Thursday, November 29, 2012

100 Movies - Number 2! (1-10)

10. Spiderman 2
Genre - Action-Fantasy
Notable Cast - Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Alfred Molina
Synopsis - Peter Parker tries to quit in an effort to enhance his education and love life, but a mad man is created and intent on destroying the city.
What I think - Might be my favorite superhero movie of all time. I love everything from the action(especially the train sequence) to the stakes to the ending. Sets up the third movie in a great way. Molina brings it. The aunt is really annoying in this movie. Harry acts very unnatural, not in a good way.
Interesting fact - Highest one day opening, 5th highest grossing of all time, 2nd widest release of all time.
How much did this movie make - 9 thousand years of butler service

9. The Fighter
Genre - Biography-Drama
Notable Cast - Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale
Synopsis - A fighter decides it's better to train without his drug addicted brother
What I think - Great introduction to Dicky's world. There are tough moments I had real problems watching - in prison when he finds out the documentary isn't what he thought. Satisfiying and lives up the hype. The character arc is great. The acting is excellent - especially the mother.
Interesting fact - The documentary about Bale's Dicky Eklund was an actual documentary.
How much did this movie make - 1.3 battleships

8. Iron Man
Genre - Action Adventure
Notable Cast - Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges
Synopsis - After escaping from kidnappers using armor he makes in a cave, a wealthy inventor and weapons maker turns his creation into a force for good.
What I think - The ending fight is uninspiring. Jeff Bridges character goes from friendly to completely evil way too quick. But other than that a great ride. Downey brings something amazing to the role and he makes it impossible to cast another in the suit. Awesome scenes of the suit being developed. They tease the Mandarin and don't follow up (yet...) :)
Interesting fact - A fake chest was used for the arc reactor.
How much did this movie make - 11.6 million horse saddles

7. Fellowship of the Ring
Genre - Fantasy-Adventure
Notable Cast - Sean Bean, Christopher Lee, Cate Blanchett
Synopsis - When a hobbit ends up with the one ring of doom, he must travel to mordor to destroy it.
What I think - When I first watched this, I didn't know it was going to be three movies though I realized the ring had to be destroyed to end. So I was confused on where it was going near the end. The three hobbits motivations and relationships aren't really explored to be behaving the way they do. Sean Bean does a terrific Boromir and looking back the things that they changed made lots of sense. Remarkable introduction. The Nazgul chase and the council of Elrond are the things that stick out.
Interesting fact - 540 special effects
How much did this movie make - 695 thousand new bikes

6. The Avengers
Genre - Action Adventure
Notable Cast - Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo
Synopsis - Superheros unite to stop Loki and an alien race.
What I think - Never before has a movie brought together a cast like this - except maybe Harry Potter but that more or less had a plan(and unknown actors) going in. The action scenes obviously are top notch. The comedic elements are extraordinary. It makes it hard to go back to a Captain America movie or even Thor. I love the reveal at the end. The How I Met Your Mother woman bugs me. The best thing that they get right is the Hulk. They know how to use him here - comedic, only chunks at a time. While we get a great performance, one still wonders what Edward Norton could have brought.
Interesting fact - Edward Norton was originally set to reprise his role from The Incredible Hulk but negotiations between him and Marvel Studios broke down. Joaquin Phoenix was also rumored for the part.
How much did this movie make - 14.6 million years of Sam's Club membership

5. The Dark Knight Rises
Genre - Action-Crime
Notable Cast - Christian Bale, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway
Synopsis - After 8 years since Rachel dies, Bruce tries to stay out of the spotlight but gets pulled back in when Bane takes over Gotham.
What I think - Ends on a fantastic note for me. Some things don't make sense, but that doesn't hold it back from being incredible for me. Long running time that might be a problem on re-watches. I love Tom Hardy and his voice much more than most people. The action scenes - Batman doesn't show up until half way through the movie are only okay. Bane gets taken out way too easy and anti-climatically. The turn is my least favorite part as it didn't really fit nor was needed.
Interesting fact - Same setup as Goodwill Hunting
How much did this movie make - 1 and half satellites

