thief. In the end a series of twists and turns lands Freddie and Lawrence in a tight spot, but I won’t ruin that for you… This was one of the few 80’s in which I did not cringe in embarrassment thinking that it did not translate well to a time some two decades later when I was watching it. This con type of film was later used with female con artists in a 90’s adaptation called Heartbreakers with Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love Hewitt. I have seen both movies now and I can say the original is much better from most aspects. From a comedy standpoint I would have to say that this film falls short for me, however, the turns in the plot kept me interested and entertained. Personally I’d rather see Steve Martin in The Jerk or Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, but that’s just me.

Think you might want to see this one...

Classic Quotes:

“I know someone here. Oh yes? Who?... Lawrence Jesterton-- Lester Johnston--Jester Lawerenceton--Jamesss LLlllllllaa… Lawrence Jamieson? YES that’s it!”

Coming To America

Comign To America (1988)

A comedy/drama, “Coming To America” is a great film that is very fun to watch. Starring Eddie Murphy as Prince Akeem (and a few other characters), he travels from his throne in Africa to Queens, New York to find the love of his life, whoever it may be. While he is in America, he indulges in their society and is amazed at all of the cultural differences.

Most of all, this is a film dominated by blacks, ranging from Africans to African Americans. What makes this movie so fun and entertaining to watch is the humor that Murphy’s character provides. Throughout the film, his oblivion to American society as well as his generosity to strangers in a bad, foreign neighborhood is funny in itself, and not to mention the delightful pleasure of watching an Eddie Murphy comedy, one of his originals at that.

This movie is not strictly a comedy; it is also a light hearted love story at the same time. However, it never is too serious, as it is constantly on the humorous side of things. The film also includes other well known actors such as Arsenio Hall as Semmi (and a few other characters), James Earl Jones as King Jaffe Joffer, and a cameo appearance by Samuel L. Jackson in his first Hollywood movie.

Eddie Murphy gives a deliberate goofy side to all of his characters which makes this movie very humorous. If you are looking for a good laugh but something not too intense to watch on a random night in which you have nothing to do, head to the movie store and rent “Coming To America” if you have not already seen it.

Beverly Hills Cop

Beverly Hills Cop, also known as the only good movie Eddie Murphy made besides Coming to America, was in many ways a groundbreaking film that created new genres and showed how far an R-rated movie starring an African-American could go. When it was released in 1984, it became the highest grossing R-rated movie ever, and it stayed at the top spot until the release of Passion of the Christ 20 years later. It was the first of its kind, an action-comedy, and also paved the way for all the straight white cop-wacky black cop movies that would follow, a number of which would star Eddie Murphy himself.

Murphy's Axel Foley is a Detroit cop who heads to Los Angeles to solve the murder of his best friend. The film shows the glitz and glamour of life in LA in the 80's, particularly when Axel is visiting his friend in fashion and runs into Serge. Another scene that stands out to me is when Axel is walking down the street with "Neutron Dance" playing in the background, and he passes someone in a red leather jumpsuit and snickers to himself. Ironically, the suit closely resembles the outfit Eddie Murphy wears during his performance of Delirious. The fact that the villain is a major player in the cocaine trade is also typical of the 80's, when cocaine reached its peak in popularity.

Beverly Hills Cop would mark Eddie Murphy's rise to superstardom, establishing him as the premier actor/comedian of the 80's. Before Murphy was cast, Sylvester Stallone was in line for this role and the movie would have been a more straightforward action movie. Had that happened, the face of film would have changed quite a bit. Without Murphy's Axel Foley, it is possible that action-comedy films like Rush Hour and Starsky and Hutch might not have been possible.

Empire Strikes Back

David Grosvenor

The film Empire Strikes Back, directed by Georges Lucas in 1980, is a galactic movie like no other. Empire Strikes Back is the 5th part to a six series saga of the famous Star Wars movies. Although created second out of the six because of where it is placed on the time line it is labeled as number five. The movie takes place in a galaxy far away where there is a constant battle between good, the rebellion, and evil, the imperials.

Empire Strikes Back begins on an icy planet called Hoth where the rebellion is hiding out in fear of being captured by the imperials. Eventually the imperials discover the secret hide out and launch a full fledge attack on the planet. Shortly after the battle Luke, played by Mark Hamill, is told by his old jedi master that he must go search out a Jedi master by the name of Yoda. After leaving Hoth Luke follows obi-ones, Luke’s jedi master, advice and goes to the planet Dagobah to learn how to become a Jedi himself.

As Luke is on the forest planet his friends become captured by the evil imperial forces and are desperate for health. By using the force Luke is able to see his friends in need and quickly runs to their aid. When trying to save his friends Luke is forced to fight a sith lord named Darth Vader. While fighting Vader Luke finds out that his enemy is actually his father. At the end of the movie Luke is forced to run away from the battle and escape with his friends off the planet.

George Lucas might have created the best sequel to any movie possible when he created this film. This movie and the other two in this classic trilogy might all be in the top ten of my favorite movies. The plot is fantastic and if sci-fi is your thing you can’t beat the Star Wars movies. With the amount of money George Lucas had to make the first one I am surprised it was good enough to have made a second and a third for that matter. If you haven’t seen this movie yet I highly advise it.

Sixteen Candles (1984)

Molly Ringwald is the first name that comes to mind when I think of an 80's film. She is the girl next door and one of her well know films of the 80's was Sixteen Candles. This movie depicted every problem that teenagers struggled with, mainly dealing with love, high school, and being accepted. If you have only seen this movie once, you will never forget Molly Ringwald's pouty face or constant whinning. Poor Ringwald could not have had it harder in the movie, talk about having a hard time in high school and going through womanhood during all of these crazy happenings!

