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Film Prophet's Movie Reviews Page 2

 

O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
Starring George Clooney, Tim Blake Nelson, John Turturro, Holly Hunter, John Goodman, Chris Thomas King

Film Prophet's Review...
Digging and beetles nightly sounds open the film where convicts are in chains singing in a group melody, the only side of relief to escape their rough work. Three men do in fact escape however and are considered as drifters. Based upon Homer's Odyssey and the Coen brothers written screenplay, they turn out to be adventurers at various opportunities on a hunt for an unidentified treasure while they meet several interesting people who include of a crazy, hysterical bank robber, a black banjo player, and a bible salesman. Clooney has done a great job at acting carrying the movie, but it is the supporting cast who should be congratulated as well for making this movie triumph in unique aspects. Tim Blake Nelson and Jon Turturro act well off each other and the rest of the cast is magnificently portrayed. The picture is not too colorful, where the Coens used selected colors per shot such as a blend of brown through the movie. The Coens maintain a marvelous satisfying story through the Depression clichés, Baptists, Ku Klux Klan, and music lovers with a radio station. The dialogue uses somewhat of a witty speech, but not that often at all. There are somewhat humorous scenes too. "We're in a tight spot." Wonderful examined setting of the 1930s on a ranch-like environment and the screenplay of surviving and freedom from being someone's slave. The theme is brought out by religious superstitions such as washing away sins and baptism. Clooney's character doesn't believe in this, but is redeemed towards the end of the film. The real commotion is when the three convicts with the banjo hitchhiker record a song in front of a blind man who pays them money to sing and become a sensation in their town as they don't even know about it after recording one song because they are out in the forests. There are evil, mean men who don't mind the law resorting to abusive crime and violence that examines forms of guilt against the convicts and it is ironic where two convicts are washed of sins and now face other people who carry terrible burdens against them because they are less superior. They story goes along while they still do not know that they are the performers of Mississippi's hit song. Clooney's character has a wife, Hunter, with many daughters and she is embarrassed for him as Clooney attempts to bring her back to him. Perhaps the best scene is when they are in disguise singing on a stage in front of many people, including clips of Hunter during the performance like she is shocked and happy for Clooney, when the crowd stands up wild and claps for them, finally discovering the artists of the song. The song's lyrics are so moving and it's a reason why the soundtrack won best album that year for a Grammy. The scene was so powerful and emotional escalating everything and since music is their only entertainment and aspiration at the time of Depression. The people love them now even if a person proclaims them as fugitives, showcasing that they are forgiven as sinners.

Final Grade: B+/B

Goodfellas (1990)
Starring Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco, Paul Sorvino

Film Prophet's Review...
An aggressive, daring team of characters as gangsters called The Goodfellas in over three decades between the 1950s-'80s New York puts the movie on a ride of crime contrary to the malevolence cops to the mob. The declining life of being a gangster is shown where they had it all and must rebuild. The story opens with the turning point of a murder and shooting of a guy in a back of their trunk, which is later revealed what that was about in the middle of the film. A lovely working screenplay of a tale of a man, Liotta, through crime growing up with an abusive father and manly friends almost raising him as if he will become a gangster like them. He observes their daily life at a young age and wants to become one of them, which he does. Liotta's serene narration points his view of life where people feared Jimmy, De Niro, as cops, judges, and security all accept cash bribes in the '50s and '60s. They got their cash by robbing the airport for money and later dealt cocaine. They got this money not to buy expensive gifts to attract government officials and the media, but just to make a living and put food on the table to make their way around. Director Martin Scorsese's exposition is detailed much so as his Casino movie and it's nevertheless engaging. If the director isn't De Palma, Scorsese, or Coppola for a mob feature, then it's an imitating gangster movie after this year which were basically all awful and that's why this movie is considered most appreciated. It's a complement to Coppola's The Godfather and Scorsese sticks to his recipes of making a true great work of art. The camera says a lot where the movie excelled at framework of a coherent notion of the eye. All the women and wives of The Goodfellas were categorized to dress the same with their hair up, pearl necklaces, high heels, too much cheap makeup, big earrings, and narrow dresses. They were special to the guys and were served and treated to fancy restaurants impressing the woman. Noting where Henry, Liotta's character, marries his woman, Bracco, the view from the wife's look with her mother shows as he is living in two families. She begins to take up his attitudes and manners, but will seek no more without him. There's a scene where Henry stands up for his girl violently after being harassed and beats a guy down in the face with his handgun in his driveway. Excellently directed by the acclaimed Martin Scorsese, where the classic gentleman beat downs on the ground created an iconic brutal approach. De Niro and Scorsese have a practiced, captivating director and actor relation that it is great to see. The Goodfellas make a big idea out of the littlest things, especially Pesci's character, who doesn't take any remark from nobody and reveals pure Italian anger. The life as a gangster goes through Henry and takes a journey in another track of nervous wreck. The viewer never knows how close someone is to be getting killed because of greed, paranoid, money, or anything, in this though out deep story. "Today everything is different. There's no action. I have to wait around like everyone else." By and large, it's a true story of how gangsters controlled an entire community. Scorsese is sheltered in the Italian tradition of storytelling where it develops time after time not centering around one plot in particular, but continuing a journey of their lives through decades of being a gangster through pinnacles.

Final Grade: A/A-

Eurotrip (2004)
Starring Scott Mechlowicz, Jacob Pitts, Travis Wester, Michelle Trachtenberg, Jessica Bohrs

Film Prophet's Review...
Recent high school graduate Scotty, Mechlowicz, is everyone's average, innocent friend. His girlfriend, Kristin Kreuk, dumped him right during the graduation ceremony where he finds out later that night at a party that she's been dating a rock singer, Matt Damon. At home, when Scotty's German online buddy suggests they meet, he initially freaks out as he sends a rejection e-mail to the buddy because he thought the buddy was a guy due to a German name of Mike he didn't understand, pronounced Meeka. She turns out to be beautiful from a photo so he goes to Europe with three friends to find a girl who wanted to come to America to meet him. Conversely, he is going all the way to Berlin to see her as they travel across Europe and have dozens of comical misadventures, where they end up humiliated in every chance they have high hopes for. Some breasts, beer, and internet mishaps so we have a movie right... no. That's not how it's done to earn a tremendous grade in Film Prophet's book, unless someone is gratuitous and unwise to praise these films. Apparently, there are some ridiculous moments, yet watch able. Though, there's way too many drunken scenes and explicit sexuality than any movie ever and it's not a solemn funny comedy. A perfect teenage this year with a great story is The Girl Next Door as it excelled at everything within the genre and then some, even if it is somewhat similar to Risky Business. This movie has little hilarious one-liners or some visual humor and concentrates more on the flow of the story so it can go somewhere, but it just consists of hot women who reveal themselves and beer rather putting the viewer in a strip club show front view than a movie theater. It serves no purpose with all the forms of stupidity acts, and of course, there is going to be the occasional underage alcoholic party with a bunch of teenagers from no where. I guess the robot movement fighting scene and the nude beach were two of the few entertaining spots. "There's no nude girls here. There's just guys like us looking for nude girls." The American exchange rate dream scene was pretty cool, "Oh a nickel, you see this, I quit." The movie captured the whole European setting well on a tourist standpoint and on a comical view too. It was also directed fine as a side-splitting movie where it improved all around Europe as the story flew while being carried away at time and went as far as scorning the pope. The low-brow humor and the lead character of Scotty was too mediocre for Film Prophet. Another teen movie resulting in another happy ending.

Final Grade: C/C+

Jackie Brown (1997)
Starring Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster, Robert De Niro, Bridget Fonda, Michael Keaton

Film Prophet's Review...
Directed by Quentin Tarantino, Jackie Brown, Grier, is a flight attendant who gets involved in a Los Angeles money deal tied up between two sides of the police and the main dealer, Jackson. Millions of cash becomes tempting to take during the money exchanges and this troubles Jackson, who plays a violent abusive character obsessive over his money deals, to agonize about friendships and trust, which Jackie Brown changes sides and goes undercover to redeem herself. Surrounded by a retro dance beat from the '80s funk pop class, Film Prophet from the start of the movie was pretty impressed by the writing, acting, and camera angles. Quentin's screen writes are endlessly terrific while he adds in some daily life ordeals that many people face with comical substances as it's not even a comedy and it's still funny sometimes. Surprising casting... Sam Jackson acts as a weapon dealer, who is always amazing at his roles. De Niro is a bum bank robber, who has the best face reactions while acting. Put the two of them together and it makes a clever duo for diminutive time they are on screen together. Fonda had an enticing, alluring role as a druggie who answers Jackson's door and phone calls at home while she just lays on a couch in a skimpy outfit. She also smokes dope with the bum in Jackson's place all day. Chris Tucker also has a minor act for no more than ten minutes in this movie. Tarantino put his luggage on Pam Crier to carry the entire movie though, her biggest role of her career, who really didn't do an excellent job. I was afraid of this because her filmography isn't familiar to anyone and because of this, I was not attached to her character which didn't give much of any personal effects to concern over whatsoever. Her character really had nothing to do with being a flight attendant as the movie lost some plot attachment. It would have been cool to see something happen in the first hour other than random conversations by various appearing characters. The first few were neat, but then they went no where real fast as the move stepped down to a boring level past the thirty minute mark about some drug business and Jackie Brown going to jail. Reasons for this is to expand the movie since there were more than three primary characters at different times and the fact it was way over two hours long of conversations. The resolution was just there... nothing spectacular. Definitely not among Quentin's most notorious work.

Final Grade: B-/C+

Army of Darkness (1993)
Starring Bruce Campbell, Embeth Davidtz, Marcus Gilbert, Richard Grove, Ian Abercrombie

Film Prophet's Review...
Bruce Campbell stars as Ash and for over an hour and a half, he has a kicking machine attitude. What an awesome character Ash is... the movie starts out as a slave retelling his story how his life disappeared for the first few minutes of the movie. Ash was awkwardly sent back in time to some nasty medieval period and he can care less about their standards and morals and just wants to get back home. Ash arrives as a prisoner and he was treated miserable... even some kids teased him and was stoned while he was dragged in chains for the wrong person. He finds himself as a slave and forced to battle hideous zombie creatures in a pit. He kills a bunch of zombies with his own feet and chainsaw, climbs out of the pit alive, and kills a bunch more of zombies later on. The villagers are all shocked and realize he must be inimitable with a shotgun and a chainsaw. He talks about his shotgun and how to, "Shop Smart, shop S-Mart," offends their liberality, scares some people away, and ends up making out with their hottest woman. In the middle of the movie, he counters with his evil twin and throws him in a grave after hellish painful traps by little cloned demons and throws dirt on his face. The movie ends with Campbell killing more zombies all over the place. It's a nightmare story for anyone to imagine. Ash wants to go back home and doesn't mind anything else in his way to retrieve a book called the Necronomicon, but not if an army of fierce skeletons can get it back from him. The Army of Darkness is released out and Ash is their only hope now to these selfish people who once stoned him as he helps train them and builds weapons for a kicking machine battle. In the zombie hell slasher, Sam Raimi worked well on the violent content and special effects to expose screaming, stupidity acts, and horror. The choreography at the final war sequence was pretty entertaining as well. The movie isn't brilliant, but it is certainly fun to watch.

Final Grade: B/B-

Caddyshack (1980)
Starring Michael O'Keefe, Rodney Dangerfield, Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Ted Knight

Film Prophet's Review...
Danny, O'Keefe, is a young caddy who starts to raise money to go to college by being a caddy. He examines the life as a golfer and at the same time, he is deciding what to be when he gets older and weather to take up college. By being a caddy, he can earn the prized scholarship. On the other side of the caddy and golfer relationship, there are a bunch of comical golfers who do goofy things to get attention. These golfers are not professional, but they continue through harsh weather conditions because they have love for the sport. At a halt, the movie is over-rated in many ways. Director Harold Ramis creates average character development and direction as the movie was not really all exciting. The writing consists of a bunch of clowning gags mixed together with cunning jokes, which aren't funny. Bill Murray is splendid as a mental defective who has his mind on capturing a sneaky groundhog under the golf course. Chevy Chase has his occasions, but the rest aren't that very funny at all. Although, Dangerfield is the highlight of the film and personally I think he was the best and his voice is always alluring. The movie needed to speed up the plot because it was too slow. It created not just one strong, single plot, more willingly, a bunch of subplots. The writing was at a low since it was lacking a story. There were no antagonists, rivals, matches, not enough Bill Murray, no stipulations or circumstances, no revealing competition, rather, a leisure activity, but it should not be classified among the best sports movie ever made. Comedies during the '80s had a tone of laughter and a sense of humor that people wouldn't laugh at today. The movie wasn't outrageous as comedies are today, more of just nomadic silliness that attempted at comical situations. Those situations were not as appealing or fun as I expected. Film Prophet was disappointed and fluffed... not one laugh by Film Prophet. In spite of everything, the movie was inventive starting the gathering of many more sport comedies down the road.

Final Grade: C

Sanjuro (1962)
Starring Toshiro Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai, Takashi Shimura, Kamatari Fujiwara, Yunosuke Ito

Film Prophet's Review...
Film Prophet is back again with Akira Kurosawa's directed movies where this one is a sequel to Yojimbo. Toshiro Mifune returns to star in his film, who always brings a sharp fascinating, strong presence. Years after the Japanese emperor disbanded the samurais, one, Mifune, befriends a group of homesteaders and helps rescue a girl and an old woman. A man and his fellow kinfolk, with help of the samurai, also save and search for his uncle, who has been arrested and framed by a corrupt superintendent lord. The samurai is comfortable and the respectable clansmen find themselves aided and outclassed by him as a wise drifting outsider. The observation of Kurosawa's samurai movies are influenced by American Western views and tend to marginalize the objective and performance. Kurosawa is always plausible when he is respectful of Japanese customs. The motion and momentum of his films he generates is immense. Akira's editing always uses those wipes to show scene transition as well. In recent Akira movies Film Prophet has watched, they have been lacking in samurai combat, but not this one. There is not too much to make it overly violent, but it did need more entertainment since it relies heavily on its dialogue. It's also confusing sometimes that the characters all look too similar, except Mifune, and especially when the viewer has to read English subtitles. They always yell at each other too, except Mifune. The story shows an elderly generation of clansmen with ritual shaved off hair on the top of their heads. Naturally, Mifune is the best because his character always rocks. People offer him for his protection and gets free food and kills some Japanese men in the meantime with honor. His character always remains calmer than the others and he always thinks to himself that they are dumb, which is funny. Kurosawa and Mifune have an excellent chemistry together from a direction to leading actor stance. While the movie makes a point on trust and traitors, it's yet another satisfying theme of unspoken samurai code of honor which is what being a samurai is addressed about.

