Awkweird Me
Spellbound (1945)
This is a good film, but not one of the better Alfred Hitchcock films I’ve seen. The way in which it depicts women and psychology are pretty old-fashioned, the score is a little too melodramatic, and it’s a bit long, too. Although Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck are fine, their romance isn’t very believable. Still, there are some absolutely brilliant shots from Hitchcock and an amazing dream sequence designed by Salvador Dali. It’s got enough good things to be worth seeing, but I don’t think I’d watch it again.

Spellbound (1945)

This is a good film, but not one of the better Alfred Hitchcock films I’ve seen. The way in which it depicts women and psychology are pretty old-fashioned, the score is a little too melodramatic, and it’s a bit long, too. Although Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck are fine, their romance isn’t very believable. Still, there are some absolutely brilliant shots from Hitchcock and an amazing dream sequence designed by Salvador Dali. It’s got enough good things to be worth seeing, but I don’t think I’d watch it again.

From Here to Eternity (1953)
In the beginning, I started thinking this was just an average melodrama, but by the end, it was actually really good. I can see why it won the Academy Award for best picture at the time. The performances from Montgomery Clift and Burt Lancaster were a little understated for my liking, but Frank Sinatra was great. The film reminded me again of the severe dislike I have for the bullshit masculinity in the military. The Pearl Harbour scenes at the end were good, and even though they were short, they were far better than the entirety of Pearl Harbor (2001). It’s not a perfect film, but it’s good, and worth watching, for sure.

From Here to Eternity (1953)

In the beginning, I started thinking this was just an average melodrama, but by the end, it was actually really good. I can see why it won the Academy Award for best picture at the time. The performances from Montgomery Clift and Burt Lancaster were a little understated for my liking, but Frank Sinatra was great. The film reminded me again of the severe dislike I have for the bullshit masculinity in the military. The Pearl Harbour scenes at the end were good, and even though they were short, they were far better than the entirety of Pearl Harbor (2001). It’s not a perfect film, but it’s good, and worth watching, for sure.

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They Came Together (2014)
This was a really fun parody movie of romantic comedies. It nails all the stereotypical elements and clichés that go on in those films, while actually kind of succeeding in being one itself. Its true strength is in its cast, particularly in the case of Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler, who are fantastic together. I could watch Poehler being silly all day. I wouldn’t say it was absolutely hilarious from beginning to end, and some of the jokes do start to wear thin, but it still had me laughing more than most contemporary comedy films. Recommended.

They Came Together (2014)

This was a really fun parody movie of romantic comedies. It nails all the stereotypical elements and clichés that go on in those films, while actually kind of succeeding in being one itself. Its true strength is in its cast, particularly in the case of Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler, who are fantastic together. I could watch Poehler being silly all day. I wouldn’t say it was absolutely hilarious from beginning to end, and some of the jokes do start to wear thin, but it still had me laughing more than most contemporary comedy films. Recommended.

MOVIE REVIEWS: Muppets Most Wanted, The Raid: Redemption

The Raid: Redemption (2011)
This film from Indonesia has a reputation for incredible fight scenes, and on that front, it delivers. The choreography is very impressive, and a few of these guys in particular are crazy talented. Otherwise, it borrows heavily from a lot of other action films. The boss at the top of it all, the henchman in increasing levels of strength, the double crosses - they’re all there. The plot and dialogue really aren’t anything special, but they’re good enough to keep the film going. It’s the fight scenes, which are well-directed too, by the way, that really drive the story, and I don’t see anything wrong with that. As long as you know what you’re getting into, it’s pretty enjoyable.

The Raid: Redemption (2011)

This film from Indonesia has a reputation for incredible fight scenes, and on that front, it delivers. The choreography is very impressive, and a few of these guys in particular are crazy talented. Otherwise, it borrows heavily from a lot of other action films. The boss at the top of it all, the henchman in increasing levels of strength, the double crosses - they’re all there. The plot and dialogue really aren’t anything special, but they’re good enough to keep the film going. It’s the fight scenes, which are well-directed too, by the way, that really drive the story, and I don’t see anything wrong with that. As long as you know what you’re getting into, it’s pretty enjoyable.

Muppets Most Wanted (2014)
I didn’t grow up watching the Muppets, so this recent revival doesn’t mean all that much to me. Still, I enjoyed The Muppets (2011) and I felt more or less the same about this one. I mean, it’s probably not as good as the first one, but I liked it about the same. I loved the songs by Bret McKenzie again, and the celebrity cameos were a lot of fun. I like Ricky Gervais a lot in general, but it kinda seems like he’s just phoning it in here. I suppose it’s nothing special overall, but I had a good time.

Muppets Most Wanted (2014)

I didn’t grow up watching the Muppets, so this recent revival doesn’t mean all that much to me. Still, I enjoyed The Muppets (2011) and I felt more or less the same about this one. I mean, it’s probably not as good as the first one, but I liked it about the same. I loved the songs by Bret McKenzie again, and the celebrity cameos were a lot of fun. I like Ricky Gervais a lot in general, but it kinda seems like he’s just phoning it in here. I suppose it’s nothing special overall, but I had a good time.

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Vampyr (1932)
This is an interesting early vampire film. You can tell that sound in film was still a relatively new thing, as the dialogue is sparse and title cards are used to tell some of the story. Despite this, I still found the story a little bit hard to follow. Anyway, the direction is pretty good, and the visual effects are really cool, with some impressive use of shadows. It’s a must-see if you’re interested in early horror.

Vampyr (1932)

This is an interesting early vampire film. You can tell that sound in film was still a relatively new thing, as the dialogue is sparse and title cards are used to tell some of the story. Despite this, I still found the story a little bit hard to follow. Anyway, the direction is pretty good, and the visual effects are really cool, with some impressive use of shadows. It’s a must-see if you’re interested in early horror.

MOVIE REVIEWS: Another Earth, Only Lovers Left Alive, Cleopatra