When Samantha Baker wakes up on her sixteenth birthday she is shocked and upset when she realizes that no one in her family remembers her birthday and everyone is only concerned with her sisters upcoming marriage. Samantha is also upset because she has not grown physically (which in high school is very important to many girls.) Samantha has a huge crush on the jock at school, Jake Ryan while the geekiest kid at school Farmer Ted has a crush on her. When it seems like her birthday could not get any worse it does when her grandparents take over her room and she must sleep on the couch. Later on the same night she attends her school dance where she confesses to Ted that she has a crush on Jake. Ted strikes a deal with Samantha and she gives him her underwear as a keepsake to show his friends since he made a bet that he would sleep with Samantha. Later that night at a party, Jake speaks with Tedd about Samantha and admits he is interested in her. Meanwhile, Samantha goes home and her parents are deeply apologetic about forgetting her birthday. At her sisters wedding she spots Jake where they speak and kiss and it is a happily ever after type of ending.

Throughout the movie you start to feel sorry for the whinney birthday girl because it truly seems like the worst birthday ever. Just when we could not handle the fact of this girl being tormented anymore with continual and terrible mishaps Jake comes along and makes the story have a happy ending. It is funny to watch her go through womanhood on camera because many girls can relate to what she is going through which makes the film even better and more enjoyable. Molly Ringwald is perfect for this character because she is an 80's girl that everyone can relate to in some way.

This movie is the 80's with its culture and music. In addition to this, the characters are seriously wacko yet intriguing at the same time which makes it a classic.

The Goonies by Elyse Lightner

The whole premesis of the Goonies is based on the eviction notice of the entire small town to turn the bay side town into a private country club. The characters are introduced according to their quirky qualities and together unite at the group leaders house, Mikey’s. Together the clan attempts to “save” their town by recovering enough booty from one eyed Willie’s treasure chest to pay the expenses in order to keep their homes. They embark on one last adventure as a group not knowing that they will cross many ethical issues along the way.
Firstly they act in a utilitarian way in that they are selflessly attempting to make the neighborhood their home again. They are making the majority of people happy by searching for wealth together; any one of the Goonies could have taken the map and sought the treasure for himself and made a great deal more wealth if he had taken it all for himself. The Goonies introduce the idea of ethical egoism. The kids act on the principle that they are doing what makes them feel best which is saving their family and keeping their group of friends together.
The typical 80s enemy creates conflict in the film. The Fratelli brothers threaten the lives of the Goonies in an attempt to selfishly reach the treasure before the clan. The outcome in typical 80s films ends up happy and the Goonies prevail in the end. A small sack of gems is all the kids need to save the neighborhood from the antagonistic developers.
The pirate actually turns out to be a decent band so check them out here.
this is the ultimate site for the film!

Raising Arizona

Raising Arizona, my and many others' introduction to the brilliance of the Coen brothers, tells the story of H.I. McDunnough (Nicolas Cage), a former convict now married to his arresting officer, Edwina (Holly Hunter). Because they are incapable of producing a child of their own, they decide to kidnap a quintuplet of a rich furniture salesman.

Coen brother films are always filled with colorful characters, and this film is no exception. Hi's escaped convict friends, Gale and Evelle Snoats (John Goodman and William Forsythe), try to convince him to return to a life of crime just as he is beginning to start a family. Their introduction in the film is a memorable one, as they emerge from the ground outside prison, covered in mud, screaming at the top of their lungs. No explanation for this is given, but it's still funny. Hi's foreman Glen (Sam McMurray) and his devious kids also pay a visit, which ends when Glen suggests to Hi that they swap wives and Hi breaks his nose, losing his job in the process.

The most memorable scene, however, is Hi's Huggies theft in the grocery store, wearing a pantyhose over his face as a mask. The Coen brothers use a folk tune in which a man yodels nonsense as background to this scene. The result is one of the most unforgettable and funny chase scenes in cinematic history.


Airplane! (1980)

“Airplane!” is an instant classic when it comes to satires. There are few movies that have made me laugh as much as this one. Unlike most satires which spoof off of other movies, “Airplane!” pokes fun at societal issues and the government around its time. It also includes the satire-king, Leslie Nielson, who has starred in many other satires as well.

Basically, “Airplane!” is about the relationship of Ted Striker (Robert Hays), a former military pilot, and Elaine (Julie Hagerty), a flight attendant. However, when the pilots and most of the passengers on board the airplane eat bad fish and get sick, it is up to Ted Striker to fly the plane and land it safely.

What makes this movie so funny is that it takes some of America’s most serious issues and presents them in a way that makes people laugh. So, although the movie is funny, it still has a clear message to society. For example, one of the issues that it pokes fun at is racism, a huge issue that was largely ignored at that time.

I have been watching “Airplane!” since I was a little kid, and it has always been one of my all time favorites, even though I did not understand about 90-100% of the jokes at the time, it was just plain funny in a silly way that made he laugh. When I watch it now, I understand what it makes fun of, and that makes me laugh even more. On the whole, “Airplane!” is a movie that can relate to all ages, which is why I encourage everybody to see it if you have not already.


Scarface (1983)

If anyone were to ask me who my favorite gangster character from a movie was, I would say without hesitation: Tony Montana from “Scarface.” When the Cuban refugees were sent down to Miami in the 1970’s by Fidel Castro, there was an outbreak of crime. “Scarface” is a fictional story of one Cuban refugee, Tony Montana (Al Pacino), who works his way to the top by selling cocaine.

The story builds around Montana and his entire journey from rags to riches. It literally begins with him at a Cuban refugee camp, and once he and his main comrade, Manny Ribera (Steven Bauer) escape, they are in desperate need of money. This is where Montana’s long, crazy, and adventurous journey starts. With practically nothing to lose, Montana would rather die than continue to live poor.

The genius of this film comes from the brilliant acting of Pacino. Personally, it is my favorite Pacino film, although the Godfathers I and II come very close. Whenever I watch this film, I just get lost in Pacino’s acting, which makes it a thriller every time. If you enjoy mafia films and don’t mind a bit of violence every now and then, see “Scarface.”


Goodfellas (1990)

Goodfellas is a well made Mafia film, and one of my true favorites from that genre. It is about a man named Henry Hill (played by Ray Liotta) who grows up around mob people in his New York area. It covers a span of about 40-50 years of his life. He begins working for the mob at a young age, and as he matures his way the system through years of work, he becomes known as a Goodfella.