4. Star Trek
Genre - Sci-Fi-Adventure
Notable Cast - Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Eric Bana
Synopsis - When a romulan goes through a time portal he finds himself in the past staring at the original crew of the enterprise.
What I think - Follows the every other movie is good mantra. They did the most important thing right - casting. You would be hard to think of many other people than the ones they did. Kirk and Spock especially are my favorites. The story is kind of strange - Nimoy makes it feel like a ST movie but almost imposes in on it. Bana's character is probably the weakest point - not a great or memorable villain and needed some more screen time.
Interesting fact - This is Leonard Nimoy's first live-action film role since Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
How much did this movie make - 770,000 pairs of new tires

3. The Two Towers
Genre - Fantasy-Adventure
Notable Cast - Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom, Sean Astin
Synopsis - When isengard and mordor attack middle earth, rohan must battle back
What I think - The battle for Helms Deep might be the greatest large action battle ever. Gandalf was a great surprise as well as Theoden. The ents were done well. Near the end they get to summarizing quite a bit. Gollum is exceptional here. It probably has the least narrative and, story progression of the three.
Interesting fact - 799 special effects
How much did this movie make - 232,000 acres of farm land

2. The Dark Knight 
Genre - Action-Crime
Notable Cast - Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Christopher Nolan(D)
Synopsis - When the mob can't stop Batman, they decide to hire the Joker who methodically tries to determine the identity of Batman.
What I think - Ledger's performance as the Joker is going to be timeless and legendary. Rachel was a surprise. The final two action scenes(boat and building) make the movie long and it almost would have been better split into another movie. The two Imax scenes are astounding - the beginning and the sky hook scenes. Two face is a great addition though gets wrapped up pretty quickly.
Interesting fact - The Joker gives a Jerry Maguire quote, "You complete me."
How much did this movie make - Funding for Obama's election

1. Return of The King
Genre - Fantasy-Adventure
Notable Cast - Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Peter Jackson (D)
Synopsis - Sam and Frodo reach mount doom. The mordor army reaches minar tirith in an attempt to destroy the world of men.
What I think - The characters come to life - Gandalf, Sam, Gollum, the steward, Aragorn. The thirty endings do get tiring. Ghosts seem out of place in this world. The Eowyn-Nazgul fight rules. Groundbreaking conclusion.  The extended cut makes the movie better to me as it explains much more. The scale is huge. The spider fight is entertaining.
Interesting fact - 1488 special effects
How much did this movie make - 1.4 skyscrapers

Monday, November 26, 2012

Top 33 Movie Sword Fighters

I put this list together in like 2 minutes - so if they are out of order then they probably are.

33. Sir Knolte - Black Knight
A little out of his prime, and drunk.

32. Alexander The Great
Decent fighter. Held his own in lots of battles.

31. The Prince of Persia
He did need a redo to win the day.

30. Yu Shu Lien - Crouching Tiger
Crazy law of physics-less moves.

29. Theseus - Immortals
Born of Zeus or Poseidon - you are a good fighter.

28. Robin Hood
Destroyed the sheriff in one movie. Took out Sir Guy in another. And lead his own battle in a third.

27. Batman
Does lots of things well - including sword fighting though he doesn't display this after movie 1.

26. Nathan Algren - The Last Samurai
Probably trained too late to be truly great.

25. Athos - The 3 Musketeers
Probably the best fighter of the four. Doesn't have the drawbacks - seems to have more power.

24. James Bond
Master of all weapons though hand to hand not his specialty.

23. Bowen - Dragonheart
He took a dragon to the limit - nuff said.

22. Balian de Ibelin - Kingdom of Heaven
Classic knight - won many a battle.
21. William Turner - Pirates of the Caribbean
Not sure why I think this version of Orlando Bloom is a better fighter, but seemed to do more.

