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The Crucible (1996)
Not a horror film, but still horrifying
The Crucible is a horrifying film, not because of any witchcraft or devil worship, but because it portrays the terrifying idea that the innocent can be falsely accused, and a group of deceitful people, if united, can create whatever truth they want. The filmmakers have done a good job of bringing Arthur Miller's play to the big screen, and the performances, while occasionally melodramatic, give the movie a sense of realism. The Crucible was relevant in the days of McCarthyism and it still feels pertinent today.
Witchfinder General (1968)
A brutal fictionalized historical account
Witchfinder General is an interesting horror movie because it's based on historical figures. The real fear doesn't come from witches, but from an evil man, full of pride, who turns his personal agenda and biases into a divine calling. This is a brutal movie, especially for 1968, which is somewhat off-putting, but it's also fascinating to see Vincent Price in a different role than normal.
A magically unfunny mess!
The movie Bewitched takes its audience to a magical world where logic doesn't exist, and characters can mysteriously change levels of intelligence depending on what the story needs. Seriously, who thought it was a good idea to do an adaptation of the classic TV show Bewitched where they're remaking the Bewitched, but characters from the fake TV show also seem to exist in real life? It just doesn't make sense. I'm embarrassed for everyone who was involved with this mess.
Practical Magic (1998)
An expensive magical mess
I think that if the makers of Practical Magic spent as much time on the story that they did on the soundtrack, it would have been a much better movie. The charm of Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman can only take you so far, after all. This movie cost more to make than Saving Private Ryan, which came out the same year, and I'm still trying to figure out where all that money went. What a magical mess!
Bell Book and Candle (1958)
A slow burn that goes exactly where you think it will
Bell, Book and Candle may have been released the same year as Vertigo, but the flame between the two leads, Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak, seems to have extinguished. Both seem to be sleepwalking through their roles, and the story is a very slow burn that ends up going exactly where you thought it would. I wanted to like this movie more than I did.
This movie doesn't know what it is
The problem with Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is that it doesn't know it's audience. The R-rated content just doesn't seem right for the silly premise and material. Additionally, the gadgets and weapons feel like something out of a futuristic action flick. I like the look of the witches, though, and there are some enjoyable moments. I don't think it's a good movie, but I also didn't hate it as much as I thought I was going to.
The Woods (2006)
The Woods tried to make me fall asleep
I think The Woods was trying to hypnotize me. Characters spoke in soft, monotone voices and there were long, drawn-out moments of whispers and silence. Plus, it's kind of boring, as the mystery of it all grows tired after the first hour. The final reveal was also fairly lackluster. It's no wonder that the studio decided not to release this movie in theaters.
Night of the Eagle (1962)
This spell is stretched too thin
Burn, Witch, Burn feels like a 30-minute episode of Twilight Zone stretched into 90 minutes. There's a lot of unnecessary filler and repetitive plot points. It's an interesting concept, though, and there are some suspenseful moments. It just needed a stronger third act and it could have been something special.
Season of the Witch (2011)
Funny, but not a comedy
The most interesting part of Season of the Witch is how Nicholas Cage seems to be acting in a completely different movie than the rest of the cast. His lines and mannerisms make it feel like he's a time traveler stuck in medieval times. It's funny to watch, but I don't think this dull medieval tale was intended to be a comedy. In fact, I don't think this movie knows what it is. One thing's for sure, though-it's definitely not good.
I Married a Witch (1942)
Charming & innocent fun
Perhaps it's just that I was bewitched by the charms of Veronica Lake, but I enjoyed I Married a Witch. Despite the silly plot and cheesy special effects, I still found this movie to be entertaining. It's innocent Halloween-themed fun that the whole family can enjoy together.
The Witch is truly spellbinding when it comes to cinematography and the use of sound. It makes you feel unsettled when nothing is happening at all. However, after it's over, when you start to examine the story and the characters, it all starts to unwind. It seems like an experimental film, intended to evoke emotion rather than tell a story. I'm not saying it's not effective, I'm just saying it wasn't for me.
Beautiful Creatures (2013)
Some Beautiful Creatures deserve to be put down.
I know that Beautiful Creatures is based off a young adult novel, but I'm convinced that this movie was also written, directed and produced by teens-it's a mess. I felt like I was missing something the whole time, even though the characters were cramming as much exposition into their dialogue as humanly (or Casterly) possible. And the overly melodramatic acting was only overshadowed by the terrible southern accents and sloppy editing. Wow. Some Beautiful Creatures deserve to be put down.
The African Queen (1951)
A pleasant journey with two iconic actors
The African Queen is a simple story carried downriver by two iconic actors. This may not be the best role either Humphrey Bogart or Katherine Hepburn have ever done, but they play so well off each other that it makes for an enjoyable journey. The fact that they actually shot parts of this film in Africa added some authenticity, as well. I was pleasantly surprised by this movie.