The acting in this movie is superb, as it includes a stellar cast. Along with Ray Liotta as the main character, there is the mob boss Jimmy Conway played by mob-favorite Robert DeNiro who specializes in mob films. Also in the film is Tommy DeVito, played by Joe Pesci. DeVito is ruthless, he doesn't let anyone mess with him or his crew; he is what most guys would refer to as a "badass."

What makes "Goodfellas" a great movie besides its acting and plot is its realistic portrayal of mob-life during the second half of the twentieth century. Also, it is a Martin Scorcese film, so how could it possibly go wrong? If you like the movie "Casino," the odds are that you will probably like "Goodfellas," as both are similar in terms of casting (includes Pesci and DeNiro) and genre. On the whole, "Goodfellas" is a masterpiece in my mind, and I strongly suggest for those who have not seen it to see it.


David Grosvenor

The film Commando, directed by Mark L. Lester, is an action packed movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as Col. John Matrix and Alyssa Milano as his pre-teenage daughter Jenny Matrix. Arnold plays an ex military agent who is forced out of retirement in order to save his daughter from an evil military group that is holding her captive on a tropical island.

In order to find his daughter’s captives, Arnold is forced to kick an extreme amount of ass from the beginning of the movie until the end. Through his adventures Arnold, a single parent, meets his soon to be love interest Cindy, played by Rae Dawn Chong, in the local mall. After Rae discovers Arnold is looking for his daughter she is more then willing to aid him in his quest to get Jenny back.

After an extreme car chase, a fight with an ex-green beret and a stop by the local sporting good store for numerous guns and rocket launchers, the two partners are ready to bombard the military group that is holding Arnold’s daughter. In order to get to the island Arnold and Rae are forced to steal a sea plane which just happens to be completely filled with fuel with the keys inside. Shortly after arriving on the island Arnold literally takes down an army of hired warriors and tears into the main building where his daughter is being held. At this point Arnold is confronted by his arch nemesis and has to do battle in order to get out with his daughter alive.

This movie is by far one of the funniest action movies I have ever seen. Arnold is pretty much invincible, has super human strength, and doesn’t ever really have a scene where he strings more then two lines together at a time. With Arnold’s superior acting skills and super human strength there couldn’t be a better character to fit the description of John Matrix. The movie is basically an hour and a half long of Arnold shooting and beating up people. If you like shoot em up kinds of movies there’s no better movie then this one.

St. Elmo's Fire

Lets look at the cast list:
Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe
Judd Nelson, and Demi Moore

Judd Nelson.. look at him now!! what happened? from the big 80's film, The Breakfast

He's playing a much different character in this film...Certainly a lot different than the young rebel, John Bender. Alec Newbary, played by Nelson, is the hero of a group of seven friends fresh out of college without the slightest clue what to do next. Everyone looks up to Alec because he seems to be one of the few with some sense of direction in his life. He wears a suit to work everyday, and he's working for a politician, following his four year focus. He defines the success and the direction that all the recent graduates are looking to achieve.

Many people begin to believe that Kevin McCarthy's character, Kevin Dolenz, is gay because he has not slept with anyone in years. He is quiet and refined.

Rob Lowe's character, Billy Hicks, is a talented musician living the dream. He switches from job to job with ease and he gets to perform and hang out at the bar every night.

Demi Moore's character is Jules, a girl who is strikingly beautiful with a power over many men, including her boss. She can manipulate with her sexuality and she brags about her sexual experience.

Leslie Hunter is the long time girlfriend of Alec with everything she could ever want. She is working on the new appartment and tinkering with the idea of marriage to Alec, who relentlessly presses the question.

Kirby Keger (Emilio Estevez) is in love and he's happy about it.

In reality, they are all facing a great amount of problems. They are not happy about with their lives and they are all extremely troubled. Life after college is not easy; the euphoria of college is over. Their lives are taking a new turn, and they are forced to make big time decisions and changes to direct themselves properly.

Alec is completely unfaithful to his girlfriend, Leslie. He tells his friend, Kevin that he had sex with a woman at a clothing store and he seems to think marriage is the only way he can stop cheating. Not only is his love life a mess, so is his loyalty to the Democratic party. The president of the Democratic Students of Georgetown for four years quickly joins a Republican politician's party. Why? More money.

Kevin is not gay, and he is not in love with Alec (as accused by Jules.) Kevin is in love with Leslie, his best friend's girl.

Leslie finds out that Alec is cheating by bluffing an accusation. Alec responds heatedly, "What did Kevin tell you?" Their relationship is ruined and Leslie is kicked out of his appartment. She later sleeps with Kevin.

Billy cannot keep a job or a relationship. Jobless and without direction, he is a bit of a nobody out of college, and his nostalgia for the love he once had is evident by his return to his old frat.

Jules has a list of problems, drug and alcohol related. She is fired by her boss. Her attempted suicide brings the friends back together.

St Elmo's Fire is an ok film. The music is pretty classic. The characters are very 80's.


David Grosvenor

The film Labyrinth, directed by Jim Henson (maker of the Muppets), is a children’s film created in 1986. The film Labyrinth stars David Bowie as the mischievous goblin king, and Jennifer Connelly as Sarah, a young spoiled teenager with a great imagination. Sarah, the main character, in an impulsive decision, wishes her baby brother to be taken by the goblins to their realm. Sarah, not meaning what she wished for, has to recover her baby brother from the goblin king before 13 hours is up. Sarah is forced to go through a labyrinth of situations to get to the kings layer in the middle of the maze.

Eventually Sarah is able to find her way to the castle with the help from some puppet friends she met on her way through the labyrinth. Sarah, after going through the goblin city prior to the castle, is able to defeat the Goblin King at his own game and save her brother from a permanent stay within the goblin realm.

