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Film Prophet's Movie Reviews Page 6

 

Capote (2005)
Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Clifton Collins Jr., Chris Cooper, Mark Pellegrino

Film Prophet's Review...
After a murder of a farm family at their house one night in Holcomb, Kansas, Truman Capote, Hoffman, reads about it in the newspaper and decides to take the new opportunity to write on it. When the two murderers are arrested, Truman befriends Perry Smith, and not really Richard Hickock, to write the book titled In Cold Blood. Capote's uncanny mannerisms and speech is often quaint in the beginning and inhabits during his imposing acting. Catherine Keener bounces back to a blissful and intellectual person as Harper Lee, the author of To Kill a Mocking Bird. She was one of Capote's many friends, and Capote was always the center of attention in a big group of chatter talking about the success and controversy in his past books. In Cold Blood was a book he worked on more than any others and in those years, Harper Lee even had a movie adapted from her novel. Capote stresses on extensive research before he begins and interviews before typing anything up. The movie is very inspiring and would make any author proud. Not only did the movie's direction make Capote so exceptional; Hoffman delivers a stellar performance portraying him, almost appearing in every scene and every other sobering scene. Several times, I cringed and had wet eyes. My throat literally collapsed for a couple seconds and my body was stunned during an astonishing scene when Perry releases the scenario of what happened during the night of the murder three years later. This relationship between Perry and Capote is the basis to the second half of the story that consumed attention with a caring mind. I was very impressed with everything the movie did and presented no notable flaws. The events are very accurate adjacent to the movie off the novel and the book, all the way to how Perry Smith walks and was held in a female cell. All of it is reminiscent chronologically with a profound clear message of one author lying partially to a criminal trusting him and becoming irresolute friends through interviews inside a prison cell. Clifton Collins Jr. makes his character seamless to harmonize with Hoffman... he is the most affectionate sustaining subject. Chris Cooper, as usual, prizes in his choices to pick roles. The film begins haunting, not showing the murders yet, but the deaths examining the house on the farm in a middle of no where with a long shot of the field. The cinematography is beautiful and the editing is precise. One who is familiar with the works knows what to imagine. However, when the time comes, it's riveting like one first experienced it again with a thought of connecting back to the original works. It's the most psychological intense movie about an author in process of writing a novel hard to get details, and an absorbing biopic of Capote and a misunderstood man. The saddest part is that Perry Smith was never able to read Capote's book about him.

Final Grade: A/A-

Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005)
Starring David Strathairn, George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr., Patricia Clarkson, Jeff Daniels

Film Prophet's Review...
During the 1950s of new journalism over broadcasting, Edward R. Murrow, Strathairn, and his producer, Fred Friendly, Clooney, help bring an end to the blacklisting and anti-Communist hearings in America. Their CBS news program, See It Now, challenged Joseph McCarthy on his claims that Communists are working as spies in the American government. The film was intended as if the viewers were set in as the home audience of the 1950s. It's black and white and to the point because there was no color television and doesn't want to even associate itself with the color red. It only shows the main CBS news program with Murrow and nothing else, except with the usual operations behind the camera and a few humorous advertisements on video. There were several communist hearing clips and sermons while the actual acting in the film was less than an hour, and most of it was Strathairn speaking directly to the camera for more than three consecutive minutes at numerous occasions, the focal point. None of it was too exciting because it was too real. Directed by Clooney, he relies on archives of footages to emphasis the historical aspects and when some are longer than expected, it makes the dullest points in the film. Clooney does capture the time capsule of the separate social parties, spies, and hypocrites. None of the characters were fully developed, not even McCarthy. They were ordinary people with moral furies to grab attention and voice an opinion. The important issue of freedom of the press and political constraints is a little too smart for the average viewer. Clooney's directing is very authentic, but passing and slim... a bit disappointing as I was expecting more from him and the cast's acting performances. It's constant on being stern with a plot that's really just a reminder. They went on air, maybe had an interview of actual footage with Strathairn. Once it ended, the CBS logo appeared, and the lights went out. Everyone began smoking more, went out for a drink somewhere, talked about how it was, checked reviews, and then went back at it again. Television was obviously a new source for media, but people bought the new invention for the purpose of entertainment. They wanted something to cheer them up at night and not find a debate that can be found in the national morning newspaper. Although, there is not one moment the film shows any other characters but the ones who are part of the CBS set, the film expresses a point that entertainment doesn't last that long and so the movie itself cuts short when the entertainment has already ran its course.

Final Grade: B-

In Her Shoes (2005)
Starring Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette, Shirley MacLaine, Mark Feuerstein, Jerry Adler

Film Prophet's Review...
Directed by Curtis Hanson, Maggie, Diaz, has a recurring state of unemployment leaving her virtually homeless as she bounces between homes of her friends and relatives. Having no confidence in her intellectual ability because she is dyslexia, she attracts the opposite sex and prizes a talent for choosing the perfect clothing for any occasion. Rose, Collette, is an educated overworking attorney at a top law firm in Philadelphia. Her low self-esteem leaves her one that things fits, which are her shoes. Unfortunately, Maggie uses and breaks them. The story has these two sisters travel to true appreciation for one another, aided by the discovery of their maternal grandmother, MacLaine, they thought was dead. Growing up together on top of differences of elder siblings shows how different their interests and styles are. The main three acts are bright female casts and characters who are very tender and embrace their personality adjustment without warning. Bonds gradually develop within the movie's time frame, then go flat and amend with regrets. The attractiveness of Diaz brings the testosterone level up to watch more of her charming persona. Her facade and long legs enhance the enjoyment in a few scenes to serves its purpose, but she flashes real ability to be a solid actress. Maggie's intelligence really doesn't improve because the tale around her is reconciling for her not to commit faults. She starts off as an irresponsible alcoholic with a carefree attitude, matching the film's tone. She is unemployed and asymmetric to her sister. Each operate as an educator at different occasion. Even though Maggie is the struggle to her sister, they aren't rival sisters, rather the movie is about a family apart. The enemy of the tale is poor communication, where past the middle of the film the two sisters have no contact at all. The tale covers little nuances to bother someone while a new soft conflict emerges every few minutes. Though, none are daunting to the audience because Hanson's storytelling is calm, slow, and painless. The best bursts of acting is when Collette as Rose gets upset at Maggie, except a little more than just a couple few stints would do. Some conversations between MacLaine and senior citizens have nothing to talk about but weather. Lewis, the old man, is the only funny character. The acting held parts of the film together and the audience learns about the connectivity between their estranged grandmother and common associations with other people. The movie is not a standard romantic comedy... it is just a plain melodrama. The characters kept their emotions inside and the film focuses on character development that resolves neatly without crazy scenarios of being threatened and attacked to respond to like other films released in the same year. As Rose is on an infringe of engagement, Maggie's relationships with Rose and her grandmother deepens, cut loose, and broadens in the tolerable story.

Final Grade: B-/C+

The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
Starring Fredric March, Dana Andrews, Harold Russell, Teresa Wright, Virginia Mayo, Myrna Loy

Film Prophet's Review...
Directed by the great early drama director William Wyler, who accounted for several notable films many people know of, earned eight Oscar nominations and won best picture over It's a Wonderful Life. It tells a sincere story after America just experienced the second World War and the not only did the audience relate to the film then that put up big numbers at the box office, but it can also serve to modern audiences. The story helped Americans to finally let out all the happiness and grief. Three war veterans meet on a plane and return to their domestic home life and families and they happen to live in the same hometown. When the post-consequences shift to reassessment of personal priorities, it looks on all aspects of reality, such as the inability to communicate the experience of war, or amputation. There is not one scene drawn from glimpses of war front lines. The film opens as the viewers don't know anything about their past until they are back to the area of residence. Al, March, has a grown son and daughter, Wright, whose interested in Fred. Fred, Andrews, finds his Wife, Mayo, and discover they don't really love each other anymore. Homer, Russell, has hooks for hands and has a next door neighborhood girlfriend and a family who are unable to know how to react. The small dosages of emotion coming often are subdued affection for wet eyes. "The Navy couldn't train him to put his arms around his girl to stroke her hair." The scene where Homer's girlfriend experiences his nightly duties before he enters bed demonstrates pure unconventional love. The most intriguing sub-story is Al's daughter Peggy mixing with Fred, who is married. The moving sequence where the three in a cab witness signs of a return to normality and civilian life is a great sequence to begin Wyler's deeply personal work of authentic usage expressed over three hours with an eloquent pacing. His directing is very enriching; settings alter and the dialogue is always steady and clear. The photography composition is at precision and its counteract humor and manner of speaking is well placed. It is achingly real of emptiness and hope. The characters at times would pull away from each other to separate their lives throughout the story, as the audience won't know the future of the film from the character's hesitant lives. Captivating scenes of when the three rendezvous at a bar by a series of occasions shows the reduction of relationships in the middle as disgruntled relations develop. The plot is profound; employment troubles and each three men are different in ages, professions, and classes that sustain a super script with bolstering quotes such as, Have you got any evidence to support that amazing statement. It intimately shows the characters in normal ordinary life circumstances. Teresa Wright started out her career better than any other performer in five straight successful films and roles. She got more screen time than I imagined here and when I see her, I smile... she is presently astonishing to Film Prophet. The best years of their lives was during wartime, not their experiences afterwards in peacetime because they didn't concern about money or marriage... those medals and letters don't do anything. Americans faced uncertainties adjusting to resume life with family and friends who evolved without them. An abundant amount of scenes invest in the character's lives to bring portions of merit from the carefully-composed script acted by the outstanding ensemble, who all gave their finest performances. "What do I do next - Strike him - Why do you ask her, can't you think for yourself." Even director Billy Wilder has said that this movie is the best he ever saw, and that is saying more than enough. If this script was used in the millennium, it would likely be the best film produced and greater than two average movies put together. It is absolutely the best post-war film story because of the varying events pounding continuous ultimatums. The impressive movie is magnificent to a plausible ending. "I gave up the best years of my life, and what have you done? You flopped!"

Final Grade: A

The Lady Vanishes (1938)
Starring Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave, Paul Lukas, Dame May Whitty, Cecil Parker

Film Prophet's Review...
Iris Henderson, Lockwood, is wrapping up a ski vacation in a snowy mountain valley. In her hotel, she meets an elderly governess going to London, Miss Froy. Just before boarding the train, Iris receives a blow to the head and is taken under the protection of Miss Froy. After Iris falls asleep, the old woman has vanished. Due to the confusion of the passengers, the reason of why she vanished is left out and it isn't at stake. The little mystery turns into a conflict, and that gun shooting scene was rubbish. This movie is a subordinate distinction from Hitchcock's notable films. One thing in the beginning of the story that propelled the movie along its course was a coded message contained in a piece of music that no viewer could really understand. It opens with a boring first act then leads to pull the audience into a slow suspense train ride. The time spent at the beginning in the hotel may seem off topic, and the cast ineffectively conveys any suspense. Their spoken dialogue was muttering noises and the setting was more fake than ever. The sound quality was definitely off mark too. It's probably the worst combination of sound and setting from a Hitchcock film. Hitchcock creates some humor that gives some horror an edge, like in Shadow of a Doubt, but not as much. Margaret Lockwood was far the most clear spoken performer than the others, her and Mary Philbin. Her character got cyclic after noticing the lady is missing and asking several people on the train about her who know nothing of her. The first suspense is to figure out which lady actually will vanish because the film left little trace at the hotel since the plot doesn't move forward until they leave. Second is to where the lady could have disappeared on a moving train. From there, it is a long ride of casual mini-escapades with conversations that fade away.

Final Grade: C+/C

Torn Curtain (1966)
Starring Paul Newman, Julie Andrews, Lila Kedrova

Film Prophet's Review...
Arriving at the height of their careers when this film was released, Newman and Andrews however appear in lesser forms as the movie had a problem with enthusiasm. Occasionally, the base of the film is excruciating. By quality, the movie is not thrilling as one would even find in an average Hitchcock film. Similarly, Hitchcock never wanted to make this film, but he had to since he had one more left under his Universal contract. Thus, not much effort or encouragement heralded. It should not be considered to be in his collection of best. An American scientist defects to Germany when East Germans have been developing a secret formula for an anti-nuclear missile device in a Cold War drama. The lighting tells a lot about Hitchcock's characters in his black and white films. They are also technically more efficient about the images on screen when it isn't colorized. Anything after The Birds is generally a disappointment; the films never matched close to previous works two decades before and this proves colorization wasn't the best from him. This film is a bit contemporary. More than half of the film is made up of useless talk and loads of quiet scenes. Too many paper documents are used to precede the story like in Suspicion. The long murder scene shows how difficult it is to kill a man, except the viewers don't get to know who the victim really was. The one time the film shoots a moving object, it's done phony on a bus ride with faulty acting. Newman's movies around his time were usually superb, but Torn Curtain failed to draw attention. Andrews as an overvalued actress plays a character with tireless texture who is too subtle. Many German characters are uninteresting and prattle along while there is not enough suspense. The script didn't give capable entertainment and it wasn't Hitchcock's style. The dialogue was numb compared to his other films and the story plunged one minute within a hurry and never improved. This is one film that alludes no distinction that Hitchcock is behind the camera too. Typically coming with noticeable camera traits, this is not a Hitchcock masterpiece.