Final Grade: B

The Great Dictator (1940)
Starring Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Jack Oakie, Reginald Gardiner, Carter DeHaven

Film Prophet's Review...
A satire story by Charles Chaplin between the two World Wars where Chaplin acts as two characters. He is Adenoid Hynkel, the dictator of Tomania, and a Jewish barber, displaying a rags and riches view on both sides. In Chaplin's first full talkie, the barber recovers from amnesia to find out Hynkel is persecuting all Jews in his country. They both look very similar as the barber is mistaken for the dictator at the end of the film. The movie does a super job exploring the first world war's battlefields. Technically, it's stunning at the time the movie was developed. The story starts off with a clumsy soldier who makes his way up with stand up speeches to become an insanity political leader in a comical aspect. His life is documented. but it doesn't really specify any nation in general, which is why the movie gave the country name of Tomania instead of Germany, who is on the part of the losing side from World War I to many years of depression. It's a component of an allusion with the Nazis and Jews as well. Times have changed for Chaplin and it was strange first off hearing fast pitched voices in a Chaplin movie and it's different without seeing context frames. The movie has more dialogue than the usual visual comedy and it's not too often that anyone will remember Chaplin speaking. The casting was terrific... I love the addition of Paulette Goddard in the film. She brings a delightful commitment and involvement to her character. Her performance is probably among the best female captivating acts in a movie from Film Prophet's standpoint. I was overwhelmed when she showed up on screen every time... wonderful. Her character is a Jewish woman who lives next door in the ghetto to the barber shop. The barber, who is the other Chaplin, gives her hope to fight back against the Tomania troopers not alone. There is a scene where the cops are assaulting Chaplin as the barber owner for trying to remove a painted word of Jew on his window, which shows just how corrupt the law enforcement is. The first time the movie has a glitch of the two characters is when the person in charge of that is the person who the dictator saved during World War I, not the barber, as he is mistaken for his identity. Thus the movie shows two views of life... the working class and the political class. The dictator is an important role figure for many as he is asked for everything and is a very busy man. He has to decide when to invade countries, call a declaration of war, and when to sign treaties with other countries. Alternatively, it captures a bit of the hiding period of isolation of Jews and the fear of discovery by the storm-troopers to take them to prison camp, but the troopers are given orders that they can't harm them though. The Jewish plan was to overthrow the tyrant government somehow, but instead, it's done by a blunder. As relevant, the highlight of the movie is when the barber stands up and delivers a final speech in front of many people, who the people think it is the dictator, at the end about conquering, helping, freedom, hate, and greed, which is near likely the most powerful speech ever delivered in a movie.

Final Grade: A-/A

Alien Vs. Predator (2004)
Starring Sanaa Lathan, Lance Henriksen, Raoul Bova, Colin Salmon, Tommy Flanagan, Ewen Bremner

Film Prophet's Review...
Hoping to entice a Predator clan deep down two-thousand feet below ice in Antarctica using Alien eggs, an assembled team of scientists and archaeologists are caught in an intergalactic war between two tremendously violent species, the Aliens and the Predators. As the war begins, the human expedition team is cut in numbers as they struggle to survive the horrific measures of battle within their territory. It's a sci-fi creature action movie surrounded by Aztec designed sets and Egyptian carvings, which explained the story and the reasons to the viewer and to the human cast. The movie opens with a brief look at a spaceship as in the Alien movie and it introduces the human team. A way to make the central character of a woman look fit: Climb a tall icy mountain. Sanaa Lathan did pretty well actually as the leading actress in charge. The group of humans are rounded up across the globe, consisting of a bio-med engineer and the original Bishop. There is more dialogue in this than the original Alien with less paused staring moments too. The cast has unrecognizable performers, but that's alright since they basically lose anyways during the movie. The movie makes the viewer wait for some encounters and it does happen at a reasonable time and not too late at all. It's not over technical, dull, or violent... more of an ideal mesh of it all. The Predators have scientific vision, invisible thrown long blades, which are creatively cool, and an ability to appear and re-appear, which the effect makes the Predator characters look more sweet than the one in the original with Arnold. However, Alien will always be the creepiest, coolest science fiction villain. Aliens lay eggs in humans as prey and for the predators, they hunt. Both are far more advanced than the humans who are unprepared as they are in their way when all the humans can do is run. Remarkable horror sounds and terrific various combats between the two as it crafts up entertaining with some humorous parts as well. This movie is the second best horror film of the year so far behind Dawn of the Dead.

Final Grade: B-

Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
Starring Jon Heder, Efren Ramirez, Jon Gries, Tina Majorino, Aaron Ruell, Haylie Duff

Film Prophet's Review...
"Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills." In a small town in Idaho, Napoleon Dynamite, Heder, turns out to be a hero to some in his moon boots. He lives with his grandmother and his older, unemployed brother, Ruell, who chats with his mystery online girlfriend from Detroit. When the grandmother leaves, his uncle, Gries, comes to supervise them. Napoleon also meets a new student at school Pedro, Ramirez, and a secluded girl named Deb, Majorino, whose hobby is a glamour photographer, as he becomes friends with them. Although, they are losers in the eyes of the jocks and the stuck-up pretty girls, one in particular named Summer, Duff, who runs for Student Body President and at the same time, Pedro tries to run too. It's a high school comedy without the usual booze, nudity, drugs, sex, rock music, or anything disgusting in that matter, and it is still top-notch laugh out loud comedy. Stylistically, the movie is exquisite. The direction puts the technical work aside and focuses all its attention on one individual's life. Napoleon is the odd one left out of the picture in the beginning who talks awkwardly, but intellectually. He is tender and when he speaks, his eyes are almost closed. He is bullied around, people ignore him, speaks his mind, gets mad too quickly, and tries a Tae Kwon Do program with his brother, but decides later down the road to practice at dancing instead. Well-done acting... bravo to the writer. The supporting cast filled in nicely time from time, especially the talent of Tina Majorino. Jon Heder made his character so likeable during the bad, inane times going through high school... it's very effective. The movie has no soundtrack, specifically, but I got used to the directional stride. During the movie, Napoleon hooks up with a new male, Mexican student who owns a sweet bike. Pedro has remarkable ways to pick up a date for an upcoming dance. He shares similar speech, attitudes, and behavior with Napoleon. The movie also contains so many funny lines. When Napoleon goes up to Deb on her table during lunch, he says, "I see you're drinking 1%, is that because you think you're fat? Well, you could be drinking whole if you wanted to." The way he says his lines are so unique... a funny, geeky written movie. When his uncle just shows a video of him throwing some footballs over the camera which is placed on a tripod, Napoleon says, "This is pretty much the worst video ever made," and his uncle wishes he could go back in time and make state. In another conversation, Napoleon's brother articulates, "My girlfriend and I chat online about two hours a day... so I guess it's getting pretty serious. Although, I am angry because she hasn't sent me a full body shot." Napoleon's uncle is one of the reasons why Napoleon's life isn't going too swift. His uncle is a perv in a way making money off some product that has to do with breast enhancements, as Napoleon wants him to get off his property because he is ruining his adolescent life. With difficulties thrown at his life, Napoleon and Pedro put their skills together with a surprising triumph at the end. It's so hilarious with a different look at the world, but there are many people like this. Every character Napoleon has in touch with has a goal of searching for happiness and a soul-mate. It is a cult classic movie as of now due to the less attention it is getting nationally, so spread Film Prophet's word: Funniest movie this year to date. A super movie for what its premise has.

Final Grade: A-/B+

Hell's Angels (1930)
Starring Ben Lyon, Jean Harlow, James Hall, Roy Wilson

Film Prophet's Review...
In a distinct story of two brothers, Roy, Hall, and Monte, Lyon, leave Oxford and join a British Flying Corps during World War I. During a nightly party, Roy introduces his girl, Harlow, to Monte as soon Monte falls in love with her. She admires Monte and shows more attention to him over Roy, who she says she doesn't really love him. Before there was Marilyn Monroe, there was Jean Harlow. In her first big flick, she is the platinum bombshell during the WWI story about two pilots in love with her, but they are both brothers. She represents the world on the ground to them whereas the war represents the world in the sky. Director Howard Hughes became famous for his expensive budget film of special effects and aerial stunts. It was the first blockbuster talkie picture, still it's more of a silent feature. There are frequent dissolves and fades into new scenes. Hughes also added some colored scenes, in which it's Technicolor tinted. The movie does not have long conversations, rather short quick scenes, except for the long aerial attacks at the end and the German blimp raiding over London. Remember Snoopy from the Charlie Brown cartoons imagining himself flying his doghouse as a dramatic war pilot during the Great Pumpkin special... well, that's where it came from. Snoopy imitates this movie of the plane shooting scenes up in the clouds. The two brothers in this story are young and innocent, tricked by enlisting to get a kiss. The war in England changes them. "Never love a woman, just make love to her." It's a basic, bland story finalizing at the last half of the movie in the sky. A shocking finish to the two brothers.

Final Grade: B/B-

Mulholland Drive (2001)
Starring Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Justin Theroux, Ann Miller, Dan Hedaya

Film Prophet's Review...
Two stories interact between the lives of a director, Theroux, and a woman, Watts, who moves to Hollywood to fulfill her big dream of becoming a glamorous actress. Although, things turn out not what they are expected to be. Another woman, Harring, escapes alive from a car accident, but suffers from memory loss. During the night, she sneaks into a mansion and stays the night. The next day, the actress arrives and meets the manager of the apartment complex, Miller. She arrives all happy with a joyful gut feeling over-smiling and getting so excited, but what she finds out is the city of dreams is just an illusion. Her aunt lets her stay there to study for some parts, the same place where Harring's character hid out during the night and is troubled by amnesia who doesn't know anything about herself. She is unsure of where she came from and builds a mystery of identity. The two women become friends and try to figure out who she is. The above plot isn't all there really is by the way... it's gets knotty. Within the aspects of the movie, it uses clipped off frames and fades with very unique camera direction where the camera takes still shots on one spot at a time that is silent with no music in the background. Incredible use of no sound as the movie is built for tangible acting. Film Prophet can point out one scene where an argument between the director and old managers, and producers in one room around a long business table discussing what actress they want in their high-profiled role as they try to impress the studio owner with some coffee. The movie shows subversive problems in Hollywood, especially the time where the movie takes to show how depressing it is on bad days, but the majority of the heart in Hollywood is about studying lines, studio sets, and casting parts. Regardless of Hollywood, David Lynch is a strange director might I add. From Blue Velvet, his movies can't get anymore creepier and bizarre in a charged erotica story. Within the last quarter of the film, there is a nightmarish turn of plot of unexpected weird twists of the story. An incomprehensible look at odd character fixations and the feeling that this dream that the actress has takes part in the majority of the film. The movie is basically a dream of the actress showing the evil side of Hollywood and remaking the characters as if they were opposite in real life losing their careers. This movie is deep and concentrated, and confused. In the plot, Lynch goes deceptive with this movie and ignores the rules of making art and shows reality beneath its surface. Tremendous performances all around... everyone should know that Watts is Film Prophet's favorite actress. She reminds me of Nicole Kidman at her career start and I am attached to her every move. The movie is a haunting rendition of Film Prophet's top favorite Sunset Blvd, but this screen write is like no other. I love those dramatic-comical screen writes, where there is a funny moment during some drama. This film is such as under-rated cult classic and should be up there with other breakthrough movies like The Boondock Saints. The thing about this movie is that the viewer might not be able to figure out what part of the movie is a dream and hallucinations of the consciousness actress dreaming of demons. Well, basically she goes to Hollywood to make it big, but resorts to prostitution to earn money. Other actresses get her spots because they allure the director. Her guilt results in suicide and the movie's end is a tragedy, but it's all over this enthralling movie.

Final Grade: B+

Collateral (2004)
Starring Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith, Mark Ruffalo, Peter Berg

Film Prophet's Review...
A hit-man named Vincent, Cruise, and his kidnapped cabbie Max, Foxx, in Los Angeles county spend one long night collectively. Vincent takes a ride with Max to get him to his destinations during the night to eliminate five Los Angeles witnesses and attorneys involved in a drug case. Max is a twelve-year L.A. taxi driver who reluctantly drives Vincent to all his hit locations. Cruise displays a charismatic rugged look with a grayish hair color and a suit representing a certain attribute of self-assurance. Vincent will give Max a hundred dollars per stop and another hundred in tips if he agrees until the job is done, totaling to six-hundred dollars. Going against company policy, he resentfully accepts as when Vincent leaves the cab for a murder, Max stays puts and ponders his thoughts of what's happening. Cruise makes up for his last performance in The Last Samurai. I started liking the villain Vincent more than the well-off living Max. Max just carries out his part-time job of being a cab driver as a regular guy having small talks with his travelers before his day almost ends. Nothing really eye-popping happens in the movie. There are no explained descriptions of any sort until Vincent meets Max in his cab. Michael Mann's direction and screen write in Heat was more like this movie. It wasn't all that captivating really. There was way too much futile dialogue, though some entertaining moments such as how much cell phones can drive a person a hard time through a necessary situation, but the rest of the movie is just middling. Cruise lifts the picture with all he can into a hyping standpoint. If a viewer is expecting an action movie, the viewer should find another movie to watch. Terrible supporting cast where I didn't heed for when they were on screen, which the majority of the time they were shot by Cruise, which was cool. The homicide detective role was as pointless as using a flashlight on a sunny beach. Take his role out and it will be a more attentive movie. The movie goes flat after the half and I tuned out past a certain mark. Michael Mann just can't make a movie entertaining anymore. He tries to make a crime-thriller, scored by a soft piano theme, to look swift, but it instantaneously dulls out until the final sequence, but even that's pretty much a lackluster.

Final Grade: C+/C

Easy Rider (1969)
Starring Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson, Luke Askew

Film Prophet's Review...
Two hippie communes, Fonda and Hopper, ride from Los Angeles to New Orleans on their hip motorcycles in a deserted setting, With random stops on the country side, they meet a drunken lawyer, Nicholson, in jail, who helps them get out and decides to join their company. They are nonconformists ignoring any pressures and just riding out, showcasing between individuals and the system. In this exploitation biker movie, the bikers were not typically bad guys. They accepted freedom where ever they are, and in Nicholson's case, he says people are free to kill to prove they do have freedom. Spectacular sequence, and most memorable in some minds, in the beginning scored by the song of Born to be Wild, where the two are riding their bikes on a road with no one by and capturing near them is beautiful scenery. A great picture matching to its precise soundtrack... I loved the music. A very young Dennis Hopper directed this movie and also took a big acting part in the film too. Hopper used flash frame cuts; haunting editing flashing of the upcoming scene at the current scene's end. There are also hallucinatory scenes and anamorphic images throughout the film. A movie that concentrates on creating noteworthy dialogue where it is needed. Drugs, violence, and sex provided what this countercultural spectacle is about. The bikers become LSD drug dealers on their ride centering an anti-establishment premise through adolescence. The cinematography and acting were above superb. Fonda did a great job acting realistically stoned, as they were free-wheeling potheads introducing drug inhaling and content leading to new experiences and topics raised at the time like outer space intelligence. The movie examines customs and values of a group of people noticing their cultural differences from the path the bikers take. They are on a search for the American dream, when Fonda's character spends a bit time with a New Mexico family. They should be proud of what a person's assets are, but the bikers dream proved out to be a failure... a shocking, instant ending. An insightful portrayal of its chaotic times.