The film Labyrinth is a movie like no other. The combination of David Bowie’s singing and Jennifer’s crazy character makes the movie more of a joke then anything else. From the first scene you can see that Jennifer’s character, Sarah, is selfish and crazy when she yells at her parents for not caring for her when they have done absolutely nothing to her. Not only is Sarah’s a little out there the other main character, the Goblin King, is constantly singing and hanging out with puppets.

The scenes within the film, from the first shot within the labyrinth to the last, put you into a well crafted puppet land that came straight out of the mind of Jim Henson. The movie has become a colt classic which has helped it to stick around since 1986. If you’re looking for a movie that you can have a good laugh at this is definitely a film worth looking into.

Back to the Future

David Grosvenor

The film Back to the Future, directed by Robert Zemekis in 1985, is a story of a young teenage boy by the name of Marty McFly, played by Michael J. Fox. Marty is a teenager in high school who, in his spare time, has sparked a friendship with a crazy scientist named Doc Brown, played by Christopher Lloyd. One day Doc asks Marty to help him in one of his experiments. Marty not realizing the significance of Doc’s findings agrees to meet his friend in a parking lot later that night. Little does Marty know that his friend Doc has gotten himself in a little trouble with a terrorist organization.

After a scuffle with the terrorist Doc is murdered and Marty is forced to drive away in the DeLorean time machine which was the reason why the Doc was so excited in the first place. Marty goes back in time to the 1950’s where Doc is still alive and his parents are in high school. When Marty finally arrives in the past the time machine crashes into the side of a barn and is no longer in commission. In order to save Doc from his untimely death Marty is forced to search out the Doc of the past to fix the car and go back into the future.

By being in the past Marty has threatened his own existence. By running into his mother as a teenager she instantly falls in love with her own son and by doing so ruins her chances of falling for Marty’s father. Marty, in order to stay alive, must somehow get his parents to fall in love before he can leave back to the future.

This film is by far one of my favorite films of the 80’s. The casting for this film could not have been better with the combination of Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd. The story line is ingenious and quite simply it is a fun movie to watch. If you haven’t seen this movie before I suggest renting it as soon as possible and watching repeatedly until the day it has to be returned. Along with the two other Back to the Future movies this is one of the greatest trilogies of all time.


David Grosvenor

The film Batman, directed by Tim Burton in 1989, is a classic comic book movie and one of the first of its kind. The film is about a man by the name of Bruce Wayne, played by Michael Keaton, who after his family was murdered right before his eyes when he was eight vowed to fight evil. Bruce, by inheriting his father’s money and business, is able to fund his alternate identity as Batman.

Batman’s arch rival the joker, played by Jack Nicholson, is wreaking havoc in the city of Gotham once more with the help of his gang of misfits. The joker has created a diabolical plan that will affect the whole city if Batman doesn’t do anything about it. The joker has created a chemical that will instantly kill a human and leave a disturbingly happy face on its victims. The joker plans on killing innocent lives by having a parade within the streets and releasing the gas onto the populated area. Not knowing that the joker is evil, people begin to be attracted by the scene and the free money that gang is throwing out from the floats.

With the help of Bruce’s love interest Vicky Vale, played by Kim Basinger, Batman is able to stop the joker, who was also the small time criminal that killed his parents, and save the city from certain doom.

Unlike new age comic book movies this film is very different. Tim Burton, who is a well respected director, could not have done a better job with this film. Out of all the movies based on comic book superheroes this one is ranked among the best. The only problem that I saw with the film was the casting of Batman. Although Michael Keaton is a good actor he just didn’t seem to fit the role of the bad ass superhero. Overall the movie is fun to watch and if you like comic books this is a movie you can’t miss.

Dirty Dancing (1987)

It is funny to think that Annie and Dirty Dancing were made only made five years apart because Dirty Dancing obviously had a much larger bugdet. Dirty Dancing is definitely a chick flick because it involves a lot of dancing, girl drama, and studly Patrick Swayze. It is a film that teenage girls dragged their boyfriends to or made them watch over and over again. The film epitomizes every teenage girls fantasy because who wouldn't want to be dancing with sweaty bad boy Patrick Swayze all day long?

Dirty Dancing is set in the Catskill mountains starring Jennifer Grey (Baby) and Patrick Swayze (Johnny). Baby is a character of low self-esteem who has basically been living in a bubble her entire life and whose parents baby her to no end. She has always enjoyed dancing but has not been very good at it or at least she does not have enough confidence to think so. One night while Baby is with her family at the ballroom dance, she sees a Latin dance demonstration by Johnny and his partner Penny. As soon as she sees this performance, she is in awe and interested in learning to dance. When Penny his dance partner needs to get an abortion and cannot dance, Baby immediately tries to fill her position. Since Johnny works for the resort and Baby's parents were strict, they had to keep this a secret. While Johnny teaches Baby dance moves, he gets frustrated with her a lot, but at the same time romance starts to develop and sparks fly between the two. When Baby's dad finds out she is seeing Johnny he flips out and insists she never see him again. When Johnny is accused of stealing money from the resort. Baby stands up for him but he eventually gets fired for having an affair with a guest. In the final scene Johnny returns to the resort targets baby in the corner in the famous line saying, "nobody puts baby in the corner." The two get up on the stage and perform. In the end, Baby's parents are proud and look at her as more than just a child.

Even though it does manage to be your typical 80's fairy tale it still shows a struggle, that exists between the working class and the upper class which makes it easy for viewers to relate to. In addition to this, with the good music and dance moves it gets the audience excited. I know that after I saw the movie I wanted to learn how to dance like Baby. While all women love this movie, men often despise it since it since it is like a Star Wars for girls.

I truly believe this is one of the greatest 80's dance movies made and recommend it highly to all teenage girls or any boys that have a fetish for Patrick Swayze and dancing.

Rocky IV

Rocky IV, arguably the best of the Rocky movies, sees Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) returning to the ring to fight Russian phenom Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren). Rocky comes out of retirment after Drago kills his close friend, Apollo Creed, in a fight. During this bout, Rocky has an opportunity to throw in the towel for his friend, but he decides not to in the end. His guilt over his friend's death forces Rocky to come back better and badder than ever to face his most formidable opponent to date.