Final Grade: C/C-

Notorious (1946)
Starring Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, Louis Calhern

Film Prophet's Review...
A lady, Bergman, is to infiltrate in a political spy circle to help the man, Grant, she loves. In the romantic thriller, her father has just been convicted of spying and she starts getting friendly with a stranger as she's trying to get information from espionage and an evil German cartel, Rains, with his private plans of marriage. It's a little slower than most of Hitchcock's movies and it's his most confusing story to discuss, especially the later half that ends unresolved. Hitchcock just uses his basic filmmaking ability in this moderate suspense film. So, it's more of a romance than anything else, and maybe his biggest one too. Besides the longest kiss ever on screen and the famous staircase camera angle sequence, what works is when the film goes downwards, it raises up with a shift in the plot and expressions of slyness. Ingrid Bergman is sensual allowing her insecurities to be trusted by the wrong people. She is like the movie... beautiful, but befuddled. Her beauty is very compelling and manipulative. It's shot attractively; the clothes and sets work because of one spectacular female... Bergman's presence can do it. When her character is not on scene, she comes back in a new outfit and glorious smile. There's massive uncertainty in her too. She drinks booze often which settles the motif, and the alcohol weakens her. "You're sore because you're falling for a little drink you've taken in Miami and you don't like it. It makes you sick all over, doesn't it? People will laugh at you. The invincible Devlin, in love with someone who isn't worth even wasting the words." Along with the script, the acting is stunning. Although sometimes the sappy talks don't really engage, like Grant's seduction schemes, the chemistry between Grant and Bergman is persuasive enough to follow the two the entire length of the story... they begin and finish it. The supporting characters are either in it for the political aspects or arbitrarily there to drink or to be handsome. Continuing the sexual seduction, the plot is miscellaneous and spontaneous. There are little arguments, no disgrace, and plain romance. Some may not even understand parts of the plot, but it's relevance is not what matters. Hitchcock designs the film around the pair of Grant and Bergman. They're completely hypnotic and saturated in an entrapping exquisite production.  One could care less about the story while tthe viewers will daze in the glossy talented speech of the two, but the second half with other characters ruin the chemistry between them. The first thirty minutes had romance as an integral part to setup the whole movie. The characters are caught up in their duties and the plot sinks through. Though with zero chase sequences or a bit of violence, it exhibits an outstanding attraction.

Final Grade: B/B+

Suspicion (1941)
Starring Joan Fontaine, Cary Grant, Cedric Hardwicke, Dame May Whitty, Nigel Bruce

Film Prophet's Review...
Like the title, Alfred Hitchcock's suspense trait is the best, but barely used and it's very simple in this movie. A wealthy heiress wife, Fontaine, becomes suspicious of her fortune-hunting husband, Grant, after the murder of a friend, Bruce. In this romantic mystery, it was the first time Grant and Hitchcock worked together. The first half centers around Grant's charming persona while the later half has Fontaine growing to fear the man as placid from the once unthreatened story and Grant appears in a dark role. There's not much more to it than that. He gradually swells on her from marriage and the viewers decide what his intensions are. Suspense isn't around a lot because the first half is quite friendly and doesn't really attach the viewer scene after scene until the paranoia surrounding a mousy wife stirs. There also aren't those classy exhilarating conversations, such found in Rope or Dial M for Murder. Often there isn't a lot to show, rather it's on note letters and telegrams for the wife to trace her husband's secrets and to figure out where he's truly been when he's away from the home. The film opens the set right away to the two strangers who meet on a train and any movie of his with an appearance of a train, North by Northwest and Strangers on a Train, is interesting because the transportation was no longer regular at the time of the movie. What works best is the mastering at cuts and the photography. He fools the audience at points with his camera techniques to emphasis an important piece, but it only comes a couple times, issuing the road off uphill car drive at the end. Hitchcock lights up the setting beautiful for season fall and creates a believable zone. He utilizes just a frequent theme large in this movie and minor in the rest of his films as this one is a middle-low range Hitchcock movie. Overall, it's not among my favorites of his as it misses out on some memorable and gripping turns.

Final Grade: B-/B

Waiting... (2005)
Starring Ryan Reynolds, Justin Long, Luis Guzman, Anna Faris, Vanessa Lengies, John Francis Daley

Film Prophet's Review...
As the sexual premise conquests, during one day, a new wait staff trainee Mitch, Daley, is placed under the wing of Monty, Reynolds, a veteran at the small restaurant who informs Mitch that all male employees engage in a game in which the object is to get others to look at the person's own genitals. Faris and Lengies show their better than this movie and other people are angry and rowdy, except for one waiter four years out of high school, Long, who learns about his dead-end future if he sticks around. After given a chance because of the cast attractiveness, this is what one would get if the movie Crash was spoofed to a teen comedy without every scene happening to be about race. The concept of this movie was flat the moment the movie began. There is way too much talk about genitals and private parts and none of it is even funny. A few guys are obsessed by playing games in order to expose their parts. When Guzman demonstrates sexual positions relating cocks to food, it's atypical and shows the workers still act childish about organs despite being past puberty. If it weren't for some bright faces in the film, it would be a total clutter. Though Reynolds as the lead is uninteresting because his character's jokes are tasteless. He is more concerned with partying and getting some with underage girls. Its used other teen comedy notions, placed in finer manufactured comedies, is what one would expect to receive from this and to laugh at it and that's it. However, no laughs are found since all the humor is references to vulgar and homosexuality. The writers didn't give the one-dimensional characters any intelligence, hence the genial driven script... and it's exhausting after the second time. Other conversations have unnecessary usage of profanity pretending to be somebody they aren't. Characteristics of the workers are bad mouths, lazy, irresponsible with duties, obnoxious, clumsy, and unlikable. They face problems with enthusiasm and dealing with low tipping customers. They make work more troublesome than it is and keep in mind, it's just one day. It was ironic the group of males talk down on homosexuality, yet they freely enjoy showing their genitals to their male co-workers. Its dry humor is boring and the setting basically stayed in the same place the whole time. There was no plot development at all too. There can be gross humor, but not the entire movie and there has to be some decent characters and dialogue. Basically only one moment shined and that was a couple minutes near the end with a bursting speech by Mitch. It's rude, morbid, far from maturity, and places the viewer far from that restaurant and movie ever again.

Final Grade: D/C-

Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
Directed by Isao Takahata

Film Prophet's Review...
The Japanese animated film dictates a post-World War II story on Japan of unfairness. The sympathetic antiwar film is an honest motion picture of childhood letdowns. There are no stereotypical funny characters and one can't choose who is affected by war. A young brother and child sister flee from home after it was burned down with their mother inside so they become orphans losing the battle while allied firebombs destroy homes and wound many. After the mother goes away, it leaves the sister vulnerable. Beginning a tale of survival, their safety needs and necessities to survive are in a scarce area of just white rice. The considerate brother is eager to find some for himself and his sister, as well to find money, clothing, water, and shelter. The director's expertise at creating a helplessness tone is there. The visuals are breathtaking urging pain from the sound effects of air raids that sporadically occur. The movie spends its early time on showing the aftermath disasters in ruins and then drains as the exploration of the story borders itself to despair. The caring brother forfeits his mother's possessions for white rice and fatigue sets into the characters and the plot. The residual pray of young life won't get better. They don't exactly lose that innocence one may think. The title represents a literature technique and poetic experience separating horrors and joy. The fireflies come at night and they're symbolic for fleeting joy and happiness like them weaving to regain over time. It doesn't stress on the dialogue particularly since the sister can't properly speak yet so there aren't long conversations. The two move along as to what gives them as they don't really know what to do because there isn't school and the story matches their thought processes. Some citizens of Japan are shown in the coldest light and some are depressed to even communicate. There's a couple incidences where they detest the brother for stealing their stuff; he does everything he can and must carry the burden of everything. It teaches traumatic and pitiful conditions. With all that's said, there is hardly a cornucopia of tension. The story illustrates the fragility of the life and youth with patience of the story for a wide audience. The fine piece presented by Japanese cinema is appreciated by Film Prophet as it's about their own culture of unusual events that left a mark.

Final Grade: B/B+

The American President (1995)
Starring Michael Douglas, Annette Bening, Martin Sheen, Michael J. Fox, Richard Dreyfuss

Film Prophet's Review...
A widowed president, Douglas, is working to be re-elected and falls in love with a female lobbyist, Bening. The life of a president leaves little time for dating as several questions are addressed with one being what does the president see in this woman anyways who hardly gives an impression. One woman says men like to be insulted by women because it makes them feel loved. On top of the White House set is a minor insight to the operations inside with the administration and other personnel. A viewer would figure the privacy in the personal relationship towards the public press would get in the way, but it really doesn't; the president is very casual. There's a few ideas about both romance and the government with comedy, class, and a political message. It alienates some of the audience when it rams rhetoric fabric so that there's some kind of importance here. For the first thirty minutes, the script is a disappointment and a sign of intimidation to the audience is shown. The script tries to be preachy and educated campaigning on a fair altitude between each other because the dialogue comes out of their mouths way too fast giving the characters less pragmatism to the thought process. This film has sophistication in some areas and its exhaust is a waste, but it does show Douglas, whose acting skill is always on target, as a busy working president. The expectations of the debut of Bening's character was high because of her buildup. Her character was to be an intelligent political worker and instead the movie pictures a giggly, air headed woman. Besides Douglas, none of the characters are really believable because the speech material they deliver is dry at the start. They talk so much and when they inconsiderately offend the president, they regret it so quickly and the president just ignores it because he knows everything they say is pretentious - Are you under the impression I'm mad at you... get a clue, quit apologizing and be quiet, he doesn't mind. The film moves scene to scene completing an over-delight mode and musical score. The best of the talk is when the president cheeks the lobbyist's intelligence in a joking manner through that telephone sequence, or basically anytime the dialogue is spoken through a phone or between Douglas and Bening. Michael J. Fox was great near the end just as director Rob Reiner pulled through after a rocky start. When the film slightly improves, the scenes aren't so liberal and more panic stirs into the premise and relationship. "No, he's not hopping, no hopping sir." It's not bad, nor super. Douglas satisfies the title character portraying an unforgettable president from a movie with that chilling conclusive speech.

Final Grade: B-/C+

Doom (2005)
Starring Karl Urban, The Rock, Rosamund Pike, Al Weaver, Richard Brake, Dexter Fletcher

Film Prophet's Review...
An expert fan will look for the connection from the movie to the first-person shooter computer game. The plot is simple; creatures from Hell come out of teleportation gates so space marines led by Sarge, The Rock, introducing John Grimm, Karl Urban who looks like the main character, are sent to Mars and their mission was to make sure nothing escapes to Earth. The atmosphere is what one would expect to find at an indoor Universal Studios ride or even a haunted house... erratic. This film insists on being suspicious as it took a while until the first creature is fully shown on screen. Often, it mixes up Half-Life elements with the prolonged soldiers entrance, shoddily harmed scientists, mutating after contact with a demon, and the setting architecture. Its also similar to the style of Resident Evil's action and supernatural enemies. The demons, hypothetical, were to be from Hell, not from a virus of genetic experiments. The Rock as Sarge was never a maniac determined killer. The Rock did raise the level of intensity because of the change in Sarge's personality. After witnessing what is group is dealing with, he engrossingly orders his men to irregular humane conflicts with a vigorous attitude. He is perplexed; several times he asks what is going on here to John Grimm's sister, okay. Every creature was once human she says, and for the classic Imps, they don't throw any fireballs, such a letdown. There's gore, migrating around the dark facility, and severe sensations to the audience. Even though the appearances of the demons were cut short, they made their arrivals gratifying. The awesome sound and music raises when a character is at the faint point when someone is encountering in front or from behind. It did miss some cool demons and their massive endurances. There was no Spider Mastermind, Cacodemons, or flying fiery skulls. There are more powerful demons than the Imp like those Barons, my favorite one. However, the space marines barely handled the Imps. A trendy part of the film was finding new weapons in a room, most notably when the Sarge finds the BFG 9000. The color coded keys for access, graphics from the game, a neat first person camera view, and chainsaw were somewhat present. Using the structure of the third Doom, the flashlight control was either using it or just the weapon, but here the light is attached to the gun. There's plenty of explanations of science after dismal returns from adventures and exciting demon encroachments. Doom does succeed to be categorized among the ultimate video game to movie adaptations.

Final Grade: B-/B

Ed Wood (1994)
Starring Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Sarah Jessica Parker, Bill Murray, Patricia Arquette, Jeffrey Jones

Film Prophet's Review...
People, this is absolute humor... this outstanding film has real, advanced entertaining comedy and it's shining to the supreme. Merging humor and horror, the film is perfect on imperfection. Low-budget Hollywood director Edwood D. Wood Jr., who notoriously was voted worst Hollywood director, directed bad monster horror films and botched productions in the fifties. He used anything and for one time only, just as long as it fits his unusual art vision. The black and white cinematography notes the age of the time frame and places the film back to evoke a nostalgia mood. The story is a biographical tale about Wood's life, his independent film making career, dressing in women's clothing, and the people around him. He finds elder Bela Lugosi, the original Dracula, to star in his pictures. The former film star is the only thing going for him, but his belief in Lugosi's performance continuity is encouraging. Tim Burton's potential as a director is highlighted with this one. He turns Wood's work into sharp and zany outtakes towards his unprofessional weirdness. Making a movie about a career of one who wasn't the best at doing so is something incredible and close to uniform that gives Burton his finest astonishment. The cast is very remarkable, the dialogue is crisp, and the execution is greatly stingy to correspond to the title character. Depp matches versatility and quaint expressions for Wood and Martin Landau as Bela Lugosi, who never came close to winning an Oscar himself, won one as being Bela by hitting that accent wholly. Since the cast enjoyed what they were doing, it makes the viewers enjoy it even more. Burton gathers a humorous and plausible insight into the development of making a film and the life of Logosi and Wood. Just about every conversation between Depp and Landau startles joy, 'Why are you buying a coffin - I'm planning on dying soon.' Their observations and remarks are funny, especially funnier for those who have knowledge of older horror films back in the day. 'What is the one thing if you put it in the movie, it will be successful - tits - no better than that.' The quotes frequently burst with jokes. There's always a bit of delight padded in every scene because it's so silly sometimes... oh what does that old queen know, she didn't even show. Some sequences begin with a spooky reference and finish with a sense of wit that followed through the start. The affection in the story is for Bela. Viewers laugh whenever any character brings up Karloff's name to him, then empathize to his late life. A favorite scene is when Wood spotted a young lady who just moved to Hollywood to recruit at a restaurant, or maybe the riot rowdy crowd at the premiere of one his supernatural bad movies. Part of the reason of his one shot only takes was because the studio allowed him certain amount of time to use the stage props, down on money, so he was used to it. Ed Wood and his production crew deal with getting shut down, bad reviews, altercations in scripts, character motivations, and new personnel that all modify the utmost chronicle of pursuit.

