My Neighbor Totoro
Tatsuo Kusakabe: Trees and people used to be good friends. I saw that tree and decided to buy the house.
A movie that has the capability of being imaginative, cute, and fun when it sets out to be. The real issue, and perhaps this is a cultural difference, is that those moments were too few and far between, and the rest of the plot was far too sparse to hold it together.
The Dead Zone
Greg Stillson: I have had a vision that I am going to be President of the United States someday. And nobody, and I mean nobody is going to stop me!
Crisp photography, a few instances of gruesome violence, a great pro/an-tagonist pairing, and an excellent premise, but the movie moves way too slow and does too little. I suspect that the filmmakers tried too hard to stay true to the King story, and it left the film feeling sluggish and sparse on the most interesting elements of the plot.
Oh jeeze, sorry, with this eyepatch on, I didn’t see you there.
Rocky Horror Picture Show
The Criminologist: And crawling, on the planet’s face, some insects, called the human race. Lost in time, and lost in space… and meaning.
Whether you love camp or not, it’s pretty clear this is the finest campy film ever made. It can be a bit much at time, but the cast is fun, the music is great, and it is a really enjoyable film to watch.
Oh god, you just shocked the freakiest man alive!
Volumnia: Anger’s my meat; I sup upon myself, and so shall starve with feeding.
Obviously the script is unimpeachable, and the production values are pretty excellent as well, and exactly as violent and bloody as the story requires. The only major issues with the film are some poorly cast roles, and a plot that is badly condensed due to time constraints.
We is Yevgeny Zamyatin‘s sci-fi novel about a world stripped of all freedom and ruled by strict and controlling schedules. The novel is one of the first instances in of dystopian fiction, and served as a major influence on George Orwell’s 1984.
Rodrigo: Besides my money? A new life. And a new wife.
The movie features some brutal and really compelling fight scenes paired with a fairly rote espionage/double-cross style plot. The cinematography techniques that worked so well in most of Soderbergh’s films just do not fit this one though, and all of the performances seem purposefully muted and flat for whatever reason, creating a really strange tone.
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
Steve Gray: Your skin makes me cry.
It’s always a pretty strong sign that you’re watching a mediocre comedy when they’ve exhausted all the decent joke material by midway through act 2, and decide that the audience really just wants to see the emotional plot resolution and redemptive arc. This was clearly a paycheck to most of the talent involved, and it was almost entirely forgettable, but not in any sort of aggressive or obnoxious way.
The Somme: Heroism and Horror in the First World War is a historical account of one of the major battlegrounds of WWI, as written by Martin Gilbert.