Part of what makes this movie great is that Drago is such a hateable character. His stone cold, expressionless demeanor makes him seem almost like a robot, systematically tearing apart his opponents one by one. Of course, the fact that he literally kills Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) in a fight gives him a lot of strength of character as far as being a villain is concerned. When Rocky steps into the ring with him, the audience doesn't believe he has a chance, because Drago looks that invulnerable.

Drago is also more powerful as a villain because of the tension between Russia and America during the Cold War in the 80's. The movie is set up at a time when Russia was the most hated country in the world for the majority of Americans. This fact makes the conclusion, which sees the Russian crowd turn on Drago to cheer on a battered Rocky Balboa to victory, completely implausible. It does not change the fact that the movie is great underdog entertainment, however.

Terminator (1984)

Terminator is an action classic about a Robot sent from the future to kill Sarah Connor, who's son is a future leader of the human resistance to the artificially intelligent robots that control the world in 2029. Kyle Reese is a soldier sent back from the future to protect Sarah and save the hopes of the humans in the battle against the robot army. Arnold Schwartzenegger plays the role of the terminator, who looks like a human and is an efficient killing machine. The story is based around Sarah and Kyle trying to escape from the killing machine that is chasing them. After the terminator wreaks havok on a number of places trying to kill them, he is finally killed in the end, saving hopes for humanity in the future.
This movie is one of the best sci-fi action movies in history. Arnold plays his role of Terminator very well and is very realistic in his actions and the way he handles weapons. Even though he is portrayed as an evil robot, its hard not to like the Terminator, which is probably why the sequels to this movie have the Terminator as a good guy. The storyline is great as well, giving insight into the possible reprecussions of the governments rapid increase in technology developement. The film makes the idea of a future world controlled by robots believeable, and does it in a way that is amazingly entertaining. Also it the film where Arnold says "I'll be back"- do i really need to say any more?

1984 1984

1984, shot in 1984, is based on the novel 1984 by George Orwell. And if that's not enough "1984" for you, well then, I guess that's all I got.

Did I mention I was born in 1984?

"If you want a vision of the future, Winston, imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever" -- A quote

Anyway, the film is a pretty accurate depiction of the classic novel which I read in middle school. Actually, I skipped over the manifesto / social philosophy section of about twenty pages toward the end, but from what I remember the movie captures the novel's warning against totalitarianism and the plot increments pretty well.

The movie opens with large pictures of Big Brother on every aparment television and posters of his face on every wall. He's a mustached, hard-assed, squirmy Russian looking dude: hardly fear-invoking, but his powers over society suggest otherwise.

Winston has to avoid committing thought crimes or else Big Brother will take him away and reshape his thinking. The characters debate over the new language of simple speech where excess words are cut out and only the most efficient ways of speaking are allowed. This system aims to increase productivity and stifle creative thought for its citizens.

Well, you all probably know the story. It's similar to Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, and also is kind of like the newer film V for Vendetta. The only difference between the movie and the book is that the movie has lots and lots of nudity.

Calm down now--my roomate fell asleep both times we tried to watch it.

If you like misshapen breasts and pale, sickly skin then check it out.

In the end, the common theme of governments trying to reform prisoners instead of killing them comes in to play. They change Winston using "the worst thing in the world," which is different for everybody, so you'll have to watch to find out what that means for Winston.

Close attention and understanding of this film will probably make you vote Independent from now on.

Down with Big Brother and up with language! (That's not me talking--that's Orwell).

A link arguing that President G. W. Bush is a totalitarian again how Bush is a totalitarian

Weird Science

You may not think that there's much to Weird Science other than Oingo Boingo's legendary title track, but you'd be wrong. Actually, no, you wouldn't. While Weird Science is a classic example of an 80's teen comedy, it doesn't hold up to the test of time. It is the story of two young men, Gary (Anthony Michael Hall) and Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith), who use their geek powers to artificially create a supermodel friend who will do whatever they want. In other words, this movie is every teen's fantasy played out.

The boys create Lisa (Kelly LeBrock) in an attempt to become popular and get real girls to like them. She creates a series of events that force our heroes to grow up and stand up for themselves. One memorable scene involves a gang of biker dudes who crash the boys' party, inciting Gary to fire a gun at the ceiling. Looking back now, this is one of the silliest scenes in cinematic history. These biker guys look more like clowns than anything else. The scenes the following morning where Gary and Wyatt finally get their girls are among the cheesiest I've ever seen.

Of course, this movie has to be from the 80's if it stars Brat Pack-er Anthony Michael Hall. In this film, Hall acts high in one scene, one of the earliest times marijuana use was depicted in a teen comedy. I'd imagine the controversy surrounding this film was sky-high when it came out.

Scanners (1981)

Famous for having the first exploding head in a film, Scanners is a movie about telepathy in the future. During this time, there are telepathics in society that can control others minds and are imperceptible to those around them. The main character in the story is Cameron Vail, who is a homeless man that has the power of reading others minds. This power, known as scanning, however is not as great as it may scene, and is shown to be a burden that he has no way to get rid of. He is taken in by Dr. Paul Ruth who gives him Ephemoral, a powerful drug that can help scanners control their powers. The corporation that Ruth works for, Consec, wants to use Vail to stop Darryl Revok, another powerful scanner that is trying to give Ephemoral to pregnant women to make a group of super scanners.
The whole film feels gloomy and strange, yet it all seems to come together to make a movie that is a mix of gory horror and mysterious conspiricy. Having heard about the movie previously, i was ready for the strangeness that i was about to see. Because of this, I really enjoyed what i saw. I thought the film was very creative and the setting and mood really added to the overall story. Because of the creepiness that telepathy already brings to the story, the movie ends up being very interesting and a little bit scary. Although it may not be looked at as a classic, scanners is a movie from the 80's that really stands out.