Final Grade: A/A+

Sleepy Hollow (1999)
Starring Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson, Christopher Walken, Michael Gambon

Film Prophet's Review...
Another fun, amusing collaboration between Johnny Depp and director Tim Burton, as Danny Elfman once again provides the always loud haunting score, this time, for a gothic ghost story. The time is around the turn of the nineteenth century... Johnny Depp stars as Ichabod Crane, an outwardly hapless detective from New York City who is sent to the small village of Sleepy Hollow to solve the mystery of several head decapitations that are plaguing the town. At the little Dutch village, he finds that most of the townsfolk believe the culprit is the Headless Horseman, the ghost of a monstrous Hessian soldier, who seems to be tied into one of the town's families. The production values give the village its harsh and bright realism of fog, smoke, and distant lightning... it looked like a portrait or painting. The story mostly takes place during night time and when any character gets close to the haunted woods, it brings excitement and eagerness to look out for the headless horseman. The film pulsates the noise of his horse riding from evil to wipe out the next victim. There have been animations and references leading up to the supernatural, fantasy horror movie. Burton has made it more gruesome than ever, but not horrific and gory. There's plenty of flesh, bones, and wounds cleverly made in a dark and creepy atmosphere. Conversely, a little more appeal of frightening characters and moments with an edge and explosive malevolence would do because there were some middling gradual areas in the film. Walken was amazing at his parts as the horseman, and Depp was entertaining as usual The case at anonymity is wrapped in a ghost tale while the format has series of murders followed by dumbfound conclusions, then parts where Depp thinks by himself in disbelief to faint before the natives get themselves into individual battles with the horseman. When the title comes to mind, most people think of the headless horseman riding through a small tunnel bridge throwing his fiery pumpkin head. That image serves correct. However, there's a bit irrational reasoning twenty minutes prior the ending which can not be disclosed since it would spoil. Though, the movie was a fun ride afforded by Elfman's music and Burton's art direction as the recipe.

Final Grade: B-/B

I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932)
Starring Paul Muni, Glenda Farrell, Preston Foster, Noel Francis, Allen Jenkins

Film Prophet's Review...
James Allen is a returning veteran from the war in the army and decides to pursue his dream to be an engineer instead of working at the local factory where his family wants the best for him. "He's got to be happy. He's got to find himself." He searches but very little is available because of the era of depression. Faced with depression realities, he is arrested for robbery when he happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Despite his innocence, he is sent to a brutal Southern prison camp and goes for an escape. Afterwards, there are several other incredible turning points, such as the coerced marriage, which makes up a great compact story. This story is graceful to follow and there are numerous scenes in which the viewer will go wow, such as the sight of medals at a pawn shop. The film releases a dark side of mainstream America of its justice system. Amazing films such as Cool Hand Luke and The Defiant Ones resemble this initiative premise. Muni's acting style fits the film's tone of brutality and demoralization. His character is a self-made man in a gang system that opens to unusual punishment. Director Mervyn LeRoy captures its dehumanizing approach with an astonishing force. The cinematography is attractive and Muni is in almost every scene. As an early Oscar nominee for best picture, the full talkie shows how the justice system can be ignorant while it leaks out evil when the problem is being overlooked. It's really the first groundbreaking drama with dialogue that mirrors true culture and conditions. The social awareness of the time is present, when even amusing scenes transcend to unsettling ones that continue to astonish. The whole movie is swayed by Allen being remarkably innocent under unrecognized influence, except when he's part of the chain gang sentenced for many years like others, he can't do anything. The story of James Allen as a human being is changed once his true color is destroyed. The chain gang is all male who have depressed looks of sadness when they're chained up forced to work long days to pound rocks and eat terrible meals. He didn't want a mediocre life, however, he received the wrong experience. "I was just wiping the sweat off my face - you got it knocked off." Every time he is mocked or gives an ill expression, the viewers will sense a knock in the gut evoking damage from the once high spirited man. He doesn't cry for mercy; he's a man about it and lives what uninformed humanity gives him under slimy circumstances he didn't please for. In one scene, it gasps everyone's ears to listen to the horrors of the belt beatings. The film is an example of what Hollywood has forgotten how to do. The plot and acting are its strong points, which means it carries an exceptional rate throughout. The barbershop scene is an example of intensity and then relief much like others... fantastic. The superb editing, dialogue, script, and steadiness traps attention to focus on the misery in an entertaining, but suffering fashion. His integrity is inspiring to give the viewer one hundred percent at everything. When Allen gets hammered in his ankle, the viewers will cringe with him. I've never cared more about one character than James Allen. His speech near the end is priceless that provokes my anger. The story brings out the most evil displayed from the country and the film probably has the most effective conclusive ending in film history. Through all of the momentum and adjustments in one story, the life of James Allen, that has multiple climaxes, phenomenally exposes mistaken justice. Every minute of the movie is powerfully sadistic staged well ahead of its time.

Final Grade: A+/A

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
Starring James Stewart, John Wayne, Vera Miles, Lee Marvin, Edmond O'Brien, Andy Devine

Film Prophet's Review...
John Wayne is the icon of the Western era while James Stewart continues his always favored charm who compose of two film legends on screen together. Director John Ford's nostalgia for the past is constituted by his poetic old west town with a fearless gunman and loss of freedom. Westerns are purely the legit form of film that America can express a true story about its culture that once existed. The story is told by Ransom Stoddard, Stewart, after his surprise return to his home town decades later because a very close pal passed away, who was Wayne as Tom Doniphon, the unsung savoir of the story. By this time, Ransom is a public figure as a senator. To a journalist who wonders what the senator is doing back in Shinbone with his wife, he tells his career started as an idealistic lawyer who comes to bring legal law to the West. Ransom taught the natives how to read and write, but what really held him in reserve was the greatest bandit by the name of Liberty Valance. Most importantly, he troubled Ransom and Valance defines a chief antagonist redeeming qualities of bad and evil. His appearances are short stints that make a lasting consciousness of a theme between gun violence and law enforcement. Using a bright lighting in a black and white picture, it hinges pulsating sound effects adapting the standard Western film pace. The story educates who came before them and what happened on the land they once stood on. The present dialogue starts it up about how the setting has changed in a slow melancholy reflecting back on Shinbone. Wayne's dramatic capability fits in his noble character and Stewart gets easily frustrated and raises his temper than ever before. Vera Miles, who looks different in her roles, pulls if off as possibly the most undervalued poignant supporting actress of her time. 'I don't want to kill him; I want to put him in Jail' quote sets the goal as Valance is often on Ransom's mind. He stumbles into town with his wife and stay there while he ties in his temptation to use a gun guided by Doniphon and politics supported by the natives of this town. The story takes it easy and leans for balance through an irresponsible positive Marshall and a town drunk in a small town of few buildings all in proximity where everyone got along and there wouldn't be a conflict without the presence of the ruthless bandit and his two cronies as grown bullies to create the story's contention. It features Western's most gripping rivalry, an astonishing cultural nostalgia view, and an underlying conclusion that's told from an excellent concise, creative script.

Final Grade: A-

Serenity (2005)
Starring Nathan Fillion, Summer Glau, Morena Baccarin, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alan Tudyk

Film Prophet's Review...
Taking place five hundred years from present time, it revolves around an ensemble of humans on a spaceship, Serenity, and the encounters they erratically face in galactic zone. The film centers on a captain, his crew, and his apprehensive relation with an abnormal teenaged girl as they find themselves caught between a military force and cannibalistic savages. The success of the movie has been established from fans and their tirades who where fixated with a cancelled television show that ran no more than one year. Years later, the same director, Joss Whedon, of the show reintroduced the premise in this feature length film designed for anyone's viewing treatment. The universe supports human life on several other planets that are uncivilized and despiteful while violence is the solution to all problems, except the problems came from a plot that didn't strike. It recycles used science-fiction notions and there aren't any creative, feasible, or popular characters or weapons. The cast does not have any stars either. There is no wisdom or central evil. They still use handguns and duel in fist fights, how unoriginal. There's even a stable called the alliance. The characters don't acquire valuable screen time, so their motivations are hazy and they drew in little sympathy. The horrible acting and the incomprehensible dialogue comprise of the film's two most insipid areas. The narrative was unbalanced; the scene transitions were so awkward... they cut right in the middle of some action to perceive that image to begin the following, in and out between storylines. Plus, the camera would be out of focus on most of the characters speaking. The movie involves some nameless people flying around to different locations getting into adventures. During this, they slot in premature remarks; there is no gist of solid chemistry between anyone. The best way to relieve strain is impaired humor, such as, I swallowed a bug. After a minute of conversation, it isn't easy to concentrate on the banter and it take seriously any longer. In result, the plot can be disregarded for about an hour. The comedic elements are similar to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie... irrational, unfunny, and doesn't come across well because it's full of itself. The action is brainless and some viewers probably won't know why the characters got into them in the first place. The movie puts the concept that there is nothing exciting to do in space but to get into unlikely distractions, which makes it far from practical, but daringly entertaining for a jiffy.

Final Grade: C

Downfall (2004)
Starring Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, Christian Berkel, Corinna Harfouch, Andre Hennicke

Film Prophet's Review...
"Everything is lost, completely lost." Commencing the cruelty of man, the final hours of the Fuhrer's empire falls with him in Germany at the end of World War II. The portrait of madness is a close look at his failures in the war to the courage and despair of his German sycophants. People during his years of power were reflected in the last twelve days in the underground bunker with frustrations when things go against his loyalty creating stress on his home territory of war noises. Bernd Eichinger signified this historical subject in a suitable manner to show that there was no hero in this liberal defeat. His capacity to gather information and present some of it is sobering in detail... illuminating, portraying accurate history, compelling language, and believable reactions of his people under horrific circumstances realizing he lost leading to inhumanity of madness and self-destruction. It opens when the Fuhrer hires a woman secretary and from there, she is the character with the vision to witness the events. In the midst of his final days, startling and impulsive scenes make a breeze to the movie as a whole. The stirring acting, especially from Ganz, renovates from Germany's point of view on a riveting subject of human evil. The war trauma has breathtaking outcomes and cinematography with an even structure of visual and sound effects through explosions as the viewer can hear the terror. Random bombs falling out of no where puts the viewer right inside Berlin. It's the Saving Private Ryan of Germany. "This is not a position, it's a trap. The Russians will come from two sides and you won't be able to get out." The film saves time for socialism collapse, war strategy talks, and little concerns to the civilians. One thing apparent is that the generals and officers didn't appear to trust one another. They would have conversations that weren't lengthy and the only one they wanted to hear from was the Fuhrer. The generals slighted another; there was no control of conduct anymore, and so, pointless deaths happened in the chaos. Not once were the concentration camps brought up to him. His notion was that weak people die out and he had no compassion for them. To some people, he was friendly, but others, he had a severe relationship if they went to be a traitor. It's about his growing weakness that alienate many of his followers and the obsessions of the ones who stayed with him and carry out what he said. The desertions and suicides are all result of this one callous central figure. They knew they lost and couldn't do anything. Among the saddest things was when they tested poison to his dog. The most arduous sequence to watch was that a mother killing her own children in their sleep, and there's more like these in this very film. The burdensome movie succeeds switching between scenes of war panic, suicides, havoc, suffering, and serious crisis resorting to deaths and a chilling, alarming finale of downfall.

Final Grade: A-/B+

Princess Mononoke (1997)
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki, Original Music by Joe Hisaishi

Film Prophet's Review...
Hayao Miyazaki's animated medieval Japan tale explores a benevolent struggle between nature and human. Ashitaka, who after being cursed by a demon boar, leaves his village to seek the forest spirit who has the ability to heal before the curse kills him off. He meets an epic conflict between the gods, who are speaking animals, of the forest, and a close by mining village of humans with a ruthless female leader. A young princess, the spectral spirits, and her wolves must defend the forest from human encroachment, as it threatens the unbalance forces of nature. I didn't put the usual cast lineup above after the title because there are two voice versions using English and Japanese language, but it's the same story and stunning artwork. The score by Hisaishi fits so proficiently in the film and the direction of the visuals are magical and complex; the background fog and noises aid to the natural environment appeal. The sound works to effect, the watercolor landscape design has multi-coated shadows, and the writing reflects a cultural issue in a fictional story that defines a conflict. There's thunderous passion built in the forethought that's apparent from the setting, mythic fantasy themes, and music score. There's an immense thematic development happening and there's too much to discuss, so I'll ration myself. The story introduces new characters in new surroundings in a repetitive structure the film uses to convey an incredible amount of personalities. The supporting characters reconstruct hope or evil to pivotal ones during adventures of beauty and brutality. All characters have weak qualities and believable drives. Ashitaka, in the middle of it all, wishes to protect both sides, as his quest for his own salvation withers. He is a wise talker, a mystifying warrior who learns something new about the power of his curse. The story presents both sides of the fable between humans and the forest. There are many memorable mini-battles between them. The anti-human forest fears guns, humans are selfish and have gender disputes, civilization changes while nature remains intact, and the story has an excellent edge to fuse them. Each side must survive to start over and one simple message is that everyone deserves to live. It is a refreshing way from the usual Hollywood treatment. The graphic violence is at a low and the childish laughter is not here; there are no beloved sidekicks or musical numbers. "Listen to me, please don't throw your life away."

Final Grade: B+/A-

Corpse Bride (2005)
Voices by Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Emily Watson, Paul Whitehouse, Christopher Lee

Film Prophet's Review...
In Tim Burton's stop action animation, a young dumbfound piano man mistakenly weds a corpse from her grave. He later falls in love with her, though there aren't many scenes that show it. Meanwhile, his real fiancée has been drawn into a scam of another marriage. Burton's dark setting is pleasant as the movie put great emphasis on the art and music than the fairy tale. Running at less than ninety minutes, the thin concise story is categorized as comedy horror, but it is too mild and there is not one joke that was rousing of laughter. The childish comedic relief was just discreet and took away from anything the movie was going for. Danny Elfman's score can bestow anyone into the mechanical entertainment just as the bold characters try to make their impressions. The most enjoyable parts of the film were the songs, but then they went on longer than expected and the lyrics would become avoidable to hear. The film does little to consume attention. There isn't much energy like in other Burton works that inhabit a fun and colorful place. Although, due to the lack of terrific animations this year, Burton might get his first Oscar nomination. The production crew used resourceful technology to create visual art on the models and gears of the characters with effort into each frame. While the viewers can tell who the characters resemble towards the voice performers, the sets all appear the same: very small and dark. The colors were limited; nothing is bright. Various colors of gray are used and it becomes bland and bleak after awhile much like the characters since they didn't get worthy time to develop. Depp and Carter's characters needed one big adventure between the two to establish a noble bond, except the story ceded tiresome outcomes. It begins with the supporting tier where they all sing and dance together and the story doesn't fulfill at any of these times. In the little story, there aren't any twists and once it is resolved, it ends absurdly.