Final Grade: B+/B

The Village (2004)
Starring Bryce Dallas Howard, William Hurt, Joaquin Phoenix, Adrien Brody, Sigourney Weaver

Film Prophet's Review...
From director M. Night Shyamalan, residents of a small, remote town have an agitated and unstable peace with creatures that just lure outside of the town's borders. One bewildering man, Phoenix, wants to go beyond the boundaries that his people have become accustomed to, while the head of the town, Hurt, warns him of the catastrophe that could effect them all if he does. A fictional, murky mystifying environment appears to be set in a nineteenth century village. Film Prophet would think several performers from this spectacular cast would turn down such a screen write, which was lousy, uncoordinated, and wearisome. On that note, welcome back to Adrien Brody as a creepy, psycho character, from his return of Oscar winning The Pianist, almost two full years ago, but not a descent one at all. The village displays society standards such as eating as a whole and getting chores done together. A simple, innocent group of young people are haunted by something that they aren't sure about. There is a division of the youth in the school house and the older generation of priests and teachers, where the future of the village lies on the young. Their elders tell them that the creatures outside don't come in their territory as they won't trespass in theirs. After they notice that the creatures are leaving the flesh of helpless animals out, the elders give excuses that wild animals did this, but red marks appear on several front doors on houses in the village. There is a notion of creatures who murder, which creates panic among the residents. There is also a strong impact by this on the town on what lies behind the woods. The young is curious, but afraid to do anything about it. Shyamalan doesn't reveal the looks of the haunting antagonists, similar to the aliens in Signs, simply because it keeps the viewer's mind in alert to when and how this creature will appear, and especially what it will look like, as it is more of an additional suspense technique. The music is to some extent still as it is not the typical horror growing sound. The movie isn't thrilling, it's not gory and it's not scary. The camera angles were seriously becoming bothersome too where it would picture a person's face and the shot would show partially a back of another person's head and the camera would just stay put as if the movie loves to put Bryce Dallas Howard on screen all the time. How meaningless can a beginning be... it doesn't give anything further towards the movie and continues to talk about the same couple subjects. There is no accomplishment and there is really no on-screen activity and quite frankly, I can care less about what the people are talking, actually almost whispering, about. When Ivy Walker, Howard, speaks about fear and love, its just upsetting... worst dialogue in a movie from Shyamalan. It brings no significant attainment to the film and it hurts me to give this movie such a terrible grade since it was a huge let down from being on Film Prophet's Most Wanted Movies of 2004 list. The movie is more like a poor version of an episode from the old Twilight Zone television series. Film Prophet can't stand the cheap thrills and it will most likely go down as one of the worst, and disappointing, films of 2004, and the worst of Shyamalan's work.

Final Grade: D

Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman (2000)
Starring Christopher Allport, Eileen Seely, David Allen Brooks, Ray Cooney, Chip Heller, Marsha Clark

Film Prophet's Review...
By the looks of the fantastic movie title, don't mind the cast, appearing to be chilling, the title delivered expectations that crumbled in dissatisfaction. The makeup, cinematography, and character defining are all below average. Of course, it's too far from being an Academy work of art. Rather, it's a silly, fantasy-horror flick. The only really scary thing is that this movie was a sequel. Even for a horror flick, the acting and dialogue use are tedious, where the screen write was too amateur with its senseless visual gore, as it should of just shown Jack Frost in his various appearances for the entire ninety minutes. "Why are you talking to your watch?" earned a rare Film Prophet laugh towards this movie. Jack Frost is a serial killing mutant snowman, who was stopped only by anti-freeze, returns from its grave. The snowman character itself looks uncanny and inane at the same time. For the rest of the cast, I could care less about the main characters. The cast consists of young female models on a photo shoot, who die too soon, a gay photographer, two newly wed couples on their honeymoon, and the island's staff on a stay at a tropical paradise, how similar Club Dread was to that. There were stupid, loud supporting characters that just turn the comedy off, like the Captain, that just aggravate the main characters. The snowman, even the talking, killing carrot at origin, looked the coolest out of the bunch. I hated the picture quality of the film and camera work and it took concentration away from me. A couple noticeable things are when someone is alone, it's almost known that the person will be murdered and the main couple, who was haunted last Christmas by Jack, sleeps in separate beds on their honeymoon, which make them look queerer than the gay photographer. No one believes that Jack Frost is here except one man who knows him the best, even with countless murders, they still deny the fact. The movie near the end turned into a rendition of The Gremlins and Ghostbusters from those little baby snowball Jack Frosts. Parts of the movie are entertaining like using anti-freeze in a super-soaker water gun with a laser pointer on top and the scene where Jack Frost massacres a bunch of people in a snowball fight one by one, but not enough to seal an acceptable prevail to the Film Prophet.

Final Grade: D/C-

Modern Times (1936)
Starring Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Henry Bergman, Stanley Blystone, Tiny Sandford

Film Prophet's Review...
Charlie Chaplin bids his farewell to his treasure of silent comedies of musical score defining the level of poignant engagement of a scene and into the sound of voices. Film Prophet is personally a big fan of Charlie Chaplin. There are brief spoken words in the movie, but all the attention still centers around Chaplin's on-screen comical performance. There's still a context frame expressing thoughts and captions into visible words. In the early quarter of the movie, the president of a factory sits in his office chair giving orders to speed things up, is basically where the majority of the talking comes from, even though it's not that clear. The president overworks his employees and later his old workers unemployed break in a store, not to steal money, but to find something to eat. Since factories were mostly ran by machines, the workers would just screw nuts and bolts in an assembly-line. Advancements such as a silly revolving plate that serves a person food, which was something the president goofed around with, adds to the reason during the era of factory workers in the union who would eventually strike. It examines factory work can drive a person a bit out of hand into a nervous breakdown. The movie is a satire look of the machine age over the use of men working, conveying an anti-technology view. There were serious circumstances of being unemployed, troubling families with kids, and the story defines the depression era as well during the time. Chaplin's character struggles to live in a modern industrial environment, as when he tries to find a job, it ends in a union march and strike or him being arrested. On the other side, a homeless young woman, Goddard, can't earn a living in a men dominated industry. Both of whom look for the pursuit of happiness and find each other. It captures the young, the older sister of a parent-less group, and a mid-aged man of Chaplin, in and out of jail and work. They fall for each other in a romantic, lovable angle between Chaplin and a blameless young woman. "Can you imagine us in a little home like that?" Chaplin's character expresses those words in a caption to the woman in front of a house showing a successful living married couple idealizing the American dream. There is a scene of the two enjoying themselves in a closed department store, representing freedom and conformity. Between the two are transformation of change and the will of never stop trying. It displays an innocence on Chaplin's character ending up in jail wrongfully accused on several occasions and becomes a hero at the finish in a scenario. Classic acts with Chaplin and a stranger or co-worker where he just comes by is always energized and creative. Chaplin is such an animator using every part of his body and makes the movie more and more visually entertaining to watch.

Final Grade: A-/A

Deliverance (1972)
Starring Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox, Bill McKinney

Film Prophet's Review...
A gripping story of four men departing from their homes and into an unfamiliar setting of the woods and river. Instead of going golfing, they went to canoe for a weekend in a hillbilly country. Boy, was that ever a wrong choice. From the start of their little voyage on the river, it seems the movie was going on a focus all about these group of men canoeing in an isolated place. First, it was a difficult path to get to. There were odd people living in the woods warning them not go to the river. The dialogue in the beginning from the four men is something said similar in a home video, which was precise because these men were just going on a friendly vacation trip. One of them kept playing his banjo when he tries to liven the moment up, which was annoying like the hillbilly laughter and the vernacular language. Anyways, when they get on the river, it foreshadows somewhat that they are invading the forest. The movie sets the tone of revealing nature sounds and animals, in contrast from their own world to the natural world. They are deep in the woods driven by the sense of remoteness, and when they arrive on a piece of land, a turning point collides. Two of them are abused and sexually assaulted by two violent mountain men. On a rescue, one of them commits homicide and there is a big argument on what to do with the dead body. Reynolds' character is the macho man who killed him with an arrow and continuously knows what to do. Another thing is that nature doesn't have is law, but when they do return to home, they will most likely face charges unless they hide evidence. However, when Reynolds' character is not there for Voight, Voight has to control matters. I disliked the entire cast from the beginning, but I'd say it's a rare feature where I can put up with Voight. Maybe because he didn't play a villain, like he usually does nowadays, when he was younger. His character battles the wild waters while being terrorized. His fear of killing someone with the his weapon of a bow and arrow haunts him, as its essential to be an independent survivor as well. I do admire the chosen camera angles of scenery and points of view, though. It' a tragic story of friends who must learn how to cope with death and survival.

Final Grade: C+/C

Rashomon (1950)
Starring Toshiro Mifune, Machiko Kyo, Minoru Chiaki, Masayuki Mori, Takashi Shimura

Film Prophet's Review...
Continuing Akira Kurosawa's collection, his first big hit tells a tale of crime in ancient Japan from different perspectives. Three Japanese men under a form of outdoor shelter discuss a story from the rain about a recent murder of a man and rape of his wife by a bandit. its a struggling conflict is between the bandit and himself, deciding what to do next with the samurai man, his wife, and himself. Four completely diverse versions are told independently of the incident, inquiring knowledge and chancing truth of what happened. The three men, a priest, a commoner, and a woodcutter, witness this trial with the woman, but it only pictures a shot from the same angle of them on their knees and nothing else, while it constructs the viewer to be perplexed about the set just as much as the characters are to the story. Each story opens up on a walk in the woods and a trail of belongings from the woman, who is shown first in a vail, as the bandit strikes attraction to her. The film contains a paranormal pitch of the music during the strange story. The majority of the film is shown of the muggy environment in the woods. This is to help the overall quality since Akira gaps the rain from the start of the movie to the woods. The story aided filmmakers to set up for their own films and these imitators have only made this film seem about less original. It's still refreshing, but it lacks of a substance of deepening the plot to draw in steady attention. I lost some attachment to the story due to long elapsed similar scenes, long paused facial expression shots, and tiresome lengthy scenes all in the woods. Besides the woods, the characters who witnessed this had to testify seeing a dead body during different times of arrival, and the woman would always over-cry. The versions always jump around, where it was not quite on the button from who is telling the story. The addressed character's opinions would make the viewer judge each character in the movie by the story. The tacit mood creates the movie to be inconceivable about the dead man, a woman, and a psychopath bandit, where after the unseen rape occurs, the bandit ponders his decision to commit suicide or kill her husband. The movie is a bit disappointing since Film Prophet really enjoyed The Seven Samurai and others, but I still have a few more left in his collection. However, Film Prophet takes his hat off for Akira who got a big push in the right direction from this movie examining issues like philosophy of justice.

Final Grade: B-/B

My Cousin Vinny (1992)
Starring Joe Pesci, Ralph Macchio, Marisa Tomei, Mitchell Whitfield, Fred Gwynne, Lane Smith

Film Prophet's Review...
Two New York college students, Billy, Macchio, and Stan, Whitfield, with their greasy hair-dos trek with their car through a small town in Alabama. At a stop to pick up many items at a convenient market, a beloved worker is shot dead and the two are suspected. They think it's because of a stolen can of tuna for quite sometime and Stan is always over-worried, which sets the comical tone of the story, where they are mistakenly alleged by Alabama cops. Billy and Stan need to hire an attorney and realize there is one in Billy's family. So, they turn the job to his cousin Vinny, Pesci. Vinny is a picky man who takes things too literally normally. He is a confound practiced lawyer taking on his first murder case, whose wife, Tomei, likes taking pictures and tries to support him when she has the chance. A simple plot can make a courtroom comedy full of sarcastic jokes and thinking one thing while the other isn't during a conversation is priceless. The atmosphere describes the beginning of a country side in a small Alabama town where they do awkward things. Vinny and his wife are from Brooklyn, New York, so the adjustments and procedures are different in Alabama such as the clothes, living style, food, manners, and getting up way too early by a noise. Pesci delivers a proclivity to Vinny, where something hilariously goes erroneous and Marisa Tomei is a fabulous actress, winning an Oscar for this role. There is a judge that's out to correct his every move in the courthouse. Vinny stumbles first, but then is given a chance again by Billy to defend them successfully. A person can always use some help and just being yourself are the life-learned lessons.

Final Grade: B

Double Indemnity (1944)
Starring Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson, Porter Hall, Jean Heather

Film Prophet's Review...
First off, I love Billy Wilder's directing touch. He never lets me down and I continue to admire his screen writes. The shots he works with turn out to be masterpieces and the articulation of the lighting involving dark shadows makes it suspicious from the tone of the music and reluctant characters. A trendy insurance salesman Walter, MacMurray, attempts to sell insurance to a woman Phyllis, Stanwyck. He makes twenty percent of his commissions and the woman asks him for more business. By selling an accident insurance protection, which is ironic, Walter is smart enough to catch on to her scheme of murdering her husband to make off it. At first, he read between the lines, but he is trapped and twisted by a cold woman where this is only the beginning between him and her. They plot to murder her husband for life insurance money, thus a double indemnity clause for the both of them, but his death has to look like an accident, which is a key. So many great quotes, including a Film Prophet favorite said by Walter, "I killed him for the money and for a woman. I didn't get the money and I didn't get the woman." In this classic film-noir, it is told in flashback from Walter's perspective, where Walter and Phyllis are ruthless and determined to do this right. They must be very careful how they talk to each other. He begins to be all wrapped up in mistakes by other people's declarations by Phyllis' daughter, a witness, and Keyes, his claims manager where tension builds up. Phyllis successfully manipulates and uses him into helping her do away with her husband, then all they can do is arrange meetings with each other as they see each other less. Fast pacing spoken words between conversations keep it amusing. The story is brilliantly written, where the first encounter between the two concludes something like, "There's a speed limit in this state. Forty-five milers per hour, " "How fast was I going officer," "I'd say around ninety." This establishes their harmless antagonism, while during their plan, the scenes are thrilling hoping nothing goes wrong for them. The plot is fancy with no plot holes, as the insurance front office ponders the death of the husband, if it was suicide, no double indemnity. "Walter, why don't you settle down and get married," "Why don't you for instance?" Lies, corruption, murder, money, and love all conflict one another resulting into a first innovative movie about murder never being perfect and the relationship of a man and woman between it falling apart.

Final Grade: A-

Scarface (1983)
Starring Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer, F. Murray Abraham, Robert Loggia, Paul Shenar

Film Prophet's Review...
Tony Montana, Pacino, is a refugee from Cuba with undeclared criminal records and lands in Florida. He is determined to start a cocaine empire to make money in America with his best friend, Manny Ray, Bauer. Director Brian De Palma is most known for his making of this film, using stylish camera panning effects and unique angles during long scenes. I enjoyed the '80s dance music and especially liked Tony's theme song. The opening credits score was used in hip-hop beats such in 'It's Mine' by Mobb Deep and Nas. In the motion picture, Tony received a scar on his face as a kid, hence the name Scarface, and starts out woozy while mumbling an English accent when he arrives in Florida. From his immigrant status of a poor occupation, he is levied into dealing cocaine and starts using gunnery. He learns the ropes and lessons in the new business from an older, experienced man who teaches him the ropes and whose very spoiled wife is Elvira, Pfeiffer, who is stoned most of the time, who Tony is attracted to from first sight. Tony's first interaction with her is dancing at a club that didn't come off too well for him, where Tony later declares that power comes before women. His mother is angry that he is a criminal and his sister is supportive at times. The primary setting is on the coast of Miami beach featuring a tropical paradise with hard times in an urban surrounding. There are captivating moments of death between characters like the chainsaw-bathtub scene. The off-beat conversations and plot are not too complicated at all. Tony Montana is a similar character to Michael Corleone in The Godfather, where he advances into amelioration to take matters into his own hands and controls people he cares about too. He begins to make deals without acknowledging the person who taught him the cocaine business. I drew attachment to his supporting friends of Manny, Elvira, and Gina, the sister. Money, drugs, trust, friendship, adultery, violence, and organized crime all fall into the hands of Tony Montana and he becomes obsessed over wealth and greed. He is carried away with government against crime and cocaine and installs a security camera system on which he is on a watch for Columbian assassins. Money is the route to all evil and it shows on his behavioral changes from his new, stronger identity. Pacino's top-notch exhilarating performance was powerful. An outstanding ending that definitely boost this film for me.