The Elephant Man (1980)

Based of the true story of John Merrick, The Elephant Man is amazing, yet disturbing look into the treatment of people with physical disorders. John Merrick is introduced as a circus freak, treated like an animal by society and his "owner" because of the physical disfigurements all over his body. He is saved from this life by Dr. Frederick Treves, played by Anthony Hopkins. He is then taken to a hospital where Treves introduces him to society, and slowly makes him less uncomfortable when dealing with other people. It becomes apparent that John is a very intelligent and kind man, and all of the judments being made upon him really had no base in reality. He even builds an an amazing model of a church outside his window, showing how naturally talented he is. John slowly becomes comfortable with his new lifestyle, only to be taken back to the circus life against his will. He makes it back to the hospital eventually, and after a night of going to the opera, he feels that he had the best day in his life. He decides to sleep lying down, which kills him because of his physical disfigurements.
Its hard to understand the emotional aspects of the movie without actually watching it, but the film brings to light how easy it is to judge someone based on looks alone. The story of John Merrick makes one think of the way society treats others in similar situations, and the film does an amazing job of telling the story.

Stand By Me (1986)

What a phenominal, heart warming, coming-of-age film? Director Rob Reiner's film is brilliant. It captures to perfection the loyalty of four twelve-year-old friends. Stand By Me depicts true friendship so well with humorous exchanges, youthful atmosphere, and raw dialogue, not in the least bit watered down.

This film is a great portrayal of the pre-adolescent golden age, with its intense friendships, glowing curiosity and sense of adventure. It is an age just before adolescence, an age where it is still appropriate to be a kid and go on adventures. The sight of a dead body is all the more shocking through the eyes of the four youngsters.

Somewhere after the kindergarten construction paper project and glitter years and before the sexual obsessiveness and social growth of the teen years, there's a period in which your friends are all that is important, and nothing's more pressing than a good adventure.

Day of the Dead (1985)

Day of the Dead is George A Romero's last installment in his Zombie trilogy. With Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead as its predecessors, it's hard for this movie to live up to the success of the first two. Also, the movie's budget was cut short, causing Romero to make drastic screenplay changes that took out a great deal of the story.
However the film still does its job as a horror movie, creating a very creepy environment and using great special effects to show detailed zombie deaths. The film takes place five years after the original zombie takeover, and is set one of the last human bases that are left. The base is underground, with a big platform as the only way in or out. The inhabitants of the base are military officers and scientists that are looking for a way to cure the disease of zombies. Since there is testing inside, there are guarded and fenced sections of the base that are infested with zombies. This sets the scene for things to turn bad, and once zombies start getting out of their areas, the movie does a great job of showing the horror that comes from being trapped in a room full of zombies trying to eat you. There is not a lot of effort put into character development, and although this would be a very big problem in other movies, Day of the Dead uses it to its advatage by killing of a lot of the characters and putting a lot of detail into their deaths.

Animal House

Animal House is hands down one of the funniest movies I have ever seen. I love this movie because of it is so unlike all the other movies of its time.

I truly believe this movie was one of the main sparks to the start of the whole obnoxious humor movie revolution. Without this movie, I highly doubt any of my other favorite movies, such as Old School, Van Wilder, Wedding Crashers, Billy Madison, and other such movies, ever would have been made. This sense of humor is so funny to me. I love that they have no boundaries, and you never know what they are going to do or say next.

The story is basically about a fun-loving fraternity, who will take any and everyone. Everyone else hates them because they are so loud, disruptive, and disrespectful. They are especially hated by the Dean of the college, Dean Wormer, and another fraternity near them, of preppy white boys, who are trying to get them, kicked off campus.

John Belushi gives a performance of a lifetime in this movie. He is SO FUNNY in this movie, I love him. My favorite part in the movie, (along with many other people's I am sure) is the part where he is wearing the "college" sweatshirt, and downs an entire bottle of Jack Daniels. Yes, I am fully aware that this is obviously a very bad idea, but none the less, it is still very funny.

There are so many memorable quotes in the movie, you can’t even remember them all, but my all-time favorite is when Bluto gives his inspirational speech, telling the boys they much keep fighting...
"Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no! And it ain't over now. 'Cause when the goin' gets tough... the tough get goin'! Who's with me? Let's go! What the fuck happened to the Delta I used to know? Where's the spirit? Where are the guts, huh? "Ooh, we're afraid to go with you Bluto, we might get in trouble." Well just kiss my ass from now on! Not me! I'm not gonna take this. Wormer, he's a dead man! Marmalard, dead! Niedermeyer..."

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

When Star Wars Episode III came out two summers ago, I thought to myself, "Finally, a new Star Wars movie that compares to the old ones. This one didn't even have Ewoks in it." It only took me one more viewing of Return of the Jedi to realize I was completely wrong to even consider Episode III superior. Twenty years from now, no one will remember what Natalie Portman was wearing as Padme, yet everyone remembers Leia (Carrie Fisher) in her bikini. Return of the Jedi has left such a lasting impression on fans and film in general that it is impossible to fail to recognize its place in film history.

Return of the Jedi picks up where Empire Strikes Back left off, with Han Solo (Harrison Ford) frozen in carbonite in Jabba the Hutt's palace, Luke (Mark Hamill) attempting to save him before heading back to finish training with Yoda, and of course, the Emperor and Darth Vader's new plans to build an even stronger Death Star. The main plot of the movie, however, revolves around Luke's quest to bring his father back to the Light Side of the Force.

The main reason that this film is not considered by many fans to be on par with A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back is the fact that a good portion of the film deals with furry, little creatures known as Ewoks. Before Jar Jar Binks pissed off legions of Star Wars fans, Ewoks pissed off legions of Star Wars fans. They have no business playing as important a role as they do at the conclusion of the film. They are introduced halfway through, and they are the main contributors to the defeat of the stormtroopers on Endor. Why? George Lucas took a potentially legendary conclusion to a legendary franchise and took it down a few notches by trying to be cute.