Final Grade: C/C+

Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)
Starring Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Marlene Dietrich, Judy Garland

Film Prophet's Review...
An American judge at the Nuremberg war trials of 1948 is faced with the issue of how much guilt an individual must bear for aggressive war crimes against humanity committed in Germany during World War II, particularly the concentration camps. Based on fictionalized true events, the judge, Tracy, must compose a final opinion attempting to be as fair as possible since there was no correct answer. Stanley Kramer's black and white historical courtroom drama is politically important. As one defendant points out, what exactly is this prosecution trying to prove, the rationale of it all was to illustrate how to censure German people after the Allies had secured victory. The main concerns happen inside the courtroom with excuses and exaggerations from four former Nazi judges on trial. It wasn't about the military leaders following the laws that ruled Germany. There's a nobility standpoint against nationalistic choices and actions probing at duties, laws, and conduct. The movie deliberates between many moral issues of socialism, civic behavior, justice, and human rights. Two elements are big for this film: the cast and the touchy subject of international law. Running at over three hours, the film is sporadic. At once, it's gripping with a searching look surrounding the actions of the accused. The performances were seeking to grab an interest which did not always happen. They looked rugged and the females came in the movie a tad late. The film got right under way to the topic and aimed to be as realistic as possible with interpreters exchanging excerpts. When the defendants enlighten Spencer Tracy's judge character, his reactions sends the courteous tendency to the audience that he must be swayed. Similarly, the audience would be too. Some are preachy and slightly convincing scoping out civilizations. When they raise their voices to broadcast their pleas, they are halted when the judge overrules it and sustains order in the room. The others just use their headphones and listen to a mix of monotone voices. The film can educate an audience past textbooks. There's barely a score, other than the German choir chorus. Half of the movie was limp because of the frail conversations that went a bit faint on material that could have been relevant, but it was done in a way that didn't make much impact. Besides the content and occasional performances, there isn't much complexity left. It's made up of repetitive instances through depravity, criminal, and immoral conduct in different objections and evidence. Many accounts are forgettable, especially after the first third which heads into the judge's personal life with a woman that's boring off case. Beyond the judge's final statement, there were two demonstrations that stood out. One was Garland's testimony of did you sit on his lap and what else do you admit. The other of the two was the footage tape on the Holocaust and the horror description about it followed by an aftermath reaction of the defendants - children would be injected with morphine so they'd be unconscious when hanged, they were told to take baths, then the doors were locked...

Final Grade: B-/B

A Bronx Tale (1993)
Starring Robert De Niro, Chazz Palminteri, Lillo Brancato, Francis Capra, Taral Hicks

Film Prophet's Review...
"The saddest thing in life is wasted talent." A young Italian American son nicknamed C of a sincere bus driver, De Niro, looks up to a local mob boss, Palminteri, after he witnesses his murder on a man in public daylight. He didn't offer any information to the cops, and thus a friendship is forged between the two. Changing his lifestyle, the father adapts his supreme working man's ethics to his life and the fundamental themes mostly come from him, such as don't get involved with the wrong crowd. As the main two adult actors in the film, De Niro makes his directing debut and Palminteri writes the play. De Niro's expansive plot transitions are impressive and the excellent screenplay is converted into thoughtful, nostalgic sentimental material. They also play two father figures offering ways of protection in different prospective where Sonny, the mob boss, gives him a street education, with both providing valued lessons. The vigilantly constructed crime drama sets in racial tension during 1960s New York while the subgenre hits the end of its peak with this movie reaching the ultimate pinnacle to be the last one of its own kind. The film covers the scenery of Bronx, splitting the neighborhood views in half when C falls in love with a black girl. He provides the underlying storytelling with a narration to express personal views that progressively engross from his once curiosity acted by Brancato and Capra. Through unconditional drama, the viewers learn many quality lessons while C is continually told when he is older, he'll understand his environment in the Bronx. The story tests friendship and loyalty, respecting others for who they are. There's comical gestures and language combined with Sinatra's tunes flowing along. The dialogue is strong unlike British mob spins that isn't funny. Awkward tension stirs when different individuals collide. The scene where C's stereotypical pals beat those black boys down in the street was an extremely stellar scene. Other than the bike gang scene, the mob violence is rarely exposed and they are kept low mostly. Sonny isn't exactly an antagonist; both him and C's father want C to do the right things, which what ultimately decides the character's fate by the choices they make. De Niro appeared in every other few scenes and his impact wasn't necessary as it would be in other films because there were plenty of other integral parts. The film managed to cast young actors who weren't bothersome and they fit right in. De Niro's slow motion techniques with great camera angles and pace beats the bore Mean Streets. The marvelous engaging acting got the most from its cast and the movie begins and ends dynamically... it never falls to tedium in the vein of Miller's Crossing. "Mickey Mantle don't care about you, so why should you care about him... nobody cares."

Final Grade: A/A+

The Elephant Man (1980)
Starring Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Anne Bancroft, Freddie Jones, Hannah Gordon

Film Prophet's Review...
Director David Lynch's breakthrough film, nominated for eight Oscars, tells a true story of John Merrick, Hurt, in nineteenth century England as a hopeless, deformed being under Proteous Syndrome, dubbed as a circus freak. He slaves for a carnival vendor because of his unordinary physical form. An Englishman Dr. Frederick Treves, Hopkins, is a compassionate surgeon who allows him to stay at the hospital he works at though they can't cure him. In his fight for dignity with those who still choose to view him as a freak, he struggles over prejudice as the film examines disdain and nuances marked in stylish, black and white imagery. Technically, it is shot superbly. The low lighting and nightmarish mood aims at a surreal environment. For the first hour or so, Merrick carries himself quiet and speechless under the vein dimness and dreams of having a normal life. The audience suffers for him and through his inabilities such as to speak properly. His image though is hidden during this time. There is a paper bag over his head or he is behind a curtain shadowed off. He has huge bumps all over his back, a bad arm and hand, an enormous head, and he tussles with his walk and breath in an undying fortitude. Dr. Frederick treats him as a patient and an object combined. He manages to keep up his spirit showing him pictures of women and meeting them and their politeness. However, the villains exploit him putting many obstacles against him in the film. The perception of himself through others is bleak and he is witnessed from the bursts of eyes in some characters. Given little chance to prolong the outside world, the sensitive man is mistreated. Coping with fear of repulsion, his vulnerability and innocence shows he is a smart man at an odd separation as he becomes more open when the story progresses. It is evident that the dialogue and slow conversations were not rushed. The viewer is put in the position of curiosity for a long time while the movie sends moral messages of judgments and observations provoking concentration on the demonstration of disabilities the film presents. Everyone's affectionate performance digs into their characters by means of Lynch's interpretation, especially Hopkins - Don't lie to me, where is he - the strong acting triumphs over the gentle dialogue in an achievement for a young cast and director. In a big scene, the vendor comes back for him as he tortures and embarrasses him in a deceiving and gloomy circumstance where he's weak and muted. Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings score is the sincerity to the subconscious ending experience.

Final Grade: B/B+

Cabaret (1972)
Starring Liza Minnelli, Michael York, Joel Grey, Helmut Griem, Marisa Berenson

Film Prophet's Review...
The most imminent cabaret stage production winning eight Oscars focuses on Liza Minnelli as a young modish nightclub entertainer with her dreams of becoming an aspiring singer and dancer in Berlin, Germany goes on with her shows while the Nazis rise to power. As a musical, it doesn't have many memorable songs, if any, and they were all sung up on stage. Some of the lyrics in them weren't really historical or emotional important to the storyline where director Rob Marshall for Chicago excelled when each song played some part in the overall play. The spotty lighting and misty atmosphere, dress and chair routines, were there for the cabaret crowd even though the camera doesn't really show their reactions... it's always on Minnelli who wasn't bad at all for her occupational role. Though, when she goes up tempo singing and when the beats flare, it ends suddenly. Liza's appearances there entertained her crowd more than the home viewer. She stays in her uncomplicated cabaret character and look no matter what setting she is in and over-reacts to any situation. Her agenda and volume doesn't change and surrounding her were some annoying affectations. The messy acts and gentlemen in the movie seize of unconvincing romance and dialogue. Their subplots came arbitrary and the two men around her were quite plan and humble. Besides those two, Grey with the painted face who danced with a person in an ape costume was the most atrocious to the ears because of his accent and bisexuality tune as there wasn't anything exterior to his silly career; he remained on the same small old stage. Every character is morally imprecise, unresolved, and anxious towards their lives. Often, the entertainers confuse lines with puns where one wouldn't know how to accept it as funny or useless. Even The Music Man had a couple chuckles and ecstasy between banal and happy people. This movie stays on a set of characters who smile and enjoy themselves except they aren't reflecting off any stimulus and they drag for a while without any big appealing scene. They cut between boring bedroom scenes to a song on stage to jabber. The revelation in the characters are when a few admit they are Jewish which didn't come to much of a surprise and trims off there. The story went soft and stopped digging within a foot of its ground. It tried to grip the historical affect of pre-war Germany, but not until the final shot summarizes it all.

Final Grade: C

Life as a House (2001)
Starring Kevin Kline, Hayden Christensen, Kristin Scott Thomas, Jena Malone, Mary Steenburgen

Film Prophet's Review...
After twenty years of being an architect, a dying father, Kline, finally leaves his job to pursue to construct a home himself. He knocks down his home near the pacific ocean and builds a new dream house with help on his own land while getting reacquainted with his estranged son, Christensen, over the summer. The adolescent son doesn't let anything get to him as he just listens to his alternative rock music as one of those signs of troubled written behavior. His father is courageous enough to have him over as he tries to win over his son. For two decades, the father was unfulfilled at his job working tirelessly losing happiness and his separated family when he realizes life has come short to an end. His next door neighbor is a former woman who he used to date and her daughter, Malone, helps to brighten Hayden's summer. She is open to experience like her mother and she was my favorite character for some reason. The marked metaphor title means out with the old and in with the new. Using its little originality, it's very erstwhile and conventional as the film opens up with them doing gross habits towards what gets on people's nerves. For about the first thirty minutes, the third-rate dialogue had dire humor with lines like, I'll hate you for the rest of my life, You're not even an architect and a miserable human being, Got anymore weed - the film is a depressant to growth. Typically, the dialogue's makeup is based on the character's one-liners and not useful assumptions and observations that didn't astound one. After squabbling back and forth, it sometimes cuts to some sympathy score and regretful expression of faults while the characters are a bit hostile and unsure of themselves... they are scripted off each other's subjective views. The group bumps around each other while their pettiness tries to ask for generosity as the allegory inflates. These unfulfilled characters engage in random tempers and anger flairs designated with a dizzy camera and some spongy composed music. If it weren't for the blatant music, the movie couldn't result of half of what it was. When an emotional flabbergast arises, the high volume music is cued to grow upon their concerned looks for lament. The summer conversations they have try to improve off each other as what one learns during that time is the west coast has one ugly looking pizza. The father and son theme ties into content family ideals over time in an average story a la Terms of Endearment. However, there was still something key about Christensen's performance as a teenager with Kline as the father. Taking over the second part, everyone re-evaluates their position in life under emotional distress and tear-jerking moments persuaded during the manipulative music.

Final Grade: C+/B-

Fanny and Alexander (1982)
Starring Bertil Guve, Ewa Froling, Jan Malmsjo, Gunn Wallgren, Pernilla Allwin

Film Prophet's Review...
"Anything can happen, anything is possible. Time and space do not exist." In Ingmar Bergman's later work of his career, a Swedish family falls under turmoil after the man of the home, the patriarch, dies and the mother loses stability to her children as soon as she marries a callous minister. Their new life is more lonesome and suffered than before, though the beautiful personification by Bergman is symbolically viewed through three hours of a foreign language film. Foremost, the winning cinematography was so scenic and luxurious surrounding the joy of family at holiday season. The overture score and sound was saturating, spacing out the dialogue allowing the camera to picture its exquisite and overwhelming scenery that's more art than anyone can ask for in a movie. The fancy house with unique color blends, the colorful Christmas three, shiny utensils, and snow grounds were all part of the warm, polite opening in which Film Prophet can tell Bergman was behind the camera in his most personal film. The breathtaking acting and accents had some exhilarating dialogue - the thick walls of this playhouse. There's no silly lines and the language is very credible. The title characters are the little son and daughter as they play the roles of listeners and they're hushed gathering the perspective of the audience. There's way more focus on Alexander and Fanny has no say in many things. The etiquette family's father joked around to his kids and serious to adults. Everyone's acting was amazing on one screen including what the people did in the background that will catch the viewer's eyes everywhere. The mere section of the movie that wears the audience down and tires out are the old aged adults who play little roles. They have uninteresting and depressing one on one conversations, but shows the dull points in life as how it is meant to be... it is almost sickening how sexually active a certain couple is in a gross manner. Anyways, there were three generations who all have influence, but no more when the bishop becomes the stepfather. He is the turning point in the entire story. His demands to exercise complete control over his new family effects increasingly with uneasy and sudden changes. His stubborn character could almost be reminiscent to Robert Mitchum in The Night of the Hunter in many ways. Everyone was almost vulnerable and defenseless to him. Alexander's weakness is his truth being told and staring down lies, fearing adults with their severe demands as the audience begins to quench a sour attitude to the bishop. The floating cinematography still drills some of the work and it's frequently stunning poking at incredulity and pain. The expanding nature of the story gets daunting and restless, especially when Alexander is forced to look at his dying father gripping his hand as one of the startling scenes. The death of art is disturbing and plentiful to detail the attention to the character's roles that's too natural on their appearance and dress. The river cuts resembles pivotal points, though there are a few continuity errors in the scenes. When Bergman visualizes something, it's without subtlety and nuance. The script is graved on prayers every so often, and then fibs and perjury because of the stepfather based on morality, but makes the best relationship to watch between him and Alexander. The most striking scene is around the two hour mark - the punishment is to teach you a love of truth. Spiritual and forgiveness, disappointments and dreams, longings and questions anguish the characters. Once was beautiful becomes a dying terrifying sculpture, warm art is cold, cheerfulness melts to distress, and what was there isn't there any longer.