Final Grade: A-/B+

Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle (2004)
Starring John Cho, Kal Penn, Paula Garces, Neil Patrick Harris, Christopher Meloni, Eddie Kaye Thomas

Film Prophet's Review...
Two male stoner roommates during their post-college years are sick of the same food and want something different so they see a commercial of White Castle advertising their delicious, fast food hamburgers, thus begins an expedition to find a White Castle restaurant with a variety of stops along the way. They have one goal in mind of getting to White Castle, even though they procrastinate through countless situations. The script contains fantasies, sleazy characters, unpleasant exposures, and silly drug usage that tries too outrageous occasionally to earn my laughs, or any laughs really. It's almost an amateur movie that makes the plot way too horny all the time using vulgar statements and shows that maybe comedies like these need to quit. Cho and Penn are usually found as supporting characters in teen-comedy films. The chemistry between the two is what the movie brings its attention to. Karold, Cho, is a Korean-American investment banker who periodically imagines attempts of hooking up with this one girl in an elevator, but doesn't come to act well then has to finish some investment work that's due the next day. Kumar, Penn, is an Indian-American medical school applicant who has pressure from his father and peers of being an Indian turned to doctor. They are quite the opposite and shows at times where Kumar is not afraid to stand up for himself during encounters and is hooked up on weed. During one of his fantasies, there are clips of a giant bag of weed that has arms and legs and after a while of both of them getting along, the weed in an apron serves him coffee as Kumar spits it out and says, "B*tch, learn how to make coffee you f*cking wh*re," resulting in a couple laughs from the Film Prophet. Harold and Kumar also have two friends in a room down the hall, one of them is Eddie Kaye Thomas from American Pie, who are obsessed at looking at breasts in movies and go on their own adventure to Hot Dog Heaven. All this occurs during the one night with no sleep. The story is filled with awkward times that always turns out for the worst for them such as immature moments and too many gay men they meet who have a little something for them all the time. There are random meetings with Neil Patrick Harris and a group of punk wannabes who think they are extreme for everything and give people hard times. It's an epic journey to satisfy their craving of burgers through their wild road spree in the state of New Jersey. The movie is a second-rate, explicit edition of Keenan and Kel in Good Burger and nothing more. An awesome resolution to follow up a crazy adventure, where friendship is the most important thing and it looks like the filmmaking crew left the door open for another one.

Final Grade: C/C+

Super Size Me (2004)
Documentary by Morgan Spurlock

Film Prophet's Review...
An experiment by Morgan Spurlock at America's overweight problems and a common target is the fast food places, more specifically, McDonald's. He wonders what would happen if he ate nothing but McDonald's for thirty days straight of three meals a day. Morgan gets advice from three doctors, where they performed tests on him initially over time to his conclusive ending and tracks his process by keeping a food chart of what he eats. He also has some other significant people to guide during his experiment. Morgan Spurlock is a man who quit smoking, quit drinking alcohol, and stopped doing drugs, and is tested in perfect condition before he starts. The camera loves his personality... he's a funny, but serious guy too. "Every eight year olds dream that I am on right now." McDonald's is everywhere any human can go... even hospitals. There are more McDonald's in Manhattan than anywhere in the world, eighty-three exactly, which is more proper since Film Prophet noticed it just a week ago when he was there. People tend to eat out more, thus McDonald's consumption goes up, because people more likely don't know how to cook or have the time to. It's so easy and quick to spend money over cooking inside the house, where cooking keeps money and that weight off. Some are unaware that eating too much out relates to illness. The movie gives superb enlightening information. Morgan sets an example for overweight kids, who are happily obsessed with McDonald's and makes a strong point against it. He is not too strongly worried about what he will do after the thirty day mark is up, but his girlfriend is there for support. Everything is big in America, even our waists. I learned from this film of informative facts like originally McDonald's started with one set of fries, which is the small size now, then expanded the sizes, including the drinks. The movie is well-edited involving footages and clips, where he asks for opinions on the street and superior knowledge of college professors, and behind the scenes in a school's cafeteria during his procedure. He even got Jared Fogle, the famous Subway spokesman on their commercials who made the Subway diet known. "The problem is the world is not going to change, you got to change." I found Morgan amusing and entertaining almost every minute, that is until he gets exhausted after day twenty-one. After he gets his first drive-thru super size meal of a double quarter pounder, what shows is in his car while he eats is the funniest documentary scene I've witnessed. ".. I got the McGas goin'," then the camera guy says, "Are you sweating there?" and Morgan responds with, "I got some McSweat here." This part elapses over periods of five minutes during his indulgence of his meal and gets fatigued. He finished by a gross 'McPuke.' There's also a clip where he pulls a long strand of dark hair from his sundae and says, "Only the finest at MacDonald's." The camera guy and Morgan relationship was fun to hear... "Look at this fish fillet... oh god, that looks nasty." There is a sad scene where kids recognize Ronald McDonald over a photo of Jesus and some overweight women can say the Big Mac formula over the pledge of allegiance. Morgan nails it on the button. America doesn't pay enough attention to exercising, health resources, fruits & vegetables, and vitamins and is heavily advertised by snack foods, soft drinks, and fast food restaurants. The part about hidden nutrition fact sheets was interesting to find out about. Of course, eating McDonald's all the time will result in damage to liver, cholesterol, calorie count, and even sex production was a bit obsolete. The fact that McDonald's offers super sizing adds to America's problem, which is what Morgan is addressing to America. The fear of eating McDonald's a little too often is a little too harmful in many, many ways.

Final Grade: B+

Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994)
Starring Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Kirsten Dunst, Christian Slater, Antonio Banderas

Film Prophet's Review...
A precedent story of a vampire two-hundred years ago is expressed by Louis, Pitt, as Slater's character interviews him and asks questions on the present day. Under a different view of light, they aren't human, but they once were. Vampires can be anyone of us. This is where Louis opens the story of his life. Lestat, Cruise, is the blood sucking evil vampire who bites Louis and turns him into a vampire. Lestat tries to make him his partner in work so they can go on a rage together, while Louis goes on a learning course as he gets developed by Lestat's lessons after a mistake of attempting to be a vampire. Louis realizes he has become a murder even though he hates being one. The make-up effects and strong musical score were both effective. An excellent tone of grotesque moments and supporting cast. Great casting because of course, the two male vampires have to be handsome to draw in attractions quick from many women, who will end up being their victims. Louis is obsessed over biting animals like rats because he refuses to kill humans, whereas, sucking blood can be translated to a sexual pleasure for them. However, Lestat is irritated and begins to tease him to become what he really is, while Louis is afraid of the truth. Later on, they turn a little girl, Dunst, into a vampire and together they live for a long time. Dunst is treated like their daughter and it is her best performance thus far, while Cruise blew me away. The two newly vampires were young and innocent, where the movie changes to Louis and Lestat to being a parent for a while as betrayal strikes in however that leads to revenge, adjusting the plot of a new era.

Final Grade: B/B-

Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Starring Matthew Modline, Vincent D'Onofrio, R. Lee Ermey, Arliss Howard, Dorian Harewood

Film Prophet's Review...
Film Prophet is a big fan of Stanley Kubrick's work. His movies always has alarming images in his films and focuses a long time on that and develops them to make it vital to the plot. Stanley is the best at this, whereas the film opens straight up of young men getting their heads shaved off, part one of entering the marines. Only a disappointing one Oscar nomination for adapted screenplay, the hard drill instructor, Ermey, gives harsh strict orders to a group of soldiers about to enter the Vietnam war as they cultivate a different likelihood that they never had before through their training. Kubrick's screen writes are always brilliant and finds a technique to make it hilarious too at times during the dramatic treatment of demoralizing struggles that they need to perform during their training. Most scenes in this movie are proven nowadays as classic imagery such as the marches and the "sir yes sir" phrase. The soldiers must obey everything the drill instructor says to do and they have to agree with anything or punishment will occur. The message comes across as consequences, particularly, there is one odd person left out from the bunch who is heavier than the others and is treated in this movie with more attention from the drill instructor because he is lagging behind and stands out from the rest. When he does something wrong, the rest of the crew gets punished for his own action and later, the crew starts to hate him for this. The camera work in the movie makes the viewer interested in the story's next progress as well. It is a struggle between squad leader and privates against the instructor. There is none of that pointless dialogue that has nothing to do with the plot or some dull bar drinking scenes that just extend the movie longer. Everything said and done in this movie makes an impact on how its told and it works so well. Kubrick displays the characters excellently and describes them without historical background, rather, attributes of emotions and strengths of a character who can perform. There's a god-marines ratio in the film and gives a mention between the division of the two. In the center of the movie, the seven-six-two millimeter scene, which is the Full Metal Jacket where the movie gets its title from, is the climatic turning point. The main character, the squad leader, becomes a writer for Vietnam stories and is at first hand on scene where he enters a platoon as the story shifts a view on the war from the training with the soldiers expressing their opinions of America's involvement in Vietnam. "We're suppose to be helping them and they sh*t all over us." The platoon versus the sniper scene as the final sequence was really exciting that had forceful tension on me. Building men without fear and being alive while not being afraid are the themes to this extraordinary film. A very competent war movie.

Final Grade: A-/A

Catwoman (2004)
Starring Halle Berry, Sharon Stone, Benjamin Bratt, Lambert Wilson, Alex Borstein

Film Prophet's Review...
A timid artist, Patience Philips, Berry, is a woman who works as a graphic designer for a beauty cosmetics corporation on the verge of releasing an anti-aging product, blinding the rest of the city that it really isn't. When Patience finds out about this during the night, she tries to run away, but is flushed down a tunnel by water. After a moment of death, she comes back to life in a new form with senses like a cat. She now finds out her new qualities and seeks revenge and tries to help people, but she is buried upon mistake who appears to be a murderer to her city. By history of actresses of Catwoman in Batman films, the only thing black about her is her costume, not her skin. I hate when casting directors do this. They change a character that was originally portrayed by a Caucasian to a non-Caucasian, and sometimes vice-versa, and seem like it doesn't matter. Halle Berry, who might too glorified, gives Berry fanatics something to watch for, but that's about it. Although, she gives a fair performance portraying Catwoman, but I wouldn't consider it the best. This movie is the first big example of a supporting character from another film receiving its own titled starring movie. The direction makes it look gothic and uncanny with its images, setting, and music. In this story, somewhere where she wasn't suppose to be, which she had over heard some discussion about the false cosmetic, and thus she dies. Its lame how some unique Egyptian cat and others rescue her and give her life back, but in a different form than before. She now has the vision and abilities of a cat. Of course, a so-called superhero always has an enigmatic attractive romantic angle. In this case, her interest is a detective, Bratt, who later is on an assignment on Catwoman's trail not knowing it is her. Opposite her superhero quality, she is basically an average person like other comic book heroes. Stone's character was basically the villain to her, Her character didn't enhance over time until the last twenty minutes, other than she is corrupt, jealous, and competitive for her beauty cosmetic project. The movie felt like a video game design than anything else.

Final Grade: C-/C

The Bourne Supremacy (2004)
Starring Matt Damon, Joan Allen, Brian Cox, Julia Stiles, Franka Potente, Karl Urban

Film Prophet's Review...
Not knowing his true identity, Jason Bourne, Damon, is a smart and quick man on a search while the CIA and assassins are after him. The sequel to The Bourne Identity, it leaves a trace two years ago to the first murder of two parents back in the original where Bourne has haunting memories of it. He was framed by a CIA operation that didn't go as plan where he is a trained assassin and now he must survive what's coming against him. CIA deputy director, Allen, is on a cause to find Bourne while complicating matters to Bourne of the actual killer, Urban, is on the loose to kill Bourne. The agency brings in some ex-agents like Stiles from the first movie to give them more information. It begins with the memory of the murder and starts with Bourne waking up during a night from it with his girlfriend by his side, where the first movie left off with the two embracing. The directing had the same touch like the first where the agency are scoundrel to Bourne. This agency is behind some technical working monitors to make it look sophisticated on a few working desks with a bunch of people puzzled and perplexed over what to do next after an event of Bourne's sighting or violent action of failed hitmen at their mission happens. Yet, the movie still seems to find a way to be very entertaining and complex. Allegedly, the movie was over-hyped. It's finer than the trailers and it's one of those types of ordeals where the movie is better than the trailer like Big Fish. The sounds were terrific and the entire movie was well-edited. The chase scenes and moments of attempted scares resulted in chills from the appealing dialogue too. There were some unbelievable stunts and choreographed fights. The sequel is without Chris Cooper from the original. Although, Cooper was referred to often in this movie as a significant part of the story throughout the film. The audience will remain bewildered like Bourne is from the missing puzzle pieces in the story. Film Prophet is not really of a fan of the series, but Matt Damon does an excellent job to display his talents to focus around what is the principal to the movie... and that is Jason Bourne.

Final Grade: B/B-

Shane (1953)
Starring Alan Ladd, Jean Arthur, Brandon De Wilde, Jack Palance, Van Heflin

Film Prophet's Review...
An ex-gunfighter named Shane, Ladd, comes into a town as an outsider and sides with his Wyoming homesteaders against a ruthless cattle baron. The young son of the homesteaders, De Wilde, turns his attention to Shane and admires him the most. A western directed by George Stevens, the main character Shane is shown from the eyes of others he comes across. He appears to be lonesome man, but he knows more than what people take him granted for. In a secluded surrounding, it's a simple story of a stranger coming into town and impressing the harmless and threatens the culpable. Westerns are all the same where they use textbook sluggish movement of characters without a clear cut introduction that won't keep the viewer fully interested until a climatic scene emerges with them. This movie uses lightly shadowed musical scores, horses for transportation, and dialogue that's most likely precise. A basic western opening of a family's home in the west and the needed work they need to perform while tension displays between two sides of the town. The cattle baron are the hardnosed people of the town and spend most of their time drunk in a bar and start fist fights, particularly Shane, which were comical in a way, They dislike any newcomer into town and believe that Shane, a former gunfighter, threatens their setting, but actually he isn't. Shane helps the Starrett family where the family gets things done by themselves since they live out west. The focal point of the movie is the young son who gives a liking to Shane almost as a childhood idol. Brandon De Wilde at age eleven was nominated for a supporting Oscar for this role as Joey Starrett, the little boy who has an affectionate feeling towards Shane. Probably the most memorable scene that made this movie prominent is the final clip where Joey calls out Shane's name at dusk while Shane rides away on his horse. "Come back, Shane" is as legendary a quote can get.