The Little Mermaid

The little mermaid is a timeless classic. The story follows a young mermaid who wants nothing more than to be a human. She has grown tired of her life with fins, and wants a pair of legs to go up to the land and live among the humans. This is the classic story of someone not being satisfied with what they have. Everyone wants what they can't have, but Ariel is more than just the average person that will sit back and dream about the other side.

She decides to take her wants into her own hands and ends up making a "deal with the devil", also known as Ursula, the evil sea witch. In exchange for a pair of legs and a chance to be human, Ariel must go up on earth and she can stay there if she finds true loves kiss. The catch is, she doesn't have her voice. We watch her journey of learning how to interact with humans, and the norms of society, and see how eventually, true loves wins out yet again.

The animation in this film is great; again Disney successfully takes us into a new world we could only imagine, the world of the mer-people. The colors are beautiful, the songs are catchy, and the characters are loveable. The same applies to this movie as I have said about Beetlejuice and Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the movie takes us to a world that we know doesn’t really exists, but still brings the world to life and ignites our imaginations. I love movies that take place in unrealistic settings, but make them seem real, that reminds me of being a child, and really believing those places exist.

I like this movie because I remember it from when I was a kid, but watching it now, you can appreciate the messages the film really has to offer. The film is telling you, be happy with what you have, and even when you have differences with your family, because more often than not, they are the ones who will love you the most.

Oliver Stone's Platoon

Platoon is a portrayal of a soldier’s personal perspective of the Vietnam War. The story is about the 25th infantry division, and the true, raw life of Vietnam warfare, dedicated to the veterans. It is so raw and powerful; Stone depicts the conflict and struggle between characters extremely well. Many veterans can attest to the accuracy of the portrayal.

Chris Taylor is a young educated man who chooses to enlist to aid his country. Taylor is sent straight to the 25th Infantry Division a hard, experienced group. Certainly Taylor is not eased into the war, as he immediately faces hard work, harsh conditions, and unfriendly comrads. Life is constanly irritable: it is uncomfortable, days are long, and he cannot sleep. He is bitten by ants while traveling through the jungle, and is blamed for sleeping while on watch. An ambush occurs, but the North Vietnamese are unsuccessful.

He begins to miss home, and a feeling of nostalgia is consistant with every soldier. A common goal most soldiers seems to be doing the time and going home. Who can blame them? The atmosphere is completely hostile.

There are points in the film where Taylor clearly feels dead inside. The neverending downpour, sleepless nights in the dirt, the digging, the fox-like awareness (survival instincts,) and the heat are second nature, and he just wants out. The first person narrative voice over captures the struggle, and it is a brilliant addition to the film.

There are some huge ethical issues in the film, like the Vietnamese girl who would have been raped had Chris not intervened. There is a split between Barnes and O'neal; the soldiers are fighting themselves when they should be focused on the enemy. It is amazing to observe the most primitive human traits when forced into a world of violence and hatred. "She's not an animal" was the line Chris used to defend the girl. He remains moral while the majority does not. I believe it is because he is concious of life back home. There is peace in the world outside the enemy's territory; civility and morality exist, man should not resort to savagery. Chris is not overcome by insanity.

Many love this film for the combat scenes, the action, and the accuracy of the Vietnam War. I believe it is great because of the first person perspective that Stone uses to further emphasize the feeling of the young man in war. The voiceovers fit the film very well, balanced with the graphic intensity of the scenes. Pain, struggle, and inner conflict are portrayed nicely. There are also some beautifully executed scenes (Wolfe's relentlous retreat and ultimate death, for example.)

3 O’clock high (1987)

3 O’clock high is a good portrayal of high school bully’s. The entire movie is about one day in the life of Jerry Mitchell. I think the most comical scene of the movie is when Jerry brushes his teeth in the car and washes his mouth out with Coca-Cola.Everything is going wrong for Jerry: he is late to school, cant find clean clothes, gets his tires slashed, and gets picked on by Buddy. Buddy is the new kid, who just so happens to be the biggest and toughest bully in all of school. When Jerry is assigned to right an article in the school newspaper on Buddy he nearly has a heart attack. Jerry bumps into Buddy in the bath room and pats him on the shoulder. Jerry just did Buddy’s number one pet peeve, and has to fight Buddy at 3 o’clock. Ironically the film is entitled 3 O’clock High. Jerry spends the rest of the day trying to get out of school, and even steals the money from the book store just to pay another bully to protect him. The actual fight scene kind of upsets me. There is no way that Jerry would be able to win a fight against a guy as big as Buddy. It is also very unrealistic when Buddy beats up the principal. It also upsets me when Jerry chooses to hook up with his nerdy best friend instead of his gorgeous dream girl that finally wants him. I would have definitely picked the prettier one. The movie ends with Jerry finally being courageous, and leaves school being the hero.

Die Hard 2: Die Harder

Die Hard 2 finds Bruce Willis' John McClane stuck at Dulles Airport in Virginia waiting for his wife's plane. Also arriving at Dulles that day is General Esperanza (Franco Nero), a foreign drug dealer standing trial in America. Colonel Stuart (William Sadler), a former US military man turned evil, causes all sorts of shenanigans in the airport in an effort to free Esperanza. Of course, McClane stands in his way, and chaos ensues.
Let me begin by saying that Die Hard 2 is no Die Hard. It doesn't even compare to Die Hard with a Vengeance. The story, villains, acting, and action are not quite up to par with the other films in the trilogy. Col. Stuart and General Esperanza are your typical corrupt military men, nothing more and nothing less. This is a big difference from the first movie, where Alan Rickman brilliantly portrays Hans Gruber. They feebly attempt making Stuart seem unique and creepy by having him exercise naked in his hotel room before he arrives at the airport, but it doesn't quite work how they intended it. Stuart just comes off as a fruity terrorist, but not a real threat to our hero.

The acting also takes a turn for the worse, especially Art Evans and Fred Thompson as airport employees in the traffic tower. While neither has a pivotal role in the film, every line they deliver is worth a laugh or a cringe, depending on how you look at it.