Final Grade: A-/B+

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Voices by Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara, William Hickey

Film Prophet's Review...
The imaginative fairy tale by Tim Burton appears in the first feature length stop-motion animated musical film creation. Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, lives in Halloween Town where the residents prepare for Halloween annually to the world. After the holiday, Jack suffers from depression out of human quality when he's tired of the usual chores and tricks and desires something new. He wanders off alone into the night to contemplate his future where he finds himself in unfamiliar territory. The scenery starts out in the graveyards with decaying characters from ghouls and goblins and then captures a small blend of annual holiday images of Easter, Thanksgiving, and St. Patrick's Day, as Jack enters Christmas, a different town, for a while. "There's got to be a logical way to explain this Christmas thing." He schemes to take over Christmas and kidnap Santa when he gets back while a concerned patchwork girl tries to warn him not to. During Jack's pondering stage, the viewer desires for the film to escape the dark layered Halloween town and go back to Christmas once again. There's an old message to the story to be happy and understand with one's self despite a lot of things before one interprets the wrong way. Danny Elfman, who also wrote the songs, provides the singing voice of Jack. His musical composition creates an appropriate atmosphere with illustrious poetic tunes as the most memorable song is 'What's this.' Disney's alternative style of seditious energy, creatures, and visual effects is quite stunning and gripping for a diverse entertainment. This is where the fascination of the movie kicks in where the animated sequences is the variable to the mixture of songs. It puts on a sensational show rather than sustaining a lingering poise since it's no longer than an hour and a half. The humor of the film comes from many sources, such when it is done visually - getting a bunny instead of Santa or being attacked by Christmas toys. The gothic present feel of the story is simplistic and fast, zesty to the tunes convoyed with pure eye candy treated for one to watch several times.

Final Grade: B+/B

Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
Starring James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston, Richard Whorf

Film Prophet's Review...
"My mother thanks you, my father thanks you, my sister thanks you, and I thank you." Directed by Michael Curtiz, the inspiring story tells the life of American George M. Cohan, the Broadway entertainer, composer, dancer, and writer, and his contributions to the United States through his songs and shows during the first World War as he became the first performer of theater to win a Congressional Medal of Honor. During his prime, his Broadway acts were high on recognition with sing and dance melodies triumphing from 'You're a Grand Old Flag' to 'The Yankee Doodle Boy.' Subsequently, his countless patriotic tunes during his existence became a timeless celebration making a great independence day film while this film boosted morals, devotion, and nationalism as the movie of its time. "A man may give his life to his country in many different ways... 'Over There' was just as powerful of weapon as any cannon, as any battleship we had." Narrating to the president the story of his life, it starts from his childhood days born on independence day as a headstrong child brought up where his parents loved theatre. When Cohen becomes big, he invited his parents and sister to star with him for one of his Broadway shows. There's plenty of memorable symbolic historical tunes amusingly done on stage where it's meant to be and the best thing is that they aren't overbearing and there's a man's story to be expressed. The infecting sentimental, nostalgic storytelling is very warming and wasn't troublesome with everything steadily enchanting and glorious. James Cagney, who I was not a big fan of his films until this one, acts really well and pulls off a particular magnetism and blissful voice. He allures concentration to himself on screen at every occasion and rewarding expression through the terrific camera views from a genius musical screen play. Winner of best Oscar actor, the most rousing, inducing act was his tap dance down the White House stairs. It was an indication that Cagney didn't do just second-rate gangster films. When the acts are on and Cagney isn't doing his fun footwork, it gets exciting backstage and it's not too much. The story carries an energetic and sensible drive through numerous songs and character relations without ever hitting dead boredom. He acts and speaks at a pace that keeps up with the storyline's sharp and lucid dialogue, as his lady says, "I know I have talent even if I am from Buffalo." The supporting cast below him complement his performance and they're exceptional. The film easily shows the business production values, new plays, sensations, and performers evolving mutually through sadness, fun, aging, and growing times. It approaches strong caring parent and sister ethics in a very smooth divide between family and theatre where success eventually dwindles down to failure shaping to World War I in an amazing logical narrative that's way above expectations. His encounter at an older age when he's on his hammock and a couple teenagers ask him about his past was magnificent and its the film's most perfect winning scene. The last ten scenes are remarkable like Cagney's performance in this great patriotic momentous film closing it gorgeous and exquisite.

Final Grade: A/A-

Oliver! (1968)
Starring Mark Lester, Ron Moody, Shani Wallis, Oliver Reed, Jack Wild

Film Prophet's Review...
The artistic musical pits an orphan in nineteenth-century London who befriends a pick-pocketing gang of boy thieves in a search of a better life and escape from hostile supervision of the English workhouse officials. He tries to find out who his friends are in this youthful tale of mischief. The movie got eleven Oscar nominations and wins for Carol Reed's direction and best picture towards Charles Dickens' novel Oliver Twist. The big-budget musical film did not win any acting award for a reason. The cast appeared to be built from a children ensemble when they came out for food with high energy to sing and dance in bad conditions of the workhouse that almost looked like a prison. However, when the titled character was pointed out for trouble amongst the others, he gets placed in a movie controlled by adults who then act like they are the main characters and Oliver has no more say if he ever had any. The 'Who Will Buy' sequence with Harry Secombe singing in the streets of snow walking with Oliver is probably the only favored scene. It's hard to consider that the climax was that scene which was around the ten minute mark. After an undertaker buys the boy, the kids from the workhouse mock him from inside. The story expands merely through Oliver only concerning his character and where he decides to run to. Since it follows him, the viewer has little to cheer for. His persona was unclear; he was just trying to get an adventure out of his cheerless life on the streets. Oliver has no idea who anyone is; no names are spilled and he has no where to stay since he runs away every twenty minutes or so. When the greedy, unlikable adult trio arrives on screen, they get more screen time than Oliver himself. The terrible performances, accents, and appearances are from Ron Moody, Oliver Reed, and Shani Wallis where there is too much hate between them because their characters were pitiable and disgraceful. They have tedious conversations for an hour about trying to get Oliver back after another runaway since Oliver's talks last for no more than a minute and any other talk between other characters are aching. Everyone in the tale has some accompanied evil, even Oliver since he was the original quiet troublemaker and there was some bad acting by Lester in him. The small story has several little holes probing Oliver and the other character's logic and decisions. The story is quite slow as any new place Oliver finds, there's bound to be redundant singing, such as 'Consider Yourself' which was a repetitive refrain around a large section of town for a long time. Next came 'You gotta pick a pocket or two.' The music causes frequent sidetracking points waiting for it to end so that the tale has a rationale for existence. There aren't any drawn out discourses in the film leading up to sequences that aren't juicy enough to attract to Oliver's uninteresting journey going in no destination and focusing on irrelevant adult characters in a portraying children musical.

Final Grade: C

The King and I (1956)
Starring Deborah Kerr, Yul Brynner, Rita Moreno, Martin Benson

Film Prophet's Review...
Deborah Kerr plays a widowed English teacher at her new posting during the mid-nineteenth century as tutor to the Siamese king's hundreds of children. The relationship with the king is exuberant between the two wary protagonists with a bright mix of comedy, drama, and music. Using her western values, she was a strong enough woman than the rest to stand up and approach the king, not being intimidated at times of his arrogance. She acquires a rapport in a fortunate way right before she begins her hypnotic performance in An Affair to Remember. In this musical, the yielding poignant score relies on the steam the music produces as it fastens the viewer sooner or later. The story and speech is easier to understand than My Fair Lady, which is a positive sign. The acting is very much so a stage play presentation with its painted backdrops evident to see around water, though indoors the art was fine. Kerr surprises when she sings her songs and Yul Brynner as the king won best Oscar acting. The time spent during the songs are a bit projected than when they speak regularly and if they did that through the whole movie, it wouldn't have its charm anymore. However, Brynner's dialogue is more entertaining than his few songs when he doesn't use proper grammar in his sentences like the rest of his oriental royal community. The king's debut is humorous making jokes and awkward speeches as he makes the movie enjoying with his wit display. The fanciful direction of its small premise and beautiful ending excludes unnecessary debris and the audience gets a sense of the character's thoughts during the film. The reason Kerr was appointed by the King of Siam as the teacher of his children was that their education was not up to date and he wants them to learn more modernly. These people are very uneducated and so was the king. They became better off after a white woman came to teach them about her Western customs, culture, dress, and language to their Asian life. In one scene, the expired and fake version of a map was shown to the children and she reveals them the current one as they're impressed at the new sizes of the countries. When the children didn't believe in things like snow, as they all admire her greatly learning words like etcetera, the king enters scene and talks about them getting a modern expensive education to learn things they don't believe in and uses more funny lines. The film settles down just a bit after an interesting third when other people get the solo singing spotlight. The best parts are when the king and the tutor are together in the same scenes because it show two people of very different backgrounds drawing apart and then together that's fun to watch. She helps him impress the English royal court at dinner with hilarious ways too. The Siamese true yarn has all sorts of sentiments in several incidents and one painful line - a sad heart wishes no longer to beating.

Final Grade: B/B-

Harvey (1950)
Starring James Stewart, Josephine Hull, Victoria Horne, Charles Drake, Cecil Kellaway, Peggy Dow

Film Prophet's Review...
"In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant and you may quote me." James Stewart as Elwood P. Dowd is a regular at a pub who claims he keeps company with a six-foot-tall, invisible rabbit as his best friend no one can see but him. His charm embraces a nurse's romanticism and grace to everyone with a splendid ease of loosening his mind and confidence. He is tolerated by the citizens of his community and when the people witness Elwood talking to air, he isn't embarrassed about it, though his sister and niece, who he live with him, are. His sister believes the alcohol drinking may have caused him to see this invisible imaginary friend, so she makes a mistake when she tries to get Elwood committed to a sanatorium. With Harvey, Elwood has more joy in life and so does the film. Though, the rabbit is not present visually to the senses, the adult imagination can carry over to children and families connecting to a diverse audience. His alter illusion of the rabbit could represent himself in a more kind, friendly spirit, as the movie makes a valid conclusion near the end about this. Stewart, who mirrors his character in It's a Wonderful Life by talking to an angel he can only see, is the most charismatic actor in American classic history. Elwood P. Dowd is a very memorable character and Stewart even said this was his favorite movie he made. His acting is above excellence when he goes up against a paranormal quality of a rabbit. Stewart's kind dialogue is alternately hilarious grasping a screwball comedy of mistaken beliefs. The comical acting brings on a smile when he acts and speaks to nothing visible and it's fun to see other people's reactions to this. The harmless fantasy comedy balances dark and congenial sides uniformly in a social commentary about its time. It's cheerful and extremely pleasant, and it's screen play moves and alters at a pace so that the performers can perform and budge while speaking lines. Elwood is always careful with Harvey around, asking him to go first when he opens a door, and uses nouns in plural. The undertones of humor - let's drink up - is very amusing in all its sincere manner. The other side of the story is the paranoia and misinterpretation by the doctors on the innocent sister's half, who the incompetent doctors are villains part time living in denial for a while. The direction is dazzling so that the doctors don't look at Elwood's actions towards the invisibility of the rabbit. The acting provides this conveying and it gets uncanny. Every supporting character is developed during the fiascos too and a chief to the story is that no one really asks if Harvey is a real being. In the center of the plot, the stranger's different views on what they've witness has a script that is meant to be watched on screen to get the factual vision from it. Elwood meets and befriends strangers and he is the only one who knows where Harvey is exactly because he can see if he is there and this creates a stir among the others in an original demonstration, as the story adjusts upon situations based on what they've seen. There's many seams of eternal meaning with a tremendous smart resolution to the story countering a normal life - you know what stinkers they are - and how Harvey plays into it teaching values and lessons. "We came as strangers, soon we have friends... I introduce them to Harvey and he's bigger and grander than anything they can offer me. When they leave, they leave impressed. The same people seldom come back."

Final Grade: A

Miller's Crossing (1990)
Starring Gabriel Byrne, John Turturro, Albert Finney, Marcia Gay Harden, Jon Polito, J.E. Freeman

Film Prophet's Review...
The Coen brothers wrote a wearisome view on the Prohibition era with organized crime not with bootlegging to make money, but to slash off men who divide the city's gangster competitive control. A crime boss orders his right hand man for a botched hit, and he has debts he can't pay so he plays both sides in the gangland. The parody on The Godfather's opening was meant to be bold, but it was not that compelling at all. Filmed in lighter atmosphere, deciding to be a comedy or a serious drama was puzzling under its own belt. The plot generated nothing but hard-nosed retribution and murder, as its soft dialogue is not rich. There's this determination with a woman where two opposite gangsters admire her, but it is nothing significant to speak of as it makes no impact. The problem is the movie has excessive mumbles that don't accelerate a story. More than half of the movie's scenes don't focus enough on the plot to penetrate a coherent concept of the film. The scenes don't take a turn for the better. In fact, the film is more of a distance than it is up close. There's no hook that can get one started and taken into the film. Rather, most of the film is dialog seen over reoccurring conversations behind a desk with the usual mediocre setting, which was exhausting to watch over and over in their same suits and overcoats. The actors just go along talking about their lives they live and I expected a nice art display or an humane message that's super and it did not happen. Every character has some folly, and some have too many. Gabriel Byrne, who appears in almost every scene, has this bland appeal; he is uninteresting and acts with the same facial expression who just moves his mouth when he speaks as he took a lot away from the movie. Steve Buscemi's cameo had the best appearance though it was a brief stint, it made Byrne look obsolete up there with him. The hierarchy is not visible and the film doesn't make a valid case to further a pebble across a two foot lake. The backstabbers and killings make it difficult to tell who is where at any given time. There's little action and no comedy relief with any personality. Two men can not just talk between each other to express the story in every scene, unless it's Rope, and basically they were all with Byrne. The characters as gangsters didn't seem criminal enough either. Gabriel gets beat up along the film and there's trivial shootings and brawls that don't accomplish a point. Most of the scenes are easily forgettable since they were tedious after the next. The one shooting in the house was unrealistic looking with the constant unimpressionable faces. Ending with a bromidic finish and compared to other Coen films, the Coens brothers are nonetheless a hit and miss.

