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Worth adding to "To Watch" list, but not amazing
Overall, The Professional was a good watch. I was particularly impressed by Natalie Portman's acting - especially considering it was her first major on-screen appearance. I also liked how it wasn't necessarily a happy ending - Leon dies at the hands of the main antagonist.
The characters were a bit exaggerated, especially the main antagonist.
The plot moved along at a decent speed, as there were minimal lull. The actions scenes, however, bordered on unbelievable. It's better than Rambo-style shooting scenes, but it is a bit ridiculous that Leon could take on so many enemies at once.
I did not like the "romance" between Mathilda and Leon - or, at least, how Mathilda thought that she was in love in Leon. Really weird. Not sure what it added to the movie.
All-around terrific - perfect family movie
I really enjoyed this movie. Besides the fact that I love cars, there's so much that was done really well with this movie: 1) really well thought out plot with some unexpected twists and turns and linkages throughout. enough depth that it is worth watching a second time to pick up on some things I initially missed. 2) unexpected outcome of the movie 3) I liked the way that it ended versus a typical "protagonist wins the competition" ending 4) great character development over the course of the movie 5) these animated characters really have a personality! 6) beautiful animated scenery highlighting some beautiful areas of the US 7) nice highlight of the significance of Route 66
The only reason that I didn't give it a 10 is that I'm a pretty literal person and I sometimes found the personification of cars a little bothersome. But, it's an animated movie - so I need to get over it.
Das Leben der Anderen (2006)
Suspenseful, Captivating, Sad - A Touching Story
I am surprised I hadn't heard about this movie when it came out - just learned about it last month (Jan 2011), especially considering that it is so good. Granted, it's a foreign film, but I remember other good foreign films (Life is Beautiful, Amelie) getting more press.
The story was suspenseful, captivating, sad...and touching. The acting was superb, across the board. Casting was perfect.
The movie does a great job of portraying the grip that the communist government in GDR had on its citizens. The control of everything from what people could purchase to what art was allowed really came through in the movie. It also made me appreciate the relative freedom and privacy that we have in the US (or, at least, what I think I have - haven't checked whether my apartment is bugged).
In summary, this is a must-see movie.
Sunset Blvd. (1950)
a movie that was ahead of its time
I must say that I have always thought that most older movies simply couldn't portray the same level of depth as the best movies of today. Hollywood was younger, acting was less "developed", and there were not nearly as many movies back then as there were now.
But, this movie...wow. It was so bizarre, so unpredictable, so full of emotion and tension, so well acted.....so enjoyable. It's hard to believe that it was made 60 years ago.
The movie kept my attention the whole time...I felt that the twists in the plot (even though you know the end game from the start) and the dialogue were superb.
Gangs of New York (2002)
dragged on and on...and on...
I like the historical significance of the movie. And the acting, especially by Daniel Day Lewis, was very impressive.
But, to me, the story never fully grasped me, although, at times, I thought it was going to get interesting. But, with Amsterdam plotting and then failing to kill William...then forming his own group...and all the back and forth and elections and this and that and...get to the end of the movie!
I know, this is not a particularly well-written review, but, I just couldn't get into this movie...and, therefore, I really didn't enjoy it, either.
Get Low (2009)
Great Acting and Character Development, Still Not An Interesting Movie
I decided to watch this movie on a flight from LA to Atlanta because Bill Murray was in it. I really enjoy most recent Bill Murray movies because they tend to have subtle humor, creative plots, and quirky characters. I had a hard time watching Get Low, however.
Don't get me wrong, there are many aspects of this movie that are commendable. The characters all had real-life personalities that were portrayed through artful dialogue and impressive acting.
But, to me, the long build up and the sometimes seemingly irrelevant and boring scenes were not worth watching to get to the end of the movie. It was anticlimactic, to say the least.
Team America: World Police (2004)
Creative, Hilarious, and Raunchy Political Commentary
Although I was laughing throughout the whole movie thanks to the dialogue, the impersonations, and the plot, I felt that most impressive part of the movie to me was the puppetry.
It's not that the marionettes was particularly exceptional in quality (not that I have anything to compare it with) - it's just that it was very unique...and that it was an essential piece of the overall ridiculousness and hilarity of the movie.
Despite the vulgar language and raunchy scenes, the movie's underlying message was that of an political and social commentary (albeit overly simplified). Trey Parker's ability to hit on all levels is impressive in this movie.
Kiss of the Dragon (2001)
Enjoyable action, weak plot
I like the characters that Jet Li plays in his movies; they are quiet, confident, efficient, compassionate, yet unbelievably lethal. In Kiss of the Dragon, Li plays such a role extremely well, although it can be argued that it does not take extreme levels of acting skill to do so. Regardless, watching Li in the fight scenes is quite addictive.
Unfortunately, the character development and plot could use further development. The one-sided nature of almost every character is a bit unbelievable. Furthermore, the movie ended abruptly and with no conclusion about the impact of the tape of the crime. Granted, the main villain was killed at the end, but it seems that there was a constant emphasis on the whereabouts of the tape until the end.
But, it's an action movie and the fights take center stage. In that arena, Kiss of the Dragon definitely succeeds.
Rating : 6