Final Grade: B-

I, Robot (2004)
Starring Will Smith, Bridget Moynahan, Chi McBride, Shia LaBeouf, Bruce Greenwood, James Cromwell

Film Prophet's Review...
Set in 2035 Chicago, the atmosphere contains robots where they are for benefit towards the humans and do services for them as in human like jobs. The robots don't sleep or eat and obey three laws, and soon there will be one robot for every five humans. They are programmed by the three laws of robotics upon creation, issued by Doctor Alfred Lanning, Cromwell, where neither law conflicts with each other. They state as following: 1. A robot may not injure a human being 2. A robot must obey orders given by a human without conflict with the first law 3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as it does not conflict with the first or second law. Del Spooner, Smith, is the only one who seems to stumble upon faults in this logic earlier on, but the rest of the police detectives differ. Spooner is sent to investigate the death of Alfred Lanning, who fell out of his office window, and was declared a suicide death. Spooner does not believe he committed suicide since his dream was to see massive wide operation of robots. So what happened? Spooner without a rest tries to find out who did killed him and why, but in the midst he is being hunted down unexpectedly. He ends up getting help from a company psychologist, Moynahan, as they discover clues and answers along their way. McBride is Spooner's boss, and when Spooner is in trouble by committing an act towards a robot, he gets the third degree not only from him, but from Greenwood's character, who is very puzzling to say the least. Spooner believes that a robot named Sonny who was hiding on the scene of crime when Spooner arrived there, ran away and attacked him. If Sonny killed Lanning, this means the Law of Robotics have been broken. Greenwood's characters defines murder as a human killing another human. Robots don't kill humans. The movie opens up after Spooner's dream of the past and wakes up to Stevie Wonder's 'Superstition,' which is an excellent song selection to begin this particular movie. The story is partly based on some stories by Issac Asimov, but of course, it is a movie so the screenwriters will add in new trimmings. In this sci-fi thriller, it is authentically intellectual rather than harshly analytical, like the Matrix sequels. The movie is always lucid, along with fullness of visual intense flamboyance. Finally, a movie with terrific use of sci-fi action sequences in 2004. It indubitably triumphs over King Arthur, Van Helsing, and The Alamo. I, Robot is like other movies invented before. It contains imagery of Blade Runner, as in surviving of two primary races in the future where one man has doubts, The Terminator, various action encounters where only a couple people know what the heck is going on, and Men in Black, where the Aliens are like the robots in this film. Also in relation to Men in Black, the movie contains other images of the movie with a cat, a scientific brainy woman who begins to help the main character and develop cop expertise, Will Smith always liking pie and relying on himself most of the time, a beginning one on one chase scene of a sense of a robot committing a crime, and an exciting drawn out thrilling car spectacle in a long tunnel. Will Smith is Film Prophet's all-time favorite entertainer. Will Smith's character in Spooner is very retro, who still wears 2004 converse sneakers, uses a motorcycle on gas, and has a home stereo system, where all are in mint condition basically. Alan Tudyk is the voice of Sonny, who was Steve the Pirate in Dodgeball. I loved watching Chi McBride in this film, especially him accessing a shotgun, which gave me an adrenaline rush. I had to refrain myself from shouting out, "that was incredible," towards Will Smith's stunts, robot's fighting abilities, and the dazzling special effects. Shia LaBeouf is a goofy, sexually minded kid, who is friends with Spooner. During the robot revolution later, he rounds up a posse on yet another LOTR like combat, which was pretty engaging for how long that lasted. In a nutshell, the movie is a complex mystery that unlocks new additions to the interesting, complicated plot.

Final Grade: B+/A-

Yojimbo (1961)
Starring Toshiro Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai, Yoko Tsukasa, Eijiro Tono, Seizaburo Kawazu

Film Prophet's Review...
Akira Kurosawa is certainly the greatest Japanese director ever. His movies are the best film work from a Japan artist. This is my third viewing of his samurai classics, the other two being The Hidden Fortress and The Seven Samurai in the Criterion Collection. Well, it's more that just a classic; it's an influential cinematic model. The Seven Samurai is one of the greatest 150 films ever made, but Film Prophet only accounts for U.S. movies as I have strongly stressed and explained on that many times. Yojimbo means Bodyguard in English. The subtitles are no problem really... it's a movie the viewer can get smart off of anyways. Think American Western, but better, while it's without the shootouts, but in the same image, with swords. In this terrific story, the Tokugawa dynasty falls apart of money and gambling and ends, which leaves a samurai with none other than his intellect and his sword wandering off. He is a drifting samurai, Mifune, who is probably the greatest Japanese star, with his sharp sword skills, as he comes in a town divided in two factions on hire for a bodyguard where he is in the middle and decides to plays both sides against each other. He is overpowering, positive, and self-assured that he is better than all of them. Akira makes this movie a true Japan film with its Japanese houses, wanting for rice, chopsticks, hair style by the men, got to love the music in this, no white people, and costumes. There's actually some comical references as well in the crafted designed look. On the critique, the movie did lack on more setting illustrations and a consistent plot in the middle in the film. When a person gets slashed by a sword, they fall down to their death rather slowly and looks tacky. Other than that, the movie stands out from the wannabes and is highly pioneered in cinematography, directing, human depth, and realism. I now need to see Rashomon, Ran, Ikiru, and Sanjuro to complete the set.

Final Grade: B/B+

The Score (2001)
Starring Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Marlon Brando, Angela Bassett

Film Prophet's Review...
A master thief Nick Wells, De Niro, slightly begins to agree to work with an infringe partner Jack Teller, Norton, enrolled by a man way past his time, Brando, for one last score before Nick retires. It turns out to steal a priceless scepter, it is more complicated than they thought it was going to be than just a bunch of schematics. Nick Wells must team with Jack Teller, as it will need both of them to get the job done, though, it seems both don't trust each other. Nick Wells relies on his wits and does not use a gun. The movie is similar like others when an old, prominent character is on the brink of retirement and settles for one last score with another mate. Brando and De Niro in this film appear to be too old for pin-up performances in crime-drama. Yes, Brando is obviously way out of shape as he was close to his eighties. In the fifties, he was the king of looking muscular and fit and starring in a huge, powerful role. Anyone can see that he is plump in this film. He was fitting into his character of a much older man, than both De Niro and Norton, since Norton plays the young guy. It's three age brackets of robbers. Film Prophet enjoyed the very talented actor Ed Norton, but didn't enjoy the technical rubbish the story displayed. The direction could have been a lot better and I wasn't really involved by the characters. There was no true protagonist character or hero, while it was more of a cooperation and team work of two criminals struggling against errors and each other. It drained in dialogue and presented no real, clever drama to make it appealing as their conversations spoke too quietly in the same pitch. The screen write was below average... it was a very, very slow ordeal for Nick and Jack doing gratuitous work getting by the guards and cameras. There is only one romance scenario in the film. The movie doesn't show much of Angela Bassett's character, who plays De Niro's girlfriend, where she has a small role and does not add anything to the film except for the viewer to go on a bathroom break. The entire angle was over the top and I didn't give a single thought about the relationship. On a whole, it was unneeded and negating to the scheme of the movie. The love affair wasn't strong enough to hold in any grief towards the two. On a side note, there are some nice story elements that are used correctly like the exchanging of pass codes in the park with children around and a pretty exciting finish.

Final Grade: C+

Anchorman (2004)
Starring Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, Steven Carell, David Koechner, Fred Willard

Film Prophet's Review...
Based on true events, Ron Burgundy, Ferrell, is the foundation of the number one rated news broadcasting team in 1970s San Diego. The town loves Burgundy and Burgundy loves his red blazers, his intelligent dog, and his hair at most, while he is supported by three other characters of his news team, each of who blend into Ron's personality. This was a time when the news was in a man's world, but just being able to read off a Teleprompter might not be enough. Veronica Corningstone, Applegate, is an ambitious journalist who wants to become a network anchor. She is hired by channel four siding Ron's team for more diversity. While the rest of the guys are off swaggering, she has a feminist approach at things and wants to come off tough. Still, she gets to cover some cat show for her first assignment which she doesn't want while Ron is in glory of a big story of a pregnant panda at San Diego's zoo. The men of the team attempt at asking her out on a date in a comedic approach, where each one is denied in a pathetic way, until Ron finally comes off somewhat normal and she accepts go on a date with him as working associates. The conversations in this movie are filled with smooth dialogue and other times there were some outrageous cute laughter of the child speaking Ron's name and Ron thinking the dog speaks Spanish. The sports guy on Ron's team with a very low IQ is very comical with related humor, including some on-screen comedy, that always works in benefit. "Where the hell is the suit store? We've been walking for 45 minutes." There is a cameo appearance of Jack Black in this film who punts Ron's dog over a bridge. Besides the channel four news team, there are several other news casts in San Diego, each consisting of four men, all behind in ratings. Vince Vaughn, Tim Robbins, Luke Wilson, and Ben Stiller are the main anchors of the other channels, where most of them are prime comedy actors of this time. There is a scene where these casts collide in a fight, which shows satire imagery of The Lord of the Rings and West Side Story. Will Ferrell was outstanding in his performance at Ron Burgundy. Film Prophet likes how the movie took a hit at the FOX network of reality bologna too. A well-directed pace where near the end is hilarious of a rescue finish with the funniest part of the movie with a dog and a bear having a conversation in subtitles.

Final Grade: B/B+

Casino (1995)
Starring Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci, James Woods, Don Rickles, Frank Vincent

Film Prophet's Review...
A New York bookie Sam, De Niro, and his pal Nicky, Pesci, run a casino as Nicky watches his back and makes sure the casino collects. They turn a Las Vegas casino into an empire, then his money-driven wife, Stone, the woman he loved, brings it all down. The first hour basically explored how their casino runs in Las Vegas with the connections of mobster friends they have and enemies and how they make a living and profit. A pretty well drawn out exposition before exposing the plot of destruction and betrayal that worked so powerfully. Martin Scorsese directs this film, as De Niro-Scorsese is a Film Prophet favorite actor-director combination. Also, De Niro-Pesci is an amusing and entertaining pair like they always have been together in recent movies. The wife is spoiled by her husband Sam, with the typical combed back sprayed hair as a casino owner, by the house, jewelry, clothes, and luxury, as she has it made. One thing he points out is that he needs her trust, which later would fade away by greed, lust, and Nicky's mistakes. Cool, silky drama, involving Pesci kicking a guy on the ground and random beatings that were so alluring to watch. Hilarious lines and fine performances at moments during the movie... brilliant acting... every single one of them with extraordinary dialogue as Scorsese is like no other. Stone was breathtaking and superb, and delivers her best performance of her career. Later on, each of the three main characters have complex problems. When Nicky gets in trouble and is banned from casinos, all murdering questions link to him, but there's no witnesses or proof. Sam is in a license lawsuit to run the casino and begins to go on his own television show to talk about it. The wife is demoralized and leaves with their daughter, as the majority of the day she is drunk. All three of their relationships dissolve upside down, where there is a constant voiceover narration by Sam and Nicky. "Hey, be f*cking nice." It's such an under-rated classy film. The graphical violence used in the film was a main point that was extreme and intense. "He was one of us... he was an Italian."

Final Grade: B+

King Arthur (2004)
Starring Clive Owen, Ioan Gruffudd, Keira Knightley, Stellan Skarsgard

Film Prophet's Review...
During the Dark Ages, as the British Empire crumbles apart, the tale of King Arthur, Owen, and his knights emerge to the top of conquering land. The British and Roman isles are thrown into anarchy as his knights are ready to go on a quest for years of territorial battle. As Film Prophet knew before the film was going to be released, the movie was going to be a bomb much like The Alamo back in April. The movie drained in monotonous that wanted to be like The Patriot or Gladiator and it wasn't on Film Prophet's Most Wanted list of this year. The movie opens with a voiceover of some historical context leading into a quick childhood glimpse of Lancelot, where his family says bye to him and his little sister gives him a treasured amulet. As the family says bye to Lancelot, he of course looks back at them one last time and says something burdensome. After that, Lancelot, Gruffudd, is now an adult, as a negating battle sequence in the beginning appears where it came from nowhere without a build up or cause and the next big battle would occur at the end of the movie. Between those two battles, there was not a moment of attaching story elements in the film. Poor story telling with its useless dialogue that didn't bring my attention in at all. It tried too hard to make things significant, but those things were mellowed out. Instead of battles, there were times were superior enforcers would just randomly murder people one by one because they didn't like what they did or said. Until the last twenty minutes, the movie was poorly moved. The scenery was too dark looking as it needed some luminous lighting to balance out all the green textures with manufactured fog shown on screen. On to the characters, where not many people are all that familiar with Clive Owen's filmography. I never felt King Arthur was a higher, leading character like he is made out to be. The highlight of the movie is Keira, who is made out to be like a warrior princess and didn't appear till almost fifty minutes within the movie. The legend of Arthur was disappointingly demonstrated. The movie needed a love angle between Arthur-Guinevere-Lancelot instead of just dragging scenes about fulfilling duties that no one can care about. The supporting cast really didn't have the type of charisma for their roles, while the rest of the cast is pale and is typically hard to care about. The theme of the film is that Arthur's men wanted to be free that gave a vivid imagery of Braveheart. "There will always be fights for a world that never exists... always will be a battlefield." Film Prophet won't watch this one again.

Final Grade: C-

The Searchers (1956)
Starring John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Vera Miles, Ward Bond, Natalie Wood, Ken Curtis

Film Prophet's Review...
Directed by John Ford, Ethan Edwards, Wayne, is a Confederate veteran who visits his family in Texas on a Western ranch three years after the Civil War. Later when he arrives before a night, his family is massacred, but the film does not show this, and his niece, older later on as Natalie Wood, is captured by a rebellious Indian tribe. Her brother, part-Cherokee, Martin, Hunter, joined by Ethan and is loyal men begin to search for the kidnapped girl. A stupendous journey where there are only two left, Ethan and Martin, who continue on for five long years. Back at another home, Martin's girl, Miles, is worried about him as she reads a letter about his journey and she is joined by a fellow guitarist, Curtis. The specialties of this movie are its directing, cast, and being filmed in color. A fresh start to the film, where the musical score is a big additional part to any film that keeps the viewer tuned in and there is a sense of fear that something bad will happen and when it does happen, the viewer is left in cynicism. John Wayne is the star of this film, and his best role of his career, who is the greatest Western actor ever. His voice and presence on screen is so powerful and commanding. His character, Ethan, shows he has strong confidence and is not scared of following the Indians and wants to go alone on the search, but Martin begs him to go with him. Ethan's catch phrase of, "That will be the day," is a classic cornerstone. Ethan never quits even through the snow where they begin to lose their trail. He asks various people around on the search for a hefty price. "Turning back means nothing." A well-written original story including some amusing moments, especially near the end, with great use of dialogue throughout the whole film and I was amazed over the flawless directed action... a great, great ending. The movie is a wonderful example of in-depth characters examinations. Wayne is an icon of the classic Western genre and no cast member of this movie after this film was made stood the same way when they entered the movie. Through the unwritten code of the West, there is stereotypical conduct of the Indians portrayed as savages, where the kidnapped girl is lost between two societies. Even Steven Spielberg has said it's his favorite movie that motivated his career. Plus, it's a partial influence of Star Wars created by George Lucas, which shows this movie's long lasting value. Believe it or not, it wasn't even nominated for a single Academy Award. If John Ford is in fact the greatest Western director, then this movie is a definite top three best Western film ever made.