Final Grade: C-

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)
Starring Spencer Tracy, Ingrid Bergman, Lana Turner, Donald Crisp

Film Prophet's Review...
A doctor risks his life when he drinks a potion and out comes his bad side, effecting two women around him, one who is different than the other. Directed by the great Victor Fleming, the film is an easy droning psychological tale with ethics and omitted horror. His version of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic novel creates terror emotions that don't unbolt ever. The title is really popular, but most people don't know what it truly concerns... the dull and uncharismatic character Spencer Tracy portrays that would make anyone want to change into another person. Since the doctor's life is boring just like the film, he takes a complete change with making a potion. To show when he is in his evil Mr. Hyde state, the film takes a matter of ten to twenty seconds of a close-up of his face and how it sweats with a evil grin, changing with fades, then it's over passing by with one little evil act if that. He is truly more crazy and dangerous to himself and his outcomes. He was open in the beginning with discussions about morality in a soul and exchanging theories, but never really got into the matter. He led an ordinary liberal life and when the women would join him, they would be just as lackluster as him. The one on one conversations they have don't involve much of anything, but weak seduction and monotonous quarrels. At first, Jekyll in his top hat and cane enjoys this transformation, which his sexual urges get a notice with a local barmaid and woman who her father consents to be married with. The doctor begins his miscellaneous calculations and hypothesis towards the potion that transforms him into Mr. Hyde. The cinematography was a neat feature, so was the foggy setting of London, though the story did not match. Both sides of the doctor were empty and all he did was grin and stage the rest of his dreary paving. Somehow he manages to bring tears to the two women who just sob over banal frustrations. The movie can be finalized with a line at the end - I'm Dr. Henry Jekyll, I've done nothing.

Final Grade: C/C-

The Brothers Grimm (2005)
Starring Matt Damon, Heath Ledger, Lena Headey, Monica Bellucci

Film Prophet's Review...
Two traveling exorcist con-artists, brothers Jake and Will Grimm, arrive at a town populated of wretched civilians where the town keeps losing their children. Their bravery is stricken in their own yarn with other childhood fantasy fairy tales, which reminisce in memory, but not fully. When the brothers search the forest for the missing children and come back to the town, they are tied up with rope because the people don't believe they witnessed supernatural evils who have taken the children of the village since they're too pitiable. The rest of the movie's sequences are proceedings of torture to relieve information or just for the fun of it, then they overcome and head back in the creepy forest to get tied up by enthralling trees and creatures who can consume them whole, where all of the stunts and mysterious action take place in the woods. The interference by the French army was more of a threat to the brothers than the actual evil of the story, the Mirror Queen, whose hazard was less exposed. There are a few intellectual moments the viewers can laugh at during its dark humor, then daunted at the creative creature designs. There are no signs of reality because the film is completely unnatural to limited entertainment. The film is very experimental with crazy visual apparitions on several fictional outtakes of fairy tales. Their incidences are at a bewildering rate that range from Rapunzel, The Frog Prince, Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Cinderella, and The Gingerbread Man. The plot however is very unpredictable until the last couple minutes, while the reaction to most of the actions are mixed, nevertheless suiting the subject of the film. Although, some of the characters and fairy tales blended into one whole plot aren't answered, possibly because there wasn't much material to begin with. The character expositions got in way too quick before the viewers can pick up the startling sections and even names. Terry Gilliam's eerie horror perspectives and incapability to get under a character's skin is applicable once again.

Final Grade: B-/C+

Funny Girl (1968)
Starring Barbra Streisand, Omar Sharif, Kay Medford, Walter Pidgeon

Film Prophet's Review...
"The moment you're out there on stage, nothing bothers you." The fictionalized musical biopic shows the personal life of stage singer Fanny Brice, Streisand, starting life on the Lower East Side of New York rising to star in Ziegfeld's show. The supplement to her life is sly gambler Nick Arnstein, Sharif, whose fate is inevitable in their relationship. The opening scene begins with her daydreaming aspiration in a vacant quiet theater talking to herself. When she auditions, her superiors just witness her physical looks and turn her down. Her star quality about her doesn't reel in until she gets going with her voice singing in tune and done individually, not in a chorus, where she shines. Plus, her clumsy antics, dances, and poses do a little bit to entertain the audience even if they are embarrassing, she is not really worried about anything. Her raw and comic talent won her best Oscar actress in her movie debut musical role. Not much is going on in terms of poetic and artistic compositions for a while. Experienced director William Wyler tackles on a musical as he solely links the film to a musical and romance genre split in half, where the second one is more advanced. Fanny's unsuccessful life off stage with Nick is the key to the story. Sharif may remind one of Clark Gable, a manly soft spoken manner, as he was an excellent choice to pair with Streisand in her best film. The story picked up at thirty minutes when he first appears and from there, his next appearances are anticipated. Everyone else in the movie was unessential and disregarded, just the two held the movie from its pieces. Without Sharif's character, there would be a level two story. When he wasn't around, the script was spacious and indistinct while the lyrics about beauty sung by Streisand were centered around her, but not about her. Her range does expand as the movie develops. The songs are spaced out where the dialogue gets enough credited time to make some impact. While the two don't have established plans, the depth structures stretches out over the context of three hours when the second half gets going with drama, money, and love. Streisand and Sharif are on and off together who have surprise returns on several occasions. The later half about their relationship is the real and ripened elevation of the story away from Streisand's frolics, all but one - her sense of humor. The issues are well-acted and approached that closes to a magnificent and powerful, but delicate ending song, My Man, the utmost film musical song.

Final Grade: B+/B

The Music Man (1962)
Starring Robert Preston, Shirley Jones, Buddy Hackett, Ron Howard, Pert Kelton, Paul Ford

Film Prophet's Review...
In a small Midwestern town, a conman, Preston, becomes a music professor from out of town who promises to teach and form a small-town boy's band. The conman tries to steal money from the parents of River City with his band scam, nevertheless, charming them with winging his melodies. It was harder than he thought when a pretty but skeptical librarian, Jones, changes the story and his motives. The conman's theory wasn't to use notes, rather using his think system no one could truly explain. Nominated for best picture without any stars, the musical debuting cast pictures in an offbeat, brisk film. The movie looked strictly for the music presentation and hearing pleasure. Meredith Willson's soundtrack was barely the only thing going for the film. The impractical plot sequences push its bounds of believability. The brass band tunes and theatrical performances relied too much on telling the story through songs and using them for conversations. The first song scene had a couple dozen men who all look the same and bounce up and down on a moving train while dishing out one line lyrics to each other with no instruments. They couldn't just speak normally, they had to sing it flat. Anytime a conversation is longer than thirty seconds, a song is bound to follow in a discussion form. The entire movie I expected more of these singing conversations and when there was a normal one, I was surprised that it didn't end in a note. The whole town sings in groups and there are some awful musical numbers where guys appear from no where and this carries on for two and a half hours of dancing during a pointless plot. One dance scene in the gymnasium went inept for too long and they go so long to cart it on the streets - I abhor these people. The feature was missing a special ingredient - the direction of the musical's story. Musicals are enchanting and fun to watch. Without comedy or drama, the direction added too many musical extras and refrains devoid of logic. One scene had people stopping and observing the conman because he's speaking this long argument around the town for few minutes and the viewers could get tired and exhausted when he is finally done, but the pathetic town is tempted to join in on his song before he stops. Preston sings to the woman in the library and no one whose reading tells him to be quiet, then they all join in on the act minutes later since the guy never quits... give it up man. Another thing is the town is always blind and credulous. The all-male school board is excessive with being annoying. Preston manipulates them when he sings one line of a song as he just needed to warm them up. The Gary, Indiana song by little Ronny Howard was neat to see. The only song I really enjoyed listening to was Being in Love by Shirley Jones, a yearning lyrical song. Listening to the soundtrack might be more enjoying than watching the town's commencing attitudes on screen. The plot does get better just before the two hour segment and saves it, as rest of the way is fine, but it was too late even though it had a nice resolving touch.

Final Grade: C+/C

Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
Starring Judy Garland, Margaret O'Brien, Mary Astor, Tom Drake, Lucille Bremer, Leon Ames

Film Prophet's Review...
Directed by Vincente Minnelli, a 1903 St. Louis dwelling family experiences changes of the four seasons together at home. During the seasons, a boy next boy charms Garland's character, the World's Fair is coming to town, and the happy family is shaken by the father's prospect of moving to New York. There are reasons to stay and reasons to leave. The Smith family has four young daughters in a grand female cast in this nostalgic and romanticized musical movie. The setting is very exuberant in a colorful neighborhood. There's no private life in this family view of an American city at the beginning of the century. In a very kind social story, new love interests and stressful situations are easy-going for a very happy prototypical suburban family. The seasons comprise of different acts where one has the trolley song that goes - Clang, clang, clang went the trolley, Ding, ding, ding went the bell. After The Wizard of Oz, Judy Garland follows up with another no place like home theme with songs that rhyme and time well during the story. The songs and voices are pleasant to hear. Garland his this deep mature singing voice from an energetic youthful gal with a lady's lush tone and acts the part very well. Musicals tend to halt the story to put a pause in the film where only the characters singing get the spotlight, which are mostly of longings and it's like no one else around them hears it. Every musical is tricky to tell whether they sing live or if its synchronized because it seems like it's sung while being filmed, but most, if not all, are done on a sound system prior or after filming. The most memorable lyric is of course the title song near the start as Meet Me in St. Louis, the refrain, and then the father says, That's all everybody sings about or talks about. Beginning with the summer, the story had one scene that boosted the movie. Everything has to be perfect for them. The father even needs his meat to be cut, not shaven, and that's the scene that kicks it off. Some humorous lines pass and it was actually funny in the first dinner scene when the entire family peers in on a certain phone call. Every daughter is blissfully happy who want it their way all the time and they constantly look forward to the beauty of a future. The men are more shrewd to the facts while the women are spirited. The daughters have complications with their friends and family, except no one is the antagonist. This is a musical where one can await the songs than the actual story since there's little adversary in it. The viewers enjoy and laugh with them because there's barely an enemy but the family decision of going to New York, which comes in the center of the story. The father tells his family to try something new and the enemy is perhaps changing human accustoms. The film loses some steam after the announcement when some characters think they're better than others and they whimper when things don't go their way. The most captivating moment was near the end when Garland sings Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

Final Grade: B/B-

Throne of Blood (1957)
Starring Toshiro Mifune, Isuzu Yamada, Minoru Chiaki, Takashi Shimura

Film Prophet's Review...
Akira Kurosawa, master of Japanese war drama, is an accomplished writer and director of Japanese cinema. This film came out around the same time as The Seven Samurai as another Kurosawa-Mifune connection film. In his most under-valued great film, two warriors find themselves lost in a dense forest during a thunderstorm as a ghostly old woman appears and predicts that Washizu, Mifune, will soon rise to power as the great lord of spider's web castle and his friend will become commander at first fortress. Akira's compositions create memorable visual images such as the ghost and her thread spinning. It opens to a foggy climate, a black and white picture, in front of the lords who think of war strategies and show patience. The viewers can hear the strong wrath in their voices and they pour them out craftily. A lot of things happen in one frame to look and listen for - background noise, voices, scenery, costumes, and the plot - a more unforgettable one than several other Akira films. I was amazed on the perception of the film's outline. The spirit creature has some great lines in this subtle, smart approach on a man's life and reveals unbelievable future ranks. Afterwards, there is even a cyclical and amusing scene where the two men on horses ride back and forth saying nothing, then joke around afterwards about what they saw and the viewers can laugh with them because it's brilliantly shot and well acted. Life can always be improved, as one character says and this is among Akira's best films with lots of quotes and settings to direct for, notably the first scene between Washizu and his wife. She doesn't make eye contact, acts very motionless, but competent and says sharp glimpses contrasting with her husband. She doubts his nobility and thinks his friend will pose as a threat. They work together, but do not always agree. The foreshadowing tale gets strange and unusual, but nothing unordinary for Akira's story conflicts. There's lots of scenes with silence and mutual understandings when to speak of reason. There's superb cinematography with stylish colossal trees and silence suspense. Most of the talks are about planning successors and traitorous schemes, leading to humiliations. Washizu's vision is a sign of motivation to fulfill his prophesy further to kill those who compete for the castle ruling. However, power and greed cross each other just like ambition and doom do in a dark reality. His strong belief in his fate that is precisely true carries the film towards the sad and treacherous ending. The movie results in betrayal when a man just like others gets too far in his quest and ungraciously rages with arrows.