Yo-ho! Yo-ho! A pirate's life for me!
I remember when I first heard that they were making a movie based on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, I was very skeptical. However, the first time I saw it, it blew me away, and it still holds up after all these years. None of the sequels have the same magic this one does. The Curse of the Black Pearl is unique, it's thrilling, it's comedic, it's everything you want an adventure movie to be. Drink up me hearties, yo-ho!
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
Not as STELLA-r as I expected
The most impressive thing in A Streetcar Named Desire is the sets, because I have no idea how they held up with all of the actors chewing on the scenery. To be honest, I'm having a hard time understanding how this film became a classic. Maybe Marlon Brando's performance was groundbreaking then, but it's been mimicked so many times since that it doesn't hold the same power. I don't know, this film just wasn't as Stella-r as I expected.
I believe in Yesterday
In My Life, I've always been a fan of The Beatles. There's also Something about Danny Boyle's and Richard Curtis' work that I like, so my enjoyment of Yesterday was almost inevitable. The story, the music and the performances all Come Together in this film, along with its uplifting message that All You Need Is Love. This movie is not a Revolution of filmmaking, and I might not want to watch it Eight Days a Week, but I Feel Fine about recommending Yesterday, and I've Got a Feeling others Across the Universe would feel the same.
Messy, boring, repetitive and confusing
I've seen a few Godzilla movies now, and I have to say that none of them have impressed me that much. Godzilla: King of the Monsters is no exception. The story doesn't make any sense, despite the actors trying their hardest to make it make sense. The giant monster fights really should have been the saving grace of this action movie, but they are mostly obscured and it's hard to tell what's going on. Maybe fans will like this Titan showdown, but I remain unimpressed.
No real diamonds in the rough here
The problem with the live-action version of Aladdin is that it seems to be trying to "fix" things in the animated version that don't really need fixing. In fact, the changes they made weaken the story. The updated versions of the songs made me miss the original ones, and the new songs were completely forgettable. While Naomi Scott was fine, and Will Smith didn't annoy me, there were no diamonds in the rough. This film, overall, feels absolutely unnecessary.
Interesting, but not as important as many claim
Network is a lot different than I expected it to be. Instead of a straightforward newsroom drama, it's hyperbolic satire. It's strangely unsettling that this 1976 film predicted the sensationalized media of today. However, the strong beginning and end of this story are bogged down by a slow and repetitive second act. There's also no anchor point, as every character is generally unlikeable. I'm glad I finally saw Network, but I don't quite understand its prominent legacy in film history.
Stand by Me (1986)
Stand by Me affected me greatly when I watched it as a kid, and it still has that effect on me as an adult. This group of kids reminds me of my friends growing up. We never sought out a dead body, but we had similar outdoor adventures and conversations before we grew apart. The acting feels genuine, the story is simple, yet compelling and the movie is one I'll never forget.
The Mask (1994)
Goofy, silly, dark fun
I loved The Mask when it first came out. It feels a little dated now, but I still enjoy it, and it still appeals to kids. This movie is an odd mixture. The goofy story bounces along without any care, but it also has a darker and violent side that I didn't really notice as a kid. Still, it's easy to see why this movie helped catapult Jim Carrey into stardom.
The Illusionist (2006)
Not as PRESTIGE-ious as other movies
One of main problems with The Illusionist is that is tries to stay grounded in reality, but the illusions are too fantastical to believe. It's also too melodramatic. This movie feels like a soap opera, both in story and in acting. I tried my best to not compare this film to The Prestige, which was released a couple months after The Illusionist, but this is definitely the weaker of the two.
One great song wrapped in a mediocre movie
Pocahontas is one great song wrapped in mediocre movie. After The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin, it seemed that Walt Disney Animation Studios could do no wrong, but this appears to be when Disney passed the torch of quality films with heart over to Pixar, since this came out the same year as Toy Story.
The Great Outdoors (1988)
Not a great 80s comedy, but a memorable one
The Great Outdoors isn't one of the great comedies of the 80s, but it's a memorable one. It features some John Hughes touchstones, yet it's missing the magic of most of his films. Additionally, the scenes feel more like a series of skits put together than one cohesive story. John Candy and John Aykroyd seem to be having a good time, though.
Goofy, silly fun
What a goofy, silly, wonderful movie! I used to watch this one all the time as a kid, so it may be the nostalgia talking, but it still holds up well. I was smiling almost the entire time. It was a bit slower than I remember, and my kids may not have enjoyed it as much as I did, but this is probably my favorite Beatles movie.