Final Grade: A-/B+

Pi (1998)
Starring Sean Gullette, Mark Margolis, Samia Shoaib, Ben Shenkman

Film Prophet's Review...
An apprehensive mathematics genius, Gullette, is obsessed with numbers to go as far discovering the numbers in Pi. More specifically, he claims that after he stared at the sun at age six, he has had a sense of some psychosomatic evidence of patterns all around the world that people aren't aware of. By finding the 216th number in Pi, he can understand and solve the existence of universe patterns. He is a man who wants to be left alone to do his work inside his little apartment with his supercomputer that he creates. Gullette comes across an older Jewish man, who has attempted to solve the theory before. Also, Gullette tries experiments with formulas and equations and takes a look at the changing results at the stock market that partially helps him out by understanding universal patterns. He believes the universe is made up of numbers from length, width, ratio, and anything infinite of an object. From that problematical plot explanation, the movie is more of a lecture than a show. It focuses on the math genius where he has no time for anything else and doesn't want to get bothered with materials as in money. He is trying to understand the world in numbers all in his apartment. The film contains some unsettling images with a techno music background and freaky noises with high pitched sounds that show the affects on him when he uses drug like chemicals as he begins to notice some sort of symbol on his head as a result. Whereas after the eerie moments happen, the movie flashes to a white still picture for a few seconds. There are some slow moving scenes, but on the bright side, it was interesting and fairly innovative. An obvious low budget film with its nameless cast and filtered in grayscale picture, where at times the camera is quite disoriented. Too much thought, too repetitive with not much output from the story where its based on him finding out the answers himself. The movie gets weird near the end where people attempt to seduce him and steal his final answer of Pi. The drugs are a main stress point on him where he begins to shake and it shows the drugs have taken over him. In finding Pi, it is changing and killing him to understand Pi, where the Rabbi admits he is not ready to receive the number and so on.

Final Grade: B-

Platoon (1986)
Starring Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, John C. McGinley, Forest Whitaker, Johnny Depp

Film Prophet's Review...
A young man, Sheen, has just entered the Vietnam war into a platoon where his allegiance is tested by two superior officers. Staff Sergeant Bob Barnes, Berenger, is a macho, morose, solider who usually is high on drugs and may have gone to a darker side. Sergeant Elias Grodin, Dafoe, is more on the gentle side and looks out for his men. Sheen's character discovers the horrors of the war and tries to find out what is expected out of him, while the two leaders struggle amongst each other. War movies aren't that easy to make, since there wasn't much entertainment on land for the soldiers, the movie won't consist of much dazzling spectacles other than the battles. The entire setting focused on the Vietnam war territory itself when Sheen first arrived from the helicopter in the opening scene. Oliver Stone captured his direction of beautiful footage with nature sounds as the camera did a nice job panning out the scenery. A mesmerizing musical score, one of the most unforgettable scores in any film, that attaches the viewer in the lives on the characters and story. The cast was splendid and appealing of young stars. It's perhaps Sheen's best movie under the direction of Stone. Film Prophet especially liked the notable performance Willem Dafoe delivered. The movie did win Oscars of best picture and best director as well. The message of the movie is about the Vietnam war where Sheen goes over some views and beliefs about the war in voiceover of what they carried, why they were there, and putting their lives on the line by fighting. Sheen's character here is totally innocent because he is not only pulled into a war as a new recruit, but it is placed on him to make a decision to take a side of a leader when things don't go accordingly. He finds out war has no happy endings and he is emotionally drained out from the experiences he faces. The Williem Dafoe ending was absolutely chilling and perhaps the most memorable recording of the film. The final war sequence was engaging that makes me look down on the Northern Vietnamese. The war rests on these young men lives in the platoon. It gives the viewer a sense of how things may have felt through examining the involvement of U.S. in Vietnam.

Final Grade: B+

Heat (1995)
Starring Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Ashley Judd, Tom Sizemore, Jon Voight, Natalie Portman

Film Prophet's Review...
In this crime-drama directed by Michael Mann, Neil McCauley, De Niro, is a clever and devious bank robber on the brink of retirement who begins to leave inadequate suspicions for Detective Vincent Hanna, Pacino, from Los Angeles. At the expense of their family relations, Neil's crew plan to rob a bank as Vincent settles to hunt them down every moment he gets. Each main character has a girlfriend dilemma due to the chase of a cat and mouse game. They are terrified and frustrated, as they confront each other showing each side of the relation where the story explores two opposite private lives of Vincent and Neil. Strong acting performances held through some lengthy moments. Kilmer was poised and stunning at his role and it was cool to see De Niro and Pacino in the same movie. Even though the movie had a great cast, the direction wasn't that appealing. To some extent, it was intense, but not top notch since a longer movie usually has a slower beginning and an exposition. The plot was pleasing, though, it just took a while to shape up and get there. A movie that actually tries to use dialogue to make it seem imperative, however, it needed a better screen write so the viewer can get more involved precisely. The drama offsets the action that turns into some cheap melodramatic material that ends up looking like a manly soap opera. Besides that, there was a great, entertaining back and forth shooting sequence after the big bank robbery. Disloyalty comes into act for Neil's crew as for the title, it's his saying in life where he can't walk away from something if the Heat is on. A superb ending that had me tuned in.

Final Grade: B-

The Wild Bunch (1969)
Starring William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Warren Oates, Edmond O'Brien

Film Prophet's Review...
Out to settle one last big score, a group of outlaws are on the run from the Mexican Army and plan to rob the U.S. Army train. The head of the group, Holden, has reminiscing memories in flashback. The men are getting old and act as goofballs, where there are shots of kids sometimes imitating them like they are role models. "We all dream of being a child again." The opening twenty movies was perhaps the best highlight. It used a freeze frame in its tarnish atmosphere to show the beginning credits and the opening shooting sequence was somewhat stylish and inventive. In the midst of the Mexican setting and music, I personally think the movie is vastly over-rated. There was one scene where I didn't want to see, well, many scenes. For example, the men were in a sweaty spa barely clothed. The film didn't hold my attention because there was no story in the middle of the movie at all when they were so called entering Mexican territory. There was a lot of confusion in the action in between the tons of gore and graphical violence that was unclear at points as well. I learned that Mexicans are irritating, hideous, and dense from the direction output. Fittingly, the movie's significant point was the use of the editing instrument where it didn't need a lot of talk and showed masses of gun action and killings.

Final Grade: C-

Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
Starring Robert De Niro, James Woods, Elizabeth McGovern, Tuesday Weld, Treat Williams, Jennifer Connelly

Film Prophet's Review...
Childhood friends become gangsters in 1900s New York, where one of them at a young age, Noodles goes to prison for a long time for stabbing a kid, who gave him a beating before in an alley and just shot his friend, as when the cops arrive, he stabs one of the two. Thirty years later, Noodles, De Niro, is an adult in Brooklyn and begins to deal with his regrets while reuniting with old friends and girls time after time. They begin to become gangsters and rebel against their old rough childhood enemies and then some more. Sergio Leone, the Italian based director of this movie and from Once Upon a Time in the West, likes to use little dialogue and plenty of shots of faces and scenery. The movie itself was boring about shifting relationships among the main cast with nothing entertaining where scenes of just two men talking about little significance was a common feature... a true opium trance in the misty den.  The first hour could have easily been twenty minutes, but that's not how Sergio makes this film. He expands them to unlimited length setting up the average drama starting from childhood to withered females, while the direction was pretty incoherent and the dismal lighting was quite atrocious. The musical score was pretty, though, the scenes were just stretched out with long camera pans. It's too bad the screenplay wasn't up to par because the period of time of the 1920s and late 1960s operated in this movie was astonishing exemplifying a section of New York City with guns, money, friendship, sex, and beer. The acting helped the movie go along the sorrowfulness for almost four hours and these actors did a splendid job. De Niro was in the majority of the scenes as he was superb and Joe Pesci was in this for about ten minutes. The look of the film was very violent, going sluggish and showing blood after gun shots while the men wear fedora hats and trench coast costumes. Though, the story and thematic elements were very tender. It's a story about betrayal, friendship, and revenge that nails it hard on some points with shocking emotional confessions that were meant to be deep and saddening, but it's way too artsy for a poor, valued too commended gangster movie.

Final Grade: C+/C

Giant (1956)
Starring Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean, Dennis Hopper, Jane Withers, Carroll Baker

Film Prophet's Review...
While a Texan cattleman Bick Benedict, Hudson, visits Maryland to buy a horse, he meets and falls in love with the owner's spoiled daughter, Leslie, Taylor. As a newly wed young couple, they move to Bick's isolated Texan mansion with a tough maid and tons of cattle. A loner, nonentity oilman Jett Rink, Dean, starts out silent and settled in the film and later becomes greedy and rich when he strikes oil as he becomes a rival to Bick and tries to take over Texas while the Benedicts watch, but want to get involved. The Benedicts begin to raise a family over the course of time of two generations and in the meantime, Rink begins to control Texas. It was prestige to own land and it was for rich people. With all that food they used to make on the ranch for breakfast like eggs, bacon, and such, they got dressed up just for breakfast and they never show them eating it. Farmers loved their meat and eggs. The young Elizabeth Taylor sure is pretty and charming, and shines over Hudson for the first half of the film until they get older, but Hudson also delivers a very notable performance. Taylor keeps the movie upbeat for over three hours as a longer film means more slow-paced scenes, but that was just in the beginning. The movie shifts a focus on the next generation. Over a period of time, Bick and Leslie start to have many kids, both girls and boys, that were too sensitive most of the time like crying over everything such as coming off a horse ride. They later grew up to young adults and started to make decisions their own way instead of being a cattleman like their father, which upsets their father Bick. The young Dennis Hopper in this movie is one of the sons who wants to go to Harvard to be a doctor, as he marries a Mexican lady and most other people are agitated over this fact, like Jett Rink. "You can't live their lives for them." The story is an ambitious family epic about sacrificing traditions that capture family values, holidays, and U.S. events from the 1920s to 1950s. It fulfilled Film Prophet's enthusiasm and then more. This movie should have won best picture over the mediocre Around the World in 80 Days. At least George Stevens got the very deserving best director that year for his stunning story development of oil conquering over the cattle in Texas, while times and generations change as they grow older. The final moments of the film brought a smile on my face. It's safe to say that it's close to being the best movie about a family epic and a generation adjustment.

Final Grade: A-/A

The Deer Hunter (1978)
Starring Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, Meryl Streep, John Savage, George Dzundza, John Cazale

Film Prophet's Review...
Three young men, who work at a steel mill and get drunk often, are drafted to combat in Vietnam. Before they leave, one of them gets married as the next thing is that they are in Vietnam and the horrors they begin to face and come across. One of them, De Niro, tries to keep things intact for them to escape, but they get separated as one, Walken, gets in another condition, and when some do make it back home, the war effects were devastating on them. Winner of best picture, the deer hunter title is used as a literacy metaphor to the pivotal character in De Niro, a deer hunter who returns from war and can't kill a deer like he used to. He used to take deer hunting up as a hobby with his friends, but he is humble about it. He now knows what it's like to be hunted and teased as the innocent being pulled from their homes in the wild. There is nothing pretty about killing and this film pushes it to the audience. From the start of the long Polish wedding of happiness transcends to a melancholy bar scene on the night before they leave, a quick scene cut occurs to them already at Vietnam in assault with noisy helicopters and clouds of napalm fire. Perhaps the most vital shots in this film occur during the 'Russian Roulette' parts, where they are forced to point a gun at their head and pull the trigger, later to find out that it is actually empty... or not. It's demoralizing to watch... it's more haunting to learn about Vietnam war this way than in class. It shows how murderous, silly, and violent the Vietnamese treated them. Film Prophet felt the emotional tense the characters felt during the scenes. The acting is great, and yes, it's Walken again. Though, the direction is straightforward that drags slowly a bit at times, the story seems to have more singing and background extra characters mumbling than actual dialogue. The whole cinematography look was appealing, but the main message of the film are the effects the pointless war of Vietnam had on these three individuals, and thus surpassing on their friends and family. They were average men with a strong friendship, hanging out and just living their lives in a small town. It's an anti-war film and one of the top Vietnam war films made.

Final Grade: B/B+

The Birth of a Nation (1915)
Starring Lillian Gish, Henry B. Walthall, Mae Marsh, Walter Long, Joseph Henabery, Miriam Cooper

Film Prophet's Review...
The movie of a timeline... the first major filmmaker, D.W. Griffith, involves the epic U.S. in the late nineteenth century starting at the Civil War to Lincoln's assassination finishing at the South ruled by the blacks after the war. Griffith's landmark expanded the boundaries of any kind of storytelling on screen that's more complex and meaningful. The film starts off about two brothers visiting a rich white family on a plantation in the South during the slave period and then going off to participate in the Civil War. One young man, Ben, Walthall, carries a photo of a beautiful lady, Elsie, Gish, during the Civil War he got from a friend, but has never seen her before. It turns out that Elsie is Ben's inspiration to finish the war throughout all the suffering and loses. The movie also shares a political side with president Abraham Lincoln, Henabery, where he establishes the U.S. constitution that states the abolishment of slavery and free blacks after Robert E. Lee's surrender to Ulysses S. Grant. An astonishing scene of Lincoln in his balcony during the play of 'Our American Cousin' with an educational view of Lincoln's bodyguard leaving his post outside his entry to get a closer watch of the play. The haunting shot of John Wilkes Booth, famous as Lee Harvey Oswald, came in and shot the president. Griffith then displays the results of Lincoln's death by an observation of some saddening citizens. With slavery obsolete, blacks began to obtain white's rights and jobs with a fair trial as well. All this was done in an old choppy black and white silent film that's not even intended to be daunting, but it's the truth. The intense, captivating emotion that's overwhelming and shocking makes this movie so innovative. The movie is pro-white and anti-black, where the blacks are portrayed as the appalling antagonists. Africans just came here for slavery and when the slavery was abolished, the U.S. had a bunch of illiterate blacks goofing around and trying to be like the whites in a way. The black written language on screen was comical, but it's very true and accurate. The handwritten letters had a long focused shot on a part of it as it can be seen that the writing is hard to read and see that writing has changed over the century. The sound of the musical scores gives the audience the idea of how dramatic the scene is suppose to be. In one of the most momentous scenes in an U.S. film, a black freed slave, Long, chased and stalked a white woman in the woods leading to a shocking suicidal jump off a cliff. The fact that the white woman was so afraid of the black man made her so insecure and it was just enormous. The eye makeup worn by the blacks made them look haunting and scary giving the appeal of whiter eyes due to their blacker skin. The spectacular battle scenes all looked so fresh and effective... Ku Klux Klan to the rescue! A rare to own, rent, or seen feature that's so fast paced for an old film. Film Prophet took it all serious as it was well told with turning, shocking events during the U.S. for Ben, Elsie, and their family and friends in the South because of the blacks freedom. A critical, most powerful movie of it's time.