Final Grade: A-

The Jazz Singer (1927)
Starring Al Jolson, May McAvoy, Warner Oland, Eugenie Besserer

Film Prophet's Review...
The historical importance of the movie is proclaimed to be the first Hollywood talkie ever made. However, it wasn't the first to use voice techniques in a movie, but this musical was a landmark after using a new sound system and pioneered a huge change in the movie industry - the Hollywood turning point early on. It's the film that made talkies popular from silent features and it became a reality with the success of this film. The activity of the sound was mostly synchronized by Jolson's vocal numbers accompanied by his soft male solo singing and instruments. The first, and only, lengthy talking scene came a bit before the center of the film after Jolson sings in front of a cabaret crowd and says, "Wait a minute! Wait a minute! You ain't heard nothin' yet." It was the first said line in the film and he was basically the only voice with more than one line. The under-rated story tells a Jewish father wanting his only son Jakie to be a cantor just like him, but Jakie later moves out of the house and goes into show business over his objections. His choice in life goes against family tradition and his father's footsteps and he enters a new culture building a semi-rebellious life into his choice. I came into this movie expecting a bunch of revolutionized talk and in return I got an enhanced fluidness to a story than projected in a silent movie form outweighing the certain talking aspect. Declaring this film as full talkie wouldn't be very precise because it's mostly Jolson's singing that can be heard. It uses songs over speaking dialogue. There are standard caption cards on the screen when a character has something featured to say. The lines are on the screen and there are no background noises just like any other silent film. For instance, in one scene young Jakie's mother reacts unpleasantly to the sounds of her son being whipped in a room by his father and the viewers can not hear anything, but the score and viewing her expression. Since most of the film uses silent traditions, the eye makeup on men is frightening because that's part of the way to give the viewers the expression non-verbally by enlarging them. The title cards are also fascinating on some - I came home with a heart full of love, but you don't want to understand - What a little boy learns, he never forgets. A famous image from the film is after when Jolson applies makeup and puts on his wig to imitate a blackface, which some say is racist, but the blackface is only for a performance near the end and Jolson doesn't start out this way either. The still image of him initially is quite scary, but watching it in the video makes sense. Overall, the storytelling was effective and the film naturally progresses and it was interesting while it grabs attention unlike D.W. Griffith's Abraham Lincoln. Jakie's father gets ill and all he wants is to see his son once more. Jakie gives a live singing impression to crowd and a female theatrical dancer decides to help his cause. The story offered more than expected, by means of ideas that have been used later in stories. The direction keeps it moving when Jakie becomes a Jazz Singer while the viewers can understand what's going on easily. Past halfway, I even forgot the historical value and sound emergence because I sank into the dated film's story. It carries themes of confidence in America's life opportunities if one strives. There's also several conflicts like family versus career, putting on a show versus seeing a dying father, where Jakie is forced to make big decisions. A recognized musical score came about during a scene when the father enters his home and sees Jakie's return, playing jazz on the piano to his mother and it's my favorite scene. There's undeniable satisfaction with the ending during the mammy song - the best song in the film, where he sings on one knee with his arms wide open creating a famous vignette. It's not so much about witnessing talk or seeing Jolson sing, the annotations in the story is authentic and inspiring that left audiences wanting more from Hollywood.

Final Grade: A-/A

My Fair Lady (1964)
Starring Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Stanley Holloway, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Gladys Cooper

Film Prophet's Review...
The musical film is an adaptation of a successful continued Broadway play called Pygmalion in 1912 where a wealthy professor falls for a flower shop girl. He promises to transform her language and attire to upper class standards and bets his friend that he can do it in time for an humdrum ball. Along with her education, she learns some much required tolerance, and so do the film's viewers after staying put for three hours. So it is, where modern romance-fiction stories spin-off this one into pubescent premises that often tumble... because the predecessor faults many times. The society is way too high class with their priorities, carriages, smug elegance, and moaning... lots of it too. Nothing satisfies them as nothing satisfies the viewers hearing them whine. There's more character complaining during the movie than complements. The men are uptight, selfish, and hollow, as their arrogant attitude isn't necessarily funny at all. The aversion men are almost as irritating as Hepburn, the flower girl. In one scene, she is dragged up by maids to the bathroom, then screams and the men downstairs just grieve. Hepburn creates this woman character who constantly cries out loud immediately after assumptions with an annoying tone of voice, maybe in all of movies. It was her role in which she wasn't Oscar nominated for a movie that had a dozen nominations and eight wins including best picture. Her role was an anti-heroine bystander until a man says, "A woman who utters such disgusting and depressing noise has no right to be anywhere, no right to live," which was correct, being the best line in the script, until the story decided to pick her life up to a snobby class distinction. Thankfully, someone did care to help and improve her language though. The professor teaches her to speak articulately so that she will be a brushed and tided up lady for the ball. In fact, all the characters needed help with their voices. She is taught to speak well enough... well they all need the professor's elocution lessons too. Sometimes, they can't candidly speak their lines as they mumble them out so people can't understand all they have to say and this creates draw backs to their conversations. The talks don't strike viewers to listen in because of their accents and inability to speak coherently, done well by the performers to irritate. The lone times the characters relax their annoyance is when they sing together in one of those spur moments. The backdrops of the film are theatrical sets to experience more of a showcase stage play with movie stars playing stage roles. Many of the costumes the women wore, that is there large hats, are very modern to that time and not suitable to 1912. The movie was also released in a classic musical film decade. The songs here are tunes of nonsense singing where no one has the vocal range to do well. There's one song where three men keep repeating, With a Little Bit, for ten minutes. The singing got annoying fast and occurred too often to just expand the film to three hours. The film takes a trip of a struggling woman in a rags to riches story. It does get tiresome especially after her transformation finished... there was still an hour left to go and from there it just doesn't please. The story then finishes with an incomplete and ambiguous ending after three hours. Hepburn just didn't have her legendary charisma in this guttersnipe role. The story is fitting for theater, not entirely for home presentation.

Final Grade: C-/C

The 40 Year-Old Virgin (2005)
Starring Steve Carell, Catherine Keener, Paul Rudd, Romany Malco, Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks

Film Prophet's Review...
Andy, Carell, is forty years old who works in a low income job at an electronics superstore. He enjoys his apartment home, bike riding, comic reading, and action figures, however, he hasn't done something most people have by his age... it's a big fuss for his co-workers and their egos. The innocent title character is pushed by his pals to lose his virginity when they find out. The film is about peer pressure at an adult age. There is nothing wrong with being a virgin though. He was never promiscuous because he has a fear of messing up with women because nothing works out for him. He shouldn't worry because his character is in a film that plummets big time. Through his offers and temptation, the movie pictures weaknesses of relationships built on sex and the differences with the ones that aren't. The story mixes and combines different content, opinions, desperations, and incentives that kept changing. What doesn't change is the obsessive vulgarity in every sentence and depressing scene that shows the language is not shocking anymore to use and the film had no manners even though they tried to tactfully handle the topic to the comedy industry audience of mainly adolescent boys who enjoy consistently crude offensive jokes with repetition on and on just like this sentence. The only thing it appeals for people to go watch it is the title, but behind it is full of ineffective idioms. Most of the comedy was in a form of sex related material. The guys talk about their organs and sleeping with women - this is so funny that it's an amazing movie. No, that's not how fantastic cinema works. There's very little to laugh about in this overblown comedy that has terrible transitions and shoves moral beliefs in contempt with graphic discussions by his adult pals to persuade him, but Steve Carell's patience, hesitance, and made up stories are the best parts to watch. The offensive comedy settles down into a kind and subtle romance story when Andy meets a woman with three children of her own, a sign of adulthood and away from his buddies. The premise has been done before many times with a shy, awkward guy who gets help in a finicky situation like in Hitch earlier this year, except Hitch was truly funny and perceptive. This movie is an unethical sour rip off of American Pie that degrades homosexuals and self-esteem in inappropriate gags. One scene has Andy messing with condoms and afterwards follows revolting scenes that already had unrealistic ones before. The whole early night sequence at the bar is about drunk people and bad annoying conversations and it's even worse to view it on a screen in a movie. It leads into a disaster car scenario that's so bad that it isn't funny at all, rather sad and dismayed. There's this waxing chest hair scene that spends three coarse minutes off of unattractive and exhaustive conventions where my forehead fell into my hand in displeasure much like how I was with the rest of the movie.

Final Grade: D/F

The Lion in Winter (1968)
Starring Peter O'Toole, Katharine Hepburn, Anthony Hopkins, John Castle, Timothy Dalton

Film Prophet's Review...
"For the love of God, can't we love one another just a little - that's how peace begins. We have such possibilities, my children. We could change the world." An elder King Henry II has three grown up sons who vie to inherit his throne as he has plenty of time under his three year succession plan to select the right one. Meanwhile, his eager sons and his wife gather up for him to decide earlier. In this historical drama, Henry's wife bestows the eldest son while Henry favors his youngest to become his worthy successor to rule England. However, each son has some flaw that makes the decision difficult for King Henry, accompanied by Queen Eleanor. The traitorous and spoiled sons are part of a dysfunctional family and the sons aren't refined to Henry's standards where Henry goes as far to attract a younger woman for new children. The script has dynamics in its lines and scenes where people just leisure around talking on without an action point that stages it as an historical drama... and it essentially works. It dissects life issues not only for a royal family, but any family with a big dilemma. The sons try to cut deals, form bonds, and propositions with their parents so that they are happy. Although, the casting had a diverse range of age at the time with Hepburn being thirty years older than O'Toole, which was strange because the film almost made her appear just younger than him. However, the script could have took a toll if it was picked any different. Everyone acts a little too well to electrify their skillful lines. Hopkins stands out the most as a son and they verbally fight each other in dark scenes and days of infinite ranting that carries on great patience. There is always something in each scene whether it's the settings, dialogue, sound, acting, or costumes to make it worth value. They pronounce their lines with clarity and realism that in fact sounds authentic and robust. The dialogue is stirring, competitive, and alert carried by all the performers at their best. Everyone's acting picked this movie right up, especially O'Toole's voice with purity. His yelling and raising his voice louder gives the movie a controlling force to listen to. They were truly devoted and resolute in this work to entrench their characters based off a play by James Goldman. The script did make each character intelligent on some level despite the pettiness shown by the sons. Artistically, it's shot wonderfully and zooms out to picture the land of rule. There's time in between nearly each scene for this that lets viewers await the high decibels and it holds the movie together to present anger verbally without vein. The speeches often are the surprises in action. Their furious venom arguments are better than the madness in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf because at least here they are sober. They fight for power, turmoil under nuance, show inclusions or little loyalty - do you ever wonder if I slept with your father - and bicker coerce of how a single change in one family can alter behaviors remarkably and painless, but fierce. If movies were made in the twelfth century, this movie would be the best movie of its time due to its modern fiction display it would have had then.

Final Grade: B+

Out of the Past (1947)
Starring Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas, Rhonda Fleming, Virginia Huston

Film Prophet's Review...
Jeff Bailey, Mitchum, is a rural gas station owner in Nevada where an old pal stops by to attend to unfinished business which may lead into doom and terror. Bailey moved away to Nevada to reinvent himself, changed his identity, and he can't hide from the people of his past. They'll always be there until they cease. Soon, Jeff and his new girlfriend head towards his old lair to meet an underworld figure as Jeff delves his story out of the past to her into a narrated flashback to reveal it. He is always calm in alienation as this weary retired private detective who attracts women. The film made superb casting choices, but it is not an excellent movie nor known as a classic... The Night of the Hunter is Mitchum's best movie. Mitchum, who was not a big star in a time of Bogart, Welles, Stanwyck, Cotten, and Bergman, was somewhat underappreciated as a man of film noir. One thing about that genre is some women start off dutiful and loving in its story, but they become greedy and untrustworthy in a moral conflict. Jane Greer preserves ahead of an emblematic woman character and builds a sensuous woman. Although, all the men looked very similar by means of their dress, age, hair style, and overall statue in Jeff's flashbacks. The realistic dialogue was a bit strong supported in front of artificial locations and joyless shadows of the landscapes. It's almost similar to the construction of the movies The Lost Weekend and Laura's plotline in ways to achieve the story of tangling history with a mysterious cautious presence. The stirring results are hard to come by and in between them, it takes most of its time acquainting Jeff and a pretty gal which slows down what was left of a fine start near the gas station. Talks possess of how charming each other are. The depth of the story does not dig enough and halts for some time before the story turns the engine back on. The viewer is placed in the backseat looking through the side window at a stop light and until the car moves, the story doesn't. Many things are conspicuous, plus there's much ambiguity in the characters and the storyline. The information was left open to go somewhere new usually. It's melodramatic density is high, then numb with puzzling attitudes. The story does little to expose the character's motives and doesn't give a whole lot of details until some minor quick action hits and it's merely short of being a true classic film.

Final Grade: B/B-

Enter the Dragon (1973)
Starring Bruce Lee, John Saxon, Jim Kelly, Bolo Yeung, Kien Shih, Robert Wall

Film Prophet's Review...
The martial arts actor Bruce Lee brings his incredible abilities in a story of a foreign government to infiltrate an island of a martial artist named Han. Lee is on double duty; he is hired by an agency to supply information on what could be illegal operations and to participate in a martial arts tournament organized by Han. The action film shored in a full-fledge, very first American kung fu spectacular with fight scenes to stun and put on an entertaining show dubbed with a connotation. It displays the correct characterizations and surroundings one would find towards the genre, including the fascinating musical score. Scenes can go for so long without even realizing they never had any dialogue... the exhibit is quite masterful. For when Lee does speak, they are usually metaphorical with imagery on enemies, rules, acceptance, and consequences. His lines are smart, sometimes humorous, with his wisdom and skill, plus the joy to watch him on a physical level makes the film designed just for him. There are no guns in this movie - anyone can pull the trigger. There's an astonishing sequence of a black and white footage on Lee's upcoming opponent he watches, which shows people fear him. This movie is a great example of the genre that yields out of America's prized kung fu conventional movies. The movie takes place in a form of a seventies funky style in Hong Kong. The straightforward story entry was well accounted for Lee, then it slows down by random scenes by the river that don't have any action as they're not truly important. It takes up a fifth of the movie when Lee and his acquaintances arrive by small boats across the island, and it really didn't offer much around the half hour mark. It lingers too practically prior the tournament, but other than that, the concentration stimulates past it and anything more is an awesome treat. Lee's pal faces the temptation to join, and Bolo from Bloodsport and Jim Kelly were fun to watch. The hall of mirrors scene was clever near the end, and Lee knocks out half of the island's population during his battle with the guards. The fighting is harsh with raw loud noises coming from a broken body. Lee's scenes are zoomed closer and slow-motioned to divulge his insanely fast moves and his defenses after counters and blocks. His ability and talent is unique and special - like an influential legend, for he is the icon of martial arts cinema.