20. Blade
Single-handedly keeps the vampire population under control.

19. Connon MacLeod - The Highlander
Being immortal gives you perks but still held his own against other immortals.

18. William Wallace - Braveheart
Great fighter but not almighty.

17. Neo - The Matrix
Moving faster doesn't necessarily make you a better sword fighter. But still awesome.

16. Darth Sideous - Star Wars
Took out 4 jedi in like 3 mintues. Even had the advantage against Yoda.

15. Sir Lancelot
Every version of him is basically dominating.

14. Xena Warrior Princess
Rarely on the downside of any fight.

13. Mad Martigan - Willow
Killed the opposing general as well as the hydra all while being a nincompoop.

12. Zorro
Greatest swashbuckler.

11. Dread Pirate Roberts - Princess Bride
Basically Zorro but with more arrogance.

10. The Count of Monte Cristo
Didn't have anything to do in prison except swordplay.

9. Perseus - Clash of the Titans
Took out Ares, Medusa, the Kracken, some scorpions and some other demons.

8. John Preston - Equilibrium
Very Neo like in that he just moves so quick.

7. Conan The Barbarian
Like Xena - never in any real danger in a fight - just too busy keeping his friends alive.

6. Hero
Everyone in this movie - like House of Flying Daggers or Crouching Tiger defies gravity.

5. Maximus - Gladiator
Hasn't killed anyone who didn't deserve it. Everyone deserved it.

4. King Leonidas - 300
More of a spear guy, but there are few people you would rather have on your team.

3. Achilles - Troy
Probably on par with Theseus, but was much nastier.

2. Aragorn - Lord of the Rings
Slaughterer of all orcs everywhere.

1. The Bride - Kill Bill
Killed the entire viper gang as well as the entire Yakuza gang with little effort.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

100 Movies - Number 2! (11-20)

20. Good Will Hunting
Genre - Drama
Notable Cast - Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Ben Affleck
Synopsis - A professor discovers that an janitor is also a math genius, and a therapist helps the young man confront the demons that are holding him back.
What I think - Damon's character is one that we want to like, but he keeps making the wrong decisions. We want to see him succeed but he just can't get it together. It isn't until we get to Robin Williams that the movie takes the turn that we want. Pleasant movie to watch. I would have prefered the cliche finished ending, but the bar and therapy scenes more than make up for it.
Interesting fact - Minnie Driver, who I hadn't seen in anything before was super cute. Stellan SkarsgÄrd from the Avengers also surprised me. I suppose these aren't interesting nor facts. Too bad.
How much did this movie make - 451 million pounds of bananas

19. Batman
Genre - Fantasy-Crime
Notable Cast - Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger
Synopsis - Bruce Wayne tries to make a name for himself when the Joker immerges threatening the city.
What I think - The beginning of understanding that a dark Batman is the way to go opposed to the campy version. Nicholson is iconic here as the Joker. Plot is a straightforward one but satisfying. The end of the movie gets long but they take appropriate measures to make sure things get wrapped up nicely. There is a scene with Bruce getting shot in Vicki's apartment - but then he just leaves afterwards - which doesn't make much sense. Overall excellent movie.
Interesting fact - Michael Keaton casting as Bruce Wayne/Batman caused a controversy amongst comic book fans, with 50,000 protest letters sent to Warner Bros. offices.
How much did this movie make - 15% of a new casino

18. Minority Report
Genre - Sci-Fi-Mystery
Notable Cast - Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Max von Sydow
Synopsis - Precrime has stopped violent crimes in the future, but it comes under fire when a precrime cop finds out he is to commit murder.
What I think - The beginning and the chase scenes are awesome rides. It gets very heavy handed at moments. The climax never worked very well with me - it's all based on assumption that he was going to kill John. Nothing ever gets called in - though we see it - it's still weak. Magnificent set pieces and some great ideas for the future - including the blind surgery, spiders, ads. Agatha just slows the movie down when she shows up, though Colin is excellent. The kidnapped boy drug angle was probably not done in the best way. 
Interesting fact - Originally a Total Recall sequel.
How much did this movie make - 179,000 of the best talking parrots

17. Transformers
Genre - Action-Sci-Fi
Notable Cast - Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Jon Voight
Synopsis - Alien robots find themselves on earth looking for the source of their race.
What I think - First effort that was wise in lots of ways. Sure we all complain about Bay now, this movie was by far the best effort. We get a rise out of the beginning scene. The characters are likable though many aren't needed. Jazz was about a third of the size of Megatron - so they kept things realistic in spite of the cartoon. The action scenes can be the worst part. Too many close ups to really tell what's going on, too fast to tell even who is fighting at times. Love they got Optimus Primes voice, and the family's interaction is good comic relief from everything going on.
Interesting fact - To keep the film realistic and under budget, the U.S. Department of Defense provided their support towards the film's production, the largest project they have assisted since Black Hawk Down.
How much did this movie make - 708 million pieces of bubble gum