Final Grade: A/A+

The Cooler (2003)
Starring William H. Macy, Alec Baldwin, Maria Bello, Ron Livingston, Shawn Hatosy, Estella Warren

Film Prophet's Review...
When people with bad luck walk by a casino table, everyone loses. When the bad luck people play, not only do they lose bad, but the people around him also lose and the dealer wins. Thus, the casino makes more money, as these people are known as 'The Coolers.' The story focuses on one of them in particular as the owner of the casino, Baldwin, declares his best is Bernie Lootz, Macy. Bernie is a despondent man and is always down on himself, who lives in a beat down nightly motel next door to a prostitute, and wants to get away from the casino, but finds interest in one of the casino's employees, Bello, as he continues being a cooler. Later on, when the owner finds the casino down in millions, he tries to break up the romance between the two because she is Bernie's lady luck. Outstanding directed film with an intriguing romantic relationship that reminds Film Prophet of the old time days. The two are normal people who are on their lows at times where they attract calmly, but don't admit right away they are in love, except the audience can tell. In a Las Vegas typical casino setting coated by a saxophone score, the owner sells dope and brings in a Harvard interim, Livingston, who makes various remarks. The movie did poor in the box office, resulting in below ten million, but that doesn't mean anything for this film. Wiliam H. Macy carries the movie in a starring role, where he usually supports, as he is relaxing to watch. Film Prophet loved the trio acting performance... amusing and engaging. I can't believe Bello was in Secret Window because it totally wasn't going anywhere right for her. This is her best role with her shimmering hair and I was overwhelmed. Some funny dramatic performances in and out. In one scene, Bello and Macy imitate next door in Macy's room making sexual noises along with pounding on the wall as the guy next door is like, "Shut the f*ck up!" A very well directed film by Wayne Kramer carrying out consequential themes of pregnancy and having class. I was totally astounded during the scene where Macy's son was up a hundred grand and a half on a casino table, but then lost it when he kept betting. Afterwards, the amateur with his girlfriend, Warren, was taken in the back by the owner and some men to be beat on him as the interim was there to watch the aggressiveness of the owner by teaching him a lesson with atrocious results and a huge twist at the end of that scene. Film Prophet can see why Baldwin was nominated and won various awards like Vancouver Film Critics Circle, National Board of Review, and the Golden Satellite and Globes. The selfish owner, Baldwin, attempts to bring down Bernie's happiness for his own. "What the f*ck is there to love?" Another twist near the end of the film about the love relationship occurs. "Look in my eyes, I am the only mirror you're ever going to need." What a plot... luck comes in at the end... perhaps the best emotional thrilling ending in awhile. It was above my expectations... one of the top casino films ever made.

Final Grade: B+/A-

Unforgiven (1992)
Starring Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, Jaimz Woolvett, Richard Harris

Film Prophet's Review...
Directed by Clint Eastwood, an old gunslinger, Eastwood, his ex-partner, Freeman, and a quick-draw kid go on a ride to the remote town of Big Whiskey when they find out there is a bounty reward for killing two cowboys who are whore abusers. Big Whiskey is controlled by malevolence, corrupted town sheriff Little Bill, Hackman. The town is filled of vengeful prostitutes who do nothing but get injured. Little Bill's law is that no firearms can enter the town, but the law enforcers can point them, may fire, and take them away. Winner of best picture and director, a notorious deprecation of a revised Western setting and characters where the story is deceptive. Western stories are so forthright, where lonesome cowboys hunt for gold and come across various strangers. The movie contained one of those slow, boring beginnings that just isn't engaging. The dialogue was sincerely dreary, where the characters would wander around communicating about gibberish in a vacant desert. Hardly any seen conflicted action as Film Prophet was disappointed in a revamped Western. Surprising, it beat... well, nothing... for best picture. 1992 was an awful year for Oscar contenders. One of the bottom, worst best pictures, as after this movie, rarely another outstanding great Western was made as it ended the genre. The movie wasn't entertaining very much and Film Prophet was not aroused. Freeman was a highlight of the film, including Clint and Hackman won the supporting Oscar. The movie Film Prophet says is quite over-rated, yet, Eastwood's work is always praised no matter what he does. Film Prophet lost interest halfway in the movie. A great finish from Eastwood and a few intense scenes, but not enough for a high final grade.

Final Grade: C

True Romance (1993)
Starring Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Michael Rapaport, James Gandolfini, Brad Pitt, Dennis Hopper

Film Prophet's Review...
Written by Quentin Tarantino, Clarence, Slater, meets a call girl Alabama, Arquette, one night inside a movie theater as they fall in love instantly. They marry and in the midst of saving and helping his wife from her pimp, Clarence steals tons of cocaine in a briefcase. Later, he tries to sell it in Hollywood for a cheaper price, while the original owners of the cocaine try to retrieve it. The crime thriller had a totally cumbersome approach in the opening, where dirty, sexual language was used on and off. The pointless and useless violence gave Film Prophet the impression of a horrendous picture at start, where the anger would resort to plenty of gun killing brutality. Tarantino certainly sure likes torturing a helpless person in his scripts as well. The drama built the intense within the middle of the film as the second half was brilliant and because of that, the movie was reassured to be electrifying. A very deep cast in this movie as the film brings in a new star face every new segment it seems, while the roles for these people are in a one or a few scenes. Besides the listed cast, the rest of the people include names such as Gary Oldman, Christopher Walken, Val Kilmer, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Sizemore, and Chris Penn. Just seeing all those names, it is worth to inspect. The acting all around was fun and great. Again, Christopher Walken appears in yet another movie Film Prophet has watched this year. He is definitely a top supporting actor of all-time. Brad Pitt plays a pothead, Gandolfini was excellent, Arquette is endearing with a cute, but annoying at sometimes Southern accent, and Dennis Hopper uses profanity the best hysterically. Film Prophet liked the whole Hollywood movie producer idea as well. An extremely well plot with some notable scenes along the way and a stimulating tense, emotional final drug bust sequence.

Final Grade: B-/B

12 Angry Men (1957)
Starring Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Jack Warden, Martin Balsam, Joseph Sweeney, E.G. Marshall

Film Prophet's Review...
One of the twelve jurors, Fonda, votes alone on not guilty in the case of a eighteen year old boy from the slums who is accused of killing his father. The plot developed right away in the court room leading into the jury room, where basically the whole movie was shot in that one setting. The jury room started already with dilemma as it was a humid day inside. These twelve men were randomly selected that for only one evening they have to cooperate to determine the fate of the boy. Fonda, the eighth juror, is the entrancing protagonist who held out of the original vote because he was not yet convinced. The verdict has to be declared an unanimous decision as the jurors one by one starting discussing the case as they changed their votes on possible and probable beliefs of evidence. Juror number eight took the other side against all odds and was not ready to send the boy to the chair, showing silent confidence as a juror would claim to change his vote and there was anger without profanity. Notice there was no women on the jury, hence the movie title. Jurors started to move to number eight's side, but there were jurors who were not yet convinced and were irritated by the fact people started moving to his so called fairy tale side of the story twisting facts around. Number eight was also supported by accurate detailed thoughts by others and objectives that the witnesses in circumstances could be wrong... people make mistakes. Brilliant dialogue accordingly to the acting. Sidney Lumet did an excellent job on the use of camera pans and zooms and made the camera into human, which is not always easy to do. As said, the movie was shot in the jury room, flawlessly polished with perfect writing where the viewer would have to make the mental picture of what is presented and said of the case and facts with the boy. An exceptional motion picture with a special outcome and theme.

Final Grade: A-/A

The Untouchables (1987)
Starring Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro, Andy Garcia, Patricia Clarkson

Film Prophet's Review...
Young Treasury Officer Elliott Ness, Costner, struggles early in his career to get on track in 1920s Chicago. He wants to get crime boss Al Capone, De Niro, so he recruits a personal group of three more people where veteran agent Jim Malone, Connery, guides him along with two other intelligent agents. Elliott's job was to enforce the law and at the time, alcohol was illegal. Capone was the most successful leader of his violent gang during the prohibition period, bootlegging alcohol in a quiet manner and fashion. Though, the cutting-edge direction by Brian De Palma centers the attention on Capone's surreptitious bookkeeping, where it was the only way Elliott can get Capone in court with proof and witnesses. There was also a meddlesome photographer around to take Elliott's pictures of the successful and not so successful times of his career. As pertinent, Costner dominated the late 80s with a handful of his leading starring roles in movies. The cast in this movie is quite imperative, but it's not their best work, even though Connery won supporting Oscar with his concise character. The shooting scene near the end combining a baby carriage with a baby inside going down the stairs is probably the most memorable scene with the particular musical score. The rate of the scene moved deliberately slower that was very clever as the camera angles were nifty as well. Film Prophet enjoyed the amusing stakeout concepts for the brief moments, but I was anticipating more drawn out encounters than talk. The thing about this movie is the timing of the action is unknown never knowing when it will start to rumble. Most of the times, there was a lot of attacks of people coming from behind another with no one looking around. The story more explored bookkeeping than alcohol. "Never stop fighting until the fight is done."

Final Grade: B-

Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Starring Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Alfred Molina, Rosemary Harris

Film Prophet's Review...
Continuing where the first one left off, Peter Parker, Maguire, is battling two lives between himself and being the hero in Spider-Man as he is uncertain which path to take. Like the first one, the opening credits was protracted, also showing highlights of the first film in drawings. Parker is a struggling college student who still works for the New York newspaper photographing Spider-Man and such, and his short stunt as a pizza delivery man on an electric scooter, which was pretty hilarious trying to deliver pizza on time in a crowded New York City full of sneering people. Still, he can not pay his rent. Each other significant person in Parker's life also has a choice to make. His Aunt, Harris, mourns over Parker's uncle, can't pay for the house bills. Mary Jane Watson, Dunst, has an astronaut boyfriend and stars now in a theater play as Harry Osborn, Franco, made a promise to avenge his father's death and is now the head of his father's powerful company. Parker also comes across Dr. Otto Octavius, where Parker decides to write a college paper on him. Octavius also knows Harry, so Harry lets Parker introduce himself to him. Later on, when he begins to show off his fusion reaction experiment in front of several people, the experiment goes wrong of course and yet the movie has another mad scientist on the loose as he becomes Dr. Octopus. He has four mechanical arms sticking out of his back and becomes an enemy robbing a bank and building this sun capsule that will destroy half of New York City after he loses his wife in his big time experiment, funded by Harry. There is a horrifying scene in the movie where Dr. Octopus awakens before he is operated on by doctors. The scene is in mute with no musical score over-lapping and showing the force these arms has against the helpless doctors as the sound was terrifying. Moving on, Parker always has a choice to make that turns out to be complicated between him and Mary Jane over the simplest things. Several times, he is late to various occasions, including Mary Jane's play, where the consequences from not being on time are distressing. There are also several clips of Spider-Man using his web strings to fly around building to building where shortly, he is unable to use this power as he takes hard, long falls to the ground, but still manages to get up. He begins to ponder about which path to take and drops the Spider-Man gimmick, not rescuing people in need and taking great care of himself. Some frequent acts that occur in the film are the loss of his spidey webs when he swings around, plenty of obnoxious people in the world, being late to little but important things, hardships among friends, and hard work is greater than laziness. Sam Raimi's pacing is on target. He takes the self-confidence theme in between plenty of action and drama and exposes the action scenes with exhilarating special effects, where the images are slowed down revealing details of how close the action was to the people, and then is sped back up. Nonetheless, the movie is filled with great dialogue as it uses some new popular quotes like the first one said off, such as "Everybody loves a hero" and "The power of the press triumphs." The visual effects and intensity is classy and breathtaking. "Intelligence is a gift."

Final Grade: B+/B

West Side Story (1961)
Starring Richard Beymer, Natalie Wood, George Chakiris, Rita Moreno, Russ Tamblyn

Film Prophet's Review...
The musical adaptation of Romeo and Juliet takes place in the streets of Manhattan and the slums of the west side in New York City. There are two street gangs instead of two families and a love affair is between Jets leader Tony, Beymer, and Maria, Wood, where her brother Bernardo, Chakiris, is the head of the rival gang, Sharks. They fall in love during a time of hate as Bernardo decides to challenge one of the Sharks to a winner takes all fight. Musicals aren't really Film Prophet's genre, but for this, I have to make an exception. It's a captivating, original story with amusing dance routines in group sequences opening up snapping their fingers in unit harmony. The singing and dancing was actually entertaining and they weren't super long boring singing scenes either. They sung enormously well thriving each song to astonish me. The characters looked great with their lavish costumes, hair, and facial looks. The credits come at the end in graffiti format, instead of showing them in the opening colored shots. The rumble scene was spectacular and made an intense impact on the story. The smoothing tempo music in this is really impressive each segment with a nice flow of direction into each part. I loved hearing, "Tonight, Tonight," in a duet form with the terrific Beymer and the wonderful Wood, both singing it so strong and pulsating. "You do have magic... Of course, I've got you." Film Prophet can see why musicals adapt this story on stage. The songs by Leonard Bernstein are wonderfully done and drew my attention into the romance and drama. Oscar winner of best picture and for the only time in Academy Award history, a pair of directors, Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise, win the Oscar for best directing in a film. The cinematography was so well set in its lighting and decoration that was aided by the film editing. The showcase is stunning, cultivated, and vibrant as it's a film to be cherished for times to come. Film Prophet was completely amazed. Perchance, the best music ever written in an American film symbolizing cinematic art at its very finest.

Final Grade: A-/A

Vanilla Sky (2001)
Starring Tom Cruise, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Kurt Russell, Jason Lee

Film Prophet's Review...
Directed by Cameron Crowe, a dumbfound, charming young man, Cruise, inherits a magazine company from his highly successful father, as he is rich and women love him. After a car accident, Cruise's jaw is damaged and his face is disfigured and he tries to get his life back together. The whole movie look is pretty astounding, especially where Times Square looks beautiful in the beginning when no person or car is around in sight. The sound and camera angles are neat and the music is straight out spooky. A great starring cast, where Russell is a psychological doctor and Diaz and Cruz are Cruise's love affairs. Cruise delivers an extraordinary performance as Diaz is wonderful and Cruz' accent is cute. Cruz is a bright spot of the movie where it was easy to see why Cruise starts to fall in love with her. Diaz' stalker character is there to hammer in on his sex life and opening up secrets and important friendships and why sleeping with someone makes a promise. Some parts of the movie are told in flashback memories, but most of this is resolved in the end. The first half showed some attempted moments of scare before the car accident really occurs where Diaz is believed to be dead in the car with him. Cruise now seems to have partial loss of memory and begins in denial and faces various consequences. The movie is totally ironic because he once had at all and now he wants it all back to function again. The old person is the person his friends loved and the new person isn't. There are times where he loses friends and both girls as the people are now like the old him where he has become the stalker to hear his used words of 'soon' and 'ugly.' Suitably, he hits a drastic adjustment behind a mask as he is afraid to show what's underneath it at times. He begins to experience a nightmare-like reality of hallucinations of the two girls after he gets surgery done on his face. He retrieves himself with a possible gain back, or can he tell what's real and what exists... a crafted plot explaining everything at the end with less mainstream. The film discovers what really happened after the point of him collapsing on the streets in the middle of the story as glitches are in forms of guilt and conceivably, he is given a second chance.