Final Grade: B

When Harry Met Sally... (1989)
Starring Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan, Carrie Fisher, Bruno Kirby

Film Prophet's Review...
Two long time friends of the opposite sex haven't gone further than just that. Neither two, or any character in that matter, are truly confident in the future, until they get that one romantic link. Set in New York City, Crystal and Ryan's characters fumble around their deeper feelings for one another after they meet for the first time in a long car ride to New York where the movie begins, which first reveals their terrific chemistry. The two continue to drift ways during the course of the film, and meet again over thirteen years, then gradually grow their relationship. Their affection is not at first sight, but it took many years to develop, which made a splendid story to be told. The film structure parallels Woody Allen's two great films in the same location, with credit to long everlasting marriages taking the next step towards it in the life cycle. The story moves wonderfully where one can associate with and it doesn't fall under folly. It considers prepared beliefs, topic of sex, hopeless romantics, surviving difficulties, breakups, best friend discussions, discovering, losing, and salvaging all with a proper comical view on relationships. However, it's more than just a comedy - people can get something more than just laughs and walk away and say it was an alright movie. The movie subjects and arguments are more sensitive to appreciate than a bunch of nonsense laughter because this story makes sense. It conquers over any new releases during the millennium from this genre and it stays true generating creative concepts. Some of the conversations are like lectures that offer loose observations between friendship and love that has to do with men and women who can't be friends because the sex part always gets in the way. Usually, a man is friends with a woman because he first found her attractive. When someone isn't attractive, that means he or she has a fine personality. The movie allows the audience to experience plenty of the buoyant light with them as it's a story of human understanding. The popular scene where Meg Ryan fakes an orgasm in the middle of the restaurant to prove Crystal wrong is a genuine classic moment. Though, the scene overshadows the best scene in the film where they bring their best friends to dinner with each other and they unite quicker than a fuse. There's also times where people see someone from the past and have nothing to say but the hi and byes. It's full of stupendous one-liners - I want our friends to benefit from the wisdom of my experience - and pinnacle moments of emerging together past the answering machines. The editing, voice-overs, and split screens have positive outcomes on the film too. The story documents old couples who tell their stories on how they met because they were influenced by Harry and Sally in some fashion. Crystal and Ryan's chemistry sets up a smooth plotline that makes changes to keep one intact which knew how to be super by just elaborating upon the two individuals, and partly their best friends, putting less focus on the characters who don't really matter. They add their own moral fibers and ripen them from a well written script. The movie levered each of their careers to some sort of fame, but they will always be remembered as Harry and Sally.

Final Grade: A-

Mrs. Miniver (1942)
Starring Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Richard Ney, Teresa Wright, Dame May Whitty

Film Prophet's Review...
An English housewife's courageous spirit persists to keep her family together when the second World War arrives on their home front. The movie won seven Oscars, including best picture, in a great epoch of classic cinema. It sounds archetypal, but it is the first film about this war so many areas are drowned out and tested. The story examines young love in a less sophisticated story than expected where a middle-class family goes through trauma of coping with possible dangers, even though there isn't too much happening in the movie. Through the beginning, the motivation was the arrival of Wright's character. She plays their new daughter-in-law whose son is about to be a pilot in the war. When the story came to mind, films like The Diary of Anne Frank or the outstanding The Great Dictator stuck out, but this film is far from them. Before the war starts to crush the happiness these characters seize for an hour, everything is too gentle. The first half hour scrolls along nicely, where the subsequent complications arouse not before more poignant man and woman sappy talk occur. It shows the time was too simple to get a woman's attention, which makes the film too simple for viewers to movie their eyes away from the screen. The story reveals the daily life of the people at home, saying things like, "oh, I had a rose named after me," with usual conversations that aren't really important prior to the war. The dialogue is nothing more than what came out of William Wyler's own Wuthering Heights. Even then in the film, it was a time of uncertainty, as the son says he has learned nothing so far and wants to learn. Almost an hour goes by and the audience still won't learn much information despite the build up between the Ney and Wright's characters, which didn't serve to explain well, until the line, "that our country is at war" is voiced. If the war didn't happen in this story, there would be a huge absence of a conflict and there would be no meaning in the film. Still, there is little excitement or moving scenes. The men aren't great characters and they don't know much of anything and they're blanked out when they are told things... note the title of the movie and it's not named after the mister. Mrs. Miniver's brave dignity is mostly uncovered when strange things happen to her, such when a wounded German pilot shows up at her house. Garson enlarges her eyes or squints to make it apparent that her character is facing some global concerns at the time, and the pretty Teresa Wright is fascinating. The sole action scene was sited in a tight bomb shelter after many air raids where planes and bombs erupt outside. The scene is followed by tedious occurrences of unadorned gesticulations. The most productive part of the film is the reassurance in the end to continue to fight on.

Final Grade: C+

MASH (1970)
Starring Donald Sutherland, Tom Sherritt, Sally Kellerman, Elliott Gould, Robert Duvall

Film Prophet's Review...
Robert Altman's dark comedy shows a group of surgeons and nurses who have nothing better to do than joke around and pull pranks on each other at the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital. Almost the entire picture uses pernickety humor tones than traditional serious war measures. It sets itself apart from other war movies; it's always attempting to be goofy and adolescent when it isn't funny, rather very dull. The crude characters ridicule higher ranks behind their backs in a story where the females are treated poorly and it is just tedious. Specifically, neither one is truly involved in the war conflict on land. No gun was fired at anyone in this non-violent war film. If it weren't for the funny values some people oddly like, the movie is a misuse to pass the time whilst The Police Academy is more entertaining earning more laughs than this. Their irreverent behavior is probably not realistic and generally movies concerning a war background tries to be as real as it can be. A true plot never grows from its seeds. Two of the top army surgeons make up their owns rules as drunks in Korea. Throughout the whole story, there is no mention of any historical data regarding the Vietnam War. Yet, it is a satire on the war, it isn't clear whether their actions were to relieve the pressures of the war or from the patience's life, except the audience never learns a thing about any patient they open up. It has its anti-war message that is expressed in a different way shown by random scenarios of anything that almost completely gets ignored because there is no excitement in the movie. It accomplishes tiresome absurdity and uninteresting results that never happened. Their conversations overlap with insipid things to say and the men are more interested in the female characters than their duties. It connects to a certain old demographic where it gets most of its fame from, but the comedy just doesn't standout. Not much is engaging; a few yawns here and there happen, and then there is an ugly, pointless football game near the end. The timeline of the movie has the scenery changing back and forth between under the outside tents where they reside to the big surgeon room operating over a bloody mess, roughly like the entire movie at large.

Final Grade: D/C-

Trainspotting (1996)
Starring Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Robert Carlyle, Kelly Macdonald

Film Prophet's Review...
Only a few films can do the awkward handling of the drug scene well. This is an example that can't from a movie standpoint. A low life sleazy group of people create a friend towards their young addiction of heroin. He enters it and tries to leave it. That is the story, and it views on life of heroin as all fun and games until something ceases, not many people realize the value of it once it's gone, even if it's been unused, and that is their life. A very young Ewan is the narrator as the main character for so long who has hallucinatory visions of dead babies and such. His heroin consequences are painful for him and depressing for the audience. The British humor is not funny since it's about despair. The accents are usually troublesome in movies. A few of the actor's speeches are quirky to follow. The rare times the scenes are actually up and going are the annoying bar gatherings with slang language using the duck word in each sentence. The typical hypocrisies, anti-consumerism, offensive characters, and the cynical look at life are all here and the characters chose something else in life. Most of films like this have this popular effect, like a Guy Ritchie film, that has concealed meanings, except those movies are reckless to watch and the meanings are pitiable. Obviously, the film is not inspiring to do what they do.. it's aim is to keep the viewers away from drugs. Though the characters aren't plain, the entertainment is something, well, not in the film. It isn't glorious or pleasant; they are lonely and speculate life around accomplishing nothing. They are too alike, portraying Scotland in a negative side of life, where the viewer would despise them, but the direction by Danny Boyle creates the only connection to the audience by sickening them with the character's life choices. The story isn't sustained and its situations of drinking, brawls, and jealously are a little light actually and aggressive by the performers. The girlfriend relationship in the film wasn't going anywhere. After thirty minutes, the film doesn't resolve or proceed to excite one. When their addiction kicks in, they lay in bed screaming and cursing their boring lives away.

Final Grade: C

The Night of the Hunter (1955)
Starring Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish, Billy Chapin, Peter Graves, James Gleason

Film Prophet's Review...
A preacher, Mitchum, out of jail looks for hidden money and he'll do anything for it, even for marriage and murder. He proclaims to be the man of god and folks around him like him, but he uses this almost as an excuse gimmick to get closer to the money, until he lets out his true abusive self. He believes too much in himself with the lord and tattoos of love and hate on his fingers. A father who murdered for the money meets his cellmate, the preacher, who tries to get him to reveal where he stashed the money, but couldn't. When the released preacher visits his family, the story tells the dynamic tale of a frenzied man who agonizes a boy and his little sister about the money's location, when before their father told his son to guard the stolen money just before he was arrested. Equated to a nightmarish hunch of stalking, the story is so great to evoke such a spark of seduction and innocence, perceived by the children in an adult story. This popular thriller has movies afterwards that have cherished the plot in numerous ways. The successful narration, drama, brass tunes, photography, and camera positioning was so effective that it carries the potential to reach its highest. In a point of view, the movie surpasses others with an eerie perspective of the children in this character study through the Depression. Every scene with Mitchum is startling and it is Shelley Winters best film and role. It is the only film directed by actor Charles Laughton who created a dark film that can educate a timeless style. In the standout film, it ties in many moral issues and views around sins, profoundly bible overtones, smugly confidence, family peculiarity, a possessed pursuit, and much more. The story moves at a lightening pace with complexity to get anyone into the movie. A slower storytelling might be a better suit to digest the fast, great introduction, and it could eliminate some of the singing. Designated towards a child's nightmare, the adults accept the stranger preacher and the children fear him, as irony sets in where parents teach children about never talking to strangers. Watching scenes that match a script with interiors and owning technical features is astonishing. All the son and daughter, the only two who know where the money is hidden, can do is escape, run away, and get protection, because they can't just lie to the preacher can they. "The lord is taking to me now... the liar is an abomination before my eyes." The movie doesn't end when one would think and it continues to progress the story more and more.

Final Grade: B+/A-

54 (1998)
Starring Ryan Phillippe, Breckin Meyer, Salma Hayek, Mike Myers, Neve Campbell

Film Prophet's Review...
In a nostalgia view of a nightclub from an employee in the disco scene, what one gets out of the film is the satisfaction after watching an half hour cheap comedy sitcom that lasts for two months. The movie is a fine example where popular actors can not help a movie because it doesn't quite give them anything to act to. The dialogue is unexciting, where it should have been amusing. Their talents don't go far because the story doesn't offer any spectacle. The bizarre film has such a young enriching cast, still it grossed terribly at the box office. The film is a club oriented story of a disco scenery with dancing, drugs, men without their shirts on all the time who just stand around, and maybe some music. It's an exhaustive portrait of a club during its time and the plot isn't penciled. A better choice may be A Night at the Roxbury from the same year. Phillippe fits alright in this signature style role, the other stars are embarrassed to be a part of this, and that's about it. There's some ideas about how the club can change family values and his longing for a star-studded life occurs, but it won't concern anyone. A New Jersey man seeks fame at Manhattan studio 54 in a fast flashy lighting and disco ball setting creating fleeting seizures to the audience. It's more like a clip show without strong angles of romance or drama and women with short hair, big earrings, and plenty of makeup are not really attractive towards current lifestyles, and thus the film does not connect to many people. The scenes are too quiet and dull, and the characters aren't worth any sympathy. Campbell doesn't even really appear till after the first hour, and her role does not reach mediocre. Even a build up to a star life is uninteresting... it manages to be about nothing. The characters don't make the viewers wish they would want to be where they are, which was superbly done in The Aviator. The singing was bad and it's slow to spread out the point across its long duration. It has a junior varsity rendition towards the narration of Goodfellas, but it's not a decimal number close to it. The most surprising part of the movie was it's ending that didn't act like one. The craze was exaggerated and invalid toward the period. Maybe the era was fun, too bad this dud wasn't.

Final Grade: D/F

The Quick and The Dead (1995)
Starring Sharon Stone, Gene Hackman, Russell Crowe, Leonardo DiCaprio, Gary Sinise

Film Prophet's Review...
Unlike classic westerns, the heroine, Stone, is the central character with a cloudy past in this spaghetti western of a quick draw fantasy story. She arrives in the town of Redemption to slay the evil town major, Hackman, for what happened to her as a child. She tosses her behavior in the movie... she can be aggressive to men and the next minute, she is in bed weeping because of her past. The major rules this ruthless culture where many people are prepared to certainly die for entertainment causes. The vicious major of the town sets up a quick draw tournament with strict unfair rules comprised of several rough men, himself, his son, a quick chained preacher, and her. The story offers impeccable comedy and its limp opening hour makes a simple constructed review to discuss. The movie endeavors a slow story settle and men who don't ever release their personalities and keep it hidden because they'll probably die off in their pointless film roles. The only thing the low IQ guys care about are their pistol shot duels, which is what the movie is just about, and point to the sky as their way to express excitement. It's nothing more than a modern revenge western with tricks in the use of pistols and dusty landscapes for guys to drop on. There's little expansion where a viewer would think the same off their first impression off these characters. The first half does not emphasize development with its migrant entertainment, but the second half puts on a show. The star chemistry is stunning and very plausible. "Is it possible to improve upon perfection?" The only performer with desire a bit was DiCaprio in the first hour, while Hackman is frequently authentic in these roles, until Crowe's stance becomes significant and Crowe's preacher character was amazing. The funniest parts of the movie are the fast zoom-ins of worried faces cut to the next before the actual draw triggers. Around the semi-finals of the tournament is where the most engaging compositions are used and it's startling in the results of these duels. The music is great and there are some nice surprises as director Sam Raimi is unpredictable in the outcome of the duels. Hackman's villain is more unkind than Bill Daggett in Unforgiven and the viewers will begin rooting for the fine star gunfighters because of him. The awes stock up in the second half to vastly improve a below average film. It is also charged in fragile spots, but Raimi's action and semi-force fulfills the panorama.

Final Grade: B-/B