Die Hard 2: Die Harder is an unworthy sequel to the original, going by the standard rules set for an average 80's action movie. The most memorable scene in the entire film is also the most riridiculous, a man getting stabbed in they eye with an icicle by McClane. The scene is reperesentative of the rest of the film, concentrating more on ridiculous violence and gore rather than interesting characters and a compelling plot.

First Blood (1982)

First Blood is the story of John Rambo, played by Sylvester Stallone, who is a Vietnam war veteran wandering throught the northeastern United States. The film starts with him going to the house of one of his friends in the war, only to find out that he has recently passed away. He then goes into a small town and is picked up by the sherriff. After a small tussle, a sequence of events puts Rambo in the wilderness, hunted by the police, army and the national guard. Because he was a green beret in Vietnam, Rambo is able to live off the wilderness and battle with everyone that tries to catch him.
After dodging the law in the wild and escaping death on more than one occasion, Rambo takes the one man war into town. He takes the police station, kills the sheriff and is ready to fight the army before Colonol Traughtman, who was his commanding officer in the war stops him. Rambo ends up breaking down in front of him, telling him how hard it is to go on living after the war. He finally surrenders and is taken away by the Colonol.
This movie is very well done, with a great storyline along with intense action. Adapted from David Morells 1972 novel and directed by Ted Kotcheff, First Blood is not only an action film, but a look at the hardships in the lives of Vietnam Vets after the war.

Beetle Juice

Starring: Alec Baldwin and Gena Davis

Beatle Juice still haunts my dreams. In the first dream I can ever remember Beetle Juice reached down with his dirty and creepy hands and grabbed my face. I immediately woke up and ran down to my parents’ room screaming. This movie is about a married couple (Barbera and Adam) that die, and once dead, a new family comes to buy there house. Barbera and Adam are now ghosts, and become very unhappy when this family begins to live in their house. The neurotic mother tries to change everything in the house with her ugly artwork, which further upsets Barbera and Adam. They try to do everything to get this family out of there house, but it just does not work. When they have no other option, they wake Beetle Juice from his grave by saying Beetle Juice three times. Beetle Juice is quite possibly the creepiest character of any 80’s film. His greenish and unshaven face makes me want to vomit. In one scene, his arms turn into snake like creatures as he terrorizes the newly settled in family. Another creepy character is the daughter, Lydia. Lydia talks very slowly, and is whiter than a piece of computer paper. She always dresses in all black and wears weird clothes, it creeps me out.

Predator (1987)

Predator stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as a member of a Special Forces unit sent deep into the jungle to rescue a hostage. What he and his crew don't realize is that an alien is following them through the jungle, hunting them. When they realize what is happening, a series of battles between the predator and the men until only Arnold is left to fight the monster in a great battle at the end of the film.
Predator is a classic sci-fi action movie with an interesting story, good characters and great action. The special effects in this movie seem to be ahead of their time and the Predator is one of the best evil aliens that has ever been put on screen. There are also a lot of creative additions to the film, one of the best being the Predator's technology. One of the first things we see of the predator is the infra-red vision that he can see people's body warmth with. Along with this, he has a shoulder cannon that rotates and fires wherever he needs it to.

One of the best parts of the film is the last battle between Arnold and the Predator. Covered in mud so that he will not be picked up by the predator's infra-red vision, Arnold makes a series of traps and weapons from natural resources. After a great action sequence, he finally kills the alien and is rescued and taken out of the jungle.

Pretty In Pink By Elyse Lightner

Talk about a stereotype of an 80s film- this one has it all: the upper-class boy who falls for a poor girl and has to face being ridiculed by his friends, and the prom. Sounds oddly similar to the film “She’s All That” where Freddy Prince Junior and Andrew McCarthy are the attractive rich boys that have previously disposed of women at their will. Molly Ringwald and Rachael Leigh Cook are the girls from the wrong side of the tracks that have no interest in going to prom and loath the preppy boys at school that they end up going with. Somewhere within these quirky circumstances the girls fall in love with their previous nemesis only to discover that she is a bet or placed on the back burner because she is too low class for her so called date.
The ethical question has been raised in this and many other similar films of whether or not the boys should stay with the girl. Should they take the utilitarian approach and dump the girls? This approach is much easier and would please more people and make the boys’ life run a little bit smoother but would ruin the chance of maybe finding love. The alternative is to take the ethical egoist approach and say, “screw you all, I’m happy and I’ll do what I want.” The movies all end up the same though and ultimately the men choose the latter. Love always withstands setbacks in 80s films.

For all those Pretty in Pink super fans out there, this is the site for you.

And a whole lot of pictures from the production of the film!

The Shining By Elyse Lightner

Shining: holding a conversation without ever opening your mouth

I have to argue that what makes this movie exceptionally scary is the use of music. Many times throughout the film the music sounds like a heart-beat like when Danny rides his tricycle over the carpet and then over the hard wood floors. This pulsing noise creates suspense especially when the pace keeps growing faster and faster. Another time that the noises sound like a heart beat is when Jack continuously throws the tennis ball against the wall out of anger; the growing suspense leads the viewer to believe that Jack is getting closer and closer to snapping and going crazy. Loud noises also make suspense like when Jack pounds on his typewriter in the great room where the noises echo off the walls. Since there is constant music throughout the entire film, the few times that there is silence is terrifying because it is out of the norm musically and the characters in the film are about to do something abnormal. A scene in the movie where there is silence and also suspenseful is when Jack says, “ Here’s Jonny!”
Another strategy of making suspense is the use of long, five minute, shots that follow a character around for the duration of the shot. The reason this is scary is because we don’t know which corner Jack is hiding behind and the viewer actually feels like he is sneaking around the hotel with Danny trying to avoid Jack. Another creepy method utilized in the film is the use of the dissolve when the scenes change. When the changes do occur, its possible to see both the old scene and the new one simultaneously making it seem as though the old scene is ghost-like and transparent. What a perfect film to watch during Halloween time!