Final Grade: B-

Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)
Starring Michael Moore, George W. Bush

Film Prophet's Review...
The documentary by Michael Moore is about what happens during the Bush Administration and the events after September 11th, 2001 in the United States. At the end of the year, Film Prophet will look back and say that this movie was perhaps the biggest disappointment. It opens up with the 2000 Presidential Election between Gore and Bush, where Moore is behind the Democratic leader in Gore. The movie then shows footage of news networks showing that Gore originally won Florida, but a recount shows Bush wins as they apologize for the inconvenience. Apparently, Moore thinks Bush shouldn't have won Florida, but he did win. Throughout the movie, Moore's voice sounds so commanding and compelling that makes the viewer ponder and focus in on the point that's about to come across next on his political viewpoint. When Bush started his term, he lost approval and polls and Moore declares a stat of Bush going on vacation 42% of the time. Then, Moore explores the aftermath of 9/11 about security, airports, what citizens don't know, family loses, and people still looking for their missing love ones. Where was Bush during this time? He was in an elementary class reading a book. Moore began to scorn his choice for about five to ten minutes where he stays for a lengthy time in the classroom in front of the kids instead of leaving the class and perhaps frightening the kids. Moore began to question what was Bush thinking while he was in the classroom... maybe he should of had a meeting about terrorism instead of going golfing all the time. Bush was most likely shocked like the rest of us in disbelief. Moore then went on bashing Bush with various footage of previous live television shows of Iraq and Bush non-sense during the period. A comical part was when Bush told Moore to 'go find real work.' People think Moore is a close-minded, fat stalking muckraker who makes tons of money off it. If he thinks the economy is so bad, he should get a real job like Bush says then or maybe he really does dislike the states. Film Prophet wasn't expecting an action film, but even for a documentary, it is quite boring. It became slow and pointless with additional boring clips, where the second half is so horrible. It drags on making some point the first half of the film made as it does not continue on anything more relevant. There was too much leading into business and drawing up connections. It wasn't as convincing as Bowling for Columbine, where there isn't enough strong evidence in this film. The movie reeks of junk just as much as the opposing conflict in this documentary as it is all repetitive where Moore poses questions in voiceover and showing shots of Bush stumbling upon issues. Moore doesn't even ask why America was attacked and goes on with his propaganda. Moore puts the blame on Bush as Bush puts the blame on Saddam Hussein for the attacks. Film Prophet admits the second half of the film about Iraq and the soldiers was less interesting since his point was already established. He talks about recruitment is more like a job than it is a service, where your life is on the line for the country. The president during 9/11 was Bush and people just have to trust our nation's superior leader for the time being even if the economy is failing. Moore is coming across as if the Bush Administration are portrayed as fools since they knew 9/11 was going to happen and then let it happen because they were going to make money of it. That's all crap because no human being is that evil and corrupted.

Final Grade: D/C-

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1967)
Starring Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef, Antonio Casas

Film Prophet's Review...
Originally an Italian-Western film in '66, U.S. 1967 is the greatest year for movie selection. A drifter, a bandit, and bounty hunter go their separate ways to find a buried treasure full of gold in the west. These three people are categorized as The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, where the movie opens up a great character introduction at which Eastwood plays the part of 'the good.' A saga of revenge and greed, where no one exactly is the hero or the villain since they are all going after one thing. Film Prophet overall really didn't care that much for this movie. Yes, it's quite over-rated with its use of boring dialogue changeovers with languor. The story is quite minimal, where they must survive and get to the gold. It's an hour's worth of a story that is exactly close to three hours of the film. Too many expanded scenes of men just staring down each other, but that is director Sergio Leone's panache. Film Prophet tries not to say this anymore, but this movie needed some female significance, even if it is a western. There is too many shots of roughneck faces with long stares that attempt to express their emotions rather than with words. They are men with few words and the excitement is hard to find and it doesn't keep one's attention for a duration. The music was great with iconic imagery of solid gun action moments with classic western quick release of the gun at standoffs. Not much of a compelling story, though, the elements were pretty stylistic like the incredible music and ability to freeze the frame with the name of the appearing character for an introduction. Besides the great acting by Clint, western's greatest soundtrack, and an outstanding trio finale, the preamble of the movie was somewhat tedious and the rest hit a bit below Film Prophet's expectations.

Final Grade: B/B-

Rebecca (1940)
Starring Joan Fontaine, Laurence Olivier, Judith Anderson, George Sanders, Leonard Carey

Film Prophet's Review...
Maxim de Winter, Olivier, is still troubled by the death of his wife Rebecca, as he falls in love with another lady, Fontaine. They become a newly wed as they move into a far away mansion where he once lived before with Rebecca with tons of butlers and maids, but one maid stands out from the rest. Mrs. Danvers, Anderson, begins to drive the young wife to obsession over Rebecca. An involved mystery occurs when people wonder how Rebecca really died turns this movie into a reminisce collection. Film Prophet's #1 director, Alfred Hitchcock, directs this movie and of course originates his perfection of suspense and camera angles after this movie. A long exposition that got uninteresting, as the viewer awaits the description of who Rebecca is later on as the plot develops. Confessions from stories from the past are made after suspicions transpire. Winner of best picture, the acting was a plus, though there are a couple of performers who used boring old English accents. Besides the fact, the acting was great, especially under the love relation between Fontaine and Olivier's characters. Behind them, the romantic score sounds like something from a silent movie flowing along consistently. The movie excels at cinematography and special effects for the fire. Hitchcock introduces the structure of the plot when the weird character of Ben, Carey, comes into scene, who claims he doesn't want to go to an asylum when he is questioned about Rebecca's death. Ben is similar to Maxim, whereas Mrs. Danvers is to Rebecca. Hitchcock draws most of the attention to create the character of the second Mrs. De Winter and shows the alteration she makes when her character makes the apparent adjustment to Rebecca.

Final Grade: B/B+

Elizabeth (1998)
Starring Cate Blanchett, Joseph Fiennes, Geoffrey Rush, Richard Attenborough, Christopher Eccleston

Film Prophet's Review...
Elizabeth, Blanchett, nicknamed the Virgin Queen, becomes Queen of England when Queen Mary dies. She is now the leader surrounded by advisors and is under the radar. Her lover Lord Robert Dudley, Fiennes, is not considered suitable for marrying her as their relationship begins to change awkwardly during her reign. The movie opens up displaying creepy religious tension of evil and corruption. Most of the movie was dedicated to its stunning production of several elements within the film. First, the lighting assisted the movie, where it would be dark and shadowy during shots. Basically, the movie was a costume drama. What Film Prophet means by that is the movie's fundamentals were its costume design and acting abilities. Blanchett delivers a marvelous performance transcending from a young woman to a powerful queen over the course of the film, which is pretty noteworthy. Fiennes only really became big around this year as the rest of the cast gave fine performances at best. The movie did a well job at defining the period of time. The people are either happy or just mad. The scenes were well-ordered placed with descent dialogue. Though, it needed better story movement and more in-depth story than just words at the end of the movie to explain what happen. The story focuses on no significant conflict other than her decisions and relationship between her and the Lord and Prince. It moved along from how she became Queen and the struggles she begins to meet. There was no war, no battles, no sword fighting, as it was strictly a political showing. It was a crazy, violent time that was taken out of control both superiorly and inferiorly. Elizabeth was worshipped and was relied upon her decision-making. "All that I am... it is you." In her power, England was the most powerful and richest country in Europe during The Golden Age and became the most known, prevalent Queen who ever lived.

Final Grade: C+/B-

Donnie Darko (2001)
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Patrick Swayze, Drew Barrymore, Katharine Ross, Mary McDonnell

Film Prophet's Review...
Donnie Darko, Gyllenhaal, is an intelligent, weird, and charismatic schoolboy, who has visions of a six foot bunny rabbit named Frank. He tells Donnie the world will end in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, and 12 seconds. Donnie lives in an average family with two sisters as they resist sometimes with abusive language. He challenges things from reality, has an interest in time travel, and affects various people including his soul mate, Malone. One night, the haunting Bunny guided Donnie during his sleepwalk out of his bedroom where a bewildering jet engine would fall through his roof moments later. Barrymore is one of Donnie's teachers and Swayze is the model figure in town who writes a book about the division between fear and love. Film Prophet already knew the movie was going to be fantastic after seeing Donnie bike riding in the opening scene with a terrific first song selection of Echo and the Bunny Men's The Killing Moon. The timeline of the movie centers around the beginning of October to Halloween in 1988. Donnie sees a therapist who thinks he has schizophrenia. Almost every time he takes his medicine, it seems he comes in contact with the vision of Frank and he controls him in his sleepwalk to do violent acts. "They made me do it." Tremendous performances all around, especially a breakout one from Jake. The story explores friendship and family values correlating to controlling fears, death, and being lonely. Film Prophet's favorite part in the movie is when Donnie stands up against Swayze's character in front of a crowd in his school's auditorium in an open question address, where after a few kids ask Swayze a question. Then, Donnie asks how much is he getting paid to be here and leads into some other philosophical and logical issues against him. The movie's wonderful cinematography and art direction is one-hundred percent ideal. The sequences are stimulating and concentrated with exhilarating final shots, where Donnie has a Final Destination like ability to control strong, but passionate fate of his life and others. "Donnie Darko... what kind of name is that, it's like some sort of superhero or something? What make you think I'm not?"

Final Grade: A-

The Fugitive (1993)
Starring Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones, Sela Ward, Joe Pantoliano, Julianne Moore

Film Prophet's Review...
Dr. Richard Kimble, Ford, is convicted of murdering his wife. The action and suspense got under right away when he escapes from his prison bus as the plot opens up like The Defiant Ones, where convicts break loose from an automobile carrying them that crashed. Afterwards, the cops begin to chase them led by U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard, Jones. Throughout the movie, Kimble claims he is innocent of killing his wife. In the meantime, he is out to prove his innocence in a safe, secure way with friends or relatives who help and believe in him and to find out why his wife was killed and who the one-armed murderer really was. The doctor character came in handy for needed survival, including a friendly gesture among others. The shaving trick also helped too. Jones was superb, who earned best supporting Oscar for this role, where his great timing of "shutup" worked well. The movie questions if there are faults in courts and if there really is an innocent man on the loose being chased down, where at the same time without being caught must prove himself to others. The story explores determination and trust that produces a stirring pursuit.

Final Grade: B

Wuthering Heights (1939)
Starring Merle Oberon, Laurence Olivier, David Niven, Flora Robson

Film Prophet's Review...
Director William Wyler adapts a classic novel from Emily Bronte about a traveler caught in the snow who stays at the house of Wuthering Heights, where the housekeeper, Robson, tells the tale of the past house story in flashback. The original owner of the house brings home an orphan, where the daughter develops a close relationship that leads into love, despite the son. When the owner dies, the two grow up in the house destined for happiness. When she meets a rich neighbor, Niven, the now known grown up man, Olivier, gets jealous and leaves her. She marries the neighbor, but the two still seem in love with each other as they grow older into bitterness where they make the wrong mistake. The art direction, screenplay, film editing, and music in this black and white movie was all splendid. The story begins from the childhood years leading into their adults lives about a gothic heroine romance. The complex dialogue had an old sense to it, where it times the viewer would get lost in the conversations. Sometimes the words that were spoken were murmured and swift that was indistinct said at the same volume of pitch. The acting was nothing stellar, but the story let alone was the key to the movie. A fateful, classic ol' ending.

Final Grade: B/B-

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004)
Starring Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, Christine Taylor, Rip Torn, Justin Long

Film Prophet's Review...
Peter LaFleur, Vaughn, is a compelling owner of a gym called Average Joe's, where he has thirty days to come up with fifty grand to save his gym from an egomaniac owner, Stiller, of Globo Gym. The plot is pretty straightforward. There are two gyms. Average Joe's consists of weak, nerdy characters with typical comical personalities. Globo Gym is controlled by White Goodman who for some reason wants to takeover Average Joe's gym, even though it's not up to par. The small group from Average Joe's decides to enter a Las Vegas Dodgeball competition, where of course first place gets fifty grand. Goodman finds this out as he has a tough team ready to enter it too. A bank attorney, Kate Veatch, Taylor, issued the foreclosing, but then joins Average Joe's team of rejects after she finds out she is fired by Goodman. This begins a confrontation of various dodgeball battles in the tournament. The cast is led by Vaughn, who gives a middling performance. He is aided by a few goofy characters, in their bigger breakout role than usual, all under him to provide lots of crude humor. Stiller has an identical role as in his part during the movie Heavyweights. Stiller always brings an extra flavor in his movies. The Chuck Norris cameo was cool as well. Comical one-liners and a descent story movement along with outrageous humor and a bunch of offensive phrases that benefit the story of Dodgeball being a fun activity, yet so painful at times. "Baldness is a genetic disorder." In the end, the characters from Average Joe's were all once loveless who find love as they learn something about themselves. An exciting film with a fast, happy resolution.

Final Grade: B/B-

Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
Starring Henry Fonda, Claudia Cardinale, Jason Robards, Charles Bronson

Film Prophet's Review...
A stranger with a harmonica joins with a seedy desperado, Fonda, to protect a beautiful widow, Cardinale, from a gang of gunmen who work on the railroad. The concepts that occur in this film are loyalty, stylish landscapes, mysterious people, horse rides, pans, and the silence look. It makes this western what it is. The movie liked to used long, paused close ups of sweaty male faces with hats and a dirty, rough shadowy shave. The semi-Italian film made the west look bad. For example, the family in the opening scene was taken apart and murdered. The dialogue was insignificant at times where paused conversations took a few seconds after a sentence till another character speaks. The sound effects made the setting feel thriving. The facial expressions conveyed themselves over the lighting and costumers that were used. A well built atmosphere... a classic Western epic.

Final Grade: B-

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
Starring Richard Dreyfuss, Francois Truffaut, Teri Garr, Bob Balaban

Film Prophet's Review...
Directed by Steven Spielberg, the science fiction story shows a look of close encounters. After U.S. planes were reported missing in a desert, Roy Neary, Dreyfuss, comes in contact by a close encounter. The government now secretly plans a station ground for them to land at and to keep people away by covering it up. Although, Roy has a vision of a place that he can't figure out what it is, he is being consumed and frustrated by the fact and needs to find out. The movie visually is done spectacular showing the mother ship and the dazzling UFOs. The beginning had a poor cinematography bore with sand and fog where you can't see people's faces or really know what's going on at the point. The conversations are dense and unclear. The exposition didn't focus on the confusing characters, which is a reason why the cast isn't star stunning. Rather, the scenery, sound effects, and objects such as the UFOs were concentrated. A true science fiction film can be distinguished by its slow movement and tediousness plot with scientific talk waiting for a high conflict to arrive. Throughout the film, I had sick stomach feeling as all the men looked the same. The art and camera were a bit plain along with the dimmed lighting in weary moments. The movie had a strange setting, but tidy effects. Without any significant intense drama, the close encounters arrived not till later revealing their looks. Film Prophet still have to give its propers towards Spielberg for making close encounters a serious, lasting topic to talk about. Also, towards the work for the inventive look and formulating fears of outside forms of life.

Final Grade: B-

Shattered Glass (2003)
Starring Hayden Christensen, Peter Sarsgaard, Hank Azaria, Melanie Lynskey

Film Prophet's Review...
A true story about a journalist named Stephen Glass, Christensen, who becomes a famous successful young writer for various magazines. Although, 27 of his 41 published stories were made up and his reputation becomes diminished. The movie opens as he narrates his story in a front of a writing class in High School as some scenes began with peculiar camera angles and voice overs of how journalism is so powerful because the writing can be influenced by important people. It is vital job by being under pressure, responsible, and honest. The acting was centered around Hayden. His character had an editor who would protect him and it is also essential to have a great editor for being a journalist. Specifics were raised such as job security and how far one would go to use fake resources and to make up stories and characters to further one's career. In general, the movie didn't really appeal well. Sometimes the dialogue was boring to listen to and I never quite got involved. The movie lost touch with the entertainment because incidents occurred were quite identical going on about similar related topics. It just dragged on about the same thing that was nothing much at all.

Final Grade: C/C-