16. Moneyball
Genre - Biography-Drama
Notable Cast - Brad Pitt, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jonah Hill
Synopsis - Baseball player turned GM with less money to spend tries an unconventional tatic.
What I think - Not entirely realistic portrayal of Billy Beane. We know going on that it doesn't end well - The A's never win. But it ends on a great note. Pitt's interactions are the best part. Though the movie is cut between flashbacks of his playing career which is completely unnecessary except to fill time. If they didn't have the reminiscing then this would be just as moving while making it more interesting. There are almost two separate movies. The baseball stats part of it was great to me.
Interesting fact - First baseball movie to be nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award (Oscar) since Field of Dreams twenty-two years earlier.
How much did this movie make - 68,000 new pinball machines

15. Scarface
Genre - Crime-Thriller
Notable Cast - Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer
Synopsis - Rise and fall of a cuban refugee to drug kingpin.
What I think - Al Pacino's best movie - yes Godfather. Some of the highest quality of film making. The ending obviously is awesome. Everything with his sister works. All the scenes with Michelle slow the main story down.
Interesting fact - F-bomb 226 times
How much did this movie make - 275,000 tours of Chernobyl

14. Warrior
Genre - Action-Drama
Notable Cast - Tom Hardy, Nick Nolte, Joel Edgerton
Synopsis - Brothers – a soldier awol and a school teacher pursue their dreams in MMA
What I think - The greatest part is that you don't know who is going to win. You route for both guys, both have their own motivations. The movie does the correct thing. Both are way too mad at their father which gets old in Edgertons case. No one is really happy throughout.
Interesting fact - Joel Edgerton tore his MCL during production, halting fight scenes for six weeks. Tom Hardy suffered a broken toe, broken ribs, and a broken finger.
How much did this movie make - 5 and a half million games of bowling

13. The Amazing Spider-Man
Genre - Action-Fantasy
Notable Cast - Emma Stone, Denis Leary, Martin Sheen
Synopsis - Peter Parker discovers his new powers while going after Gwen Stacy and hunting the Lizard.
What I think - They do away with Leary and Sheen, but was it done that well, not so sure. Parker breaks his promise to Leary's character almost immediately. Stone looks way too old to play a high school-er now. Some of the action scenes were clever. Solid job - much better than S3. I've pondered over the last scene in the movie as we really don't know who it is. Garfield is likeable. The reveal to Stone's character that Parker is Spider-man was not nearly as great as the original. Lizard was nothing special for a villain.
Interesting fact - First Spider-man movie without Mary Jane.
How much did this movie make - 4,000 average houses

12. Spider-Man
Genre - Action-Fantasy
Notable Cast - Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst and Willem Dafoe
Synopsis - When Peter Parker gets bitten by a radioactive spider, he gets new powers which allows him to take on a new villain.
What I think - Marvelous adaptation of bringing the web slinger to the big screen. People complain about little things - web shooters not being natural, Goblins helmet. I like these elements. Green Goblin's monologues are fantastic, the action scenes are great. Dafoe is the perfect crazy guy. We don't get completely behind Dunst in this movie as she isn't really likeable.
Interesting fact - They painted a spider red and blue.
How much did this movie make - 273 thousand swords

11. Batman Begins
Genre - Action Adventure
Notable Cast - Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman
Synopsis - Bruce Wayne wants to fight corruption and the league of shadows and decides he can do it as a symbol. 
What I think - After Batman and Robin any movie was going to be better. This was an expert take by Nolan who in hind sight was a slam dunk. This movie has two villains but neither one of them are the catchy headliner that you would put Batman up against. The creation of Batman the character as well as in Wayne's head is a great journey. The end fight wasn't great, but the use of the city as a character was a great idea. The fight for the city will be a reoccurring theme in all of Nolan's takes.
Interesting fact - Christian Bale lost his voice three times during filming after altering his voice while playing Batman.
How much did this movie make - 9.3 million umbrellas