Tag Archives: Steven Spielberg

Gremlins Review, A Fascinating “Kids” Fantasy Film

Gremlins1

Gremlins

Directed by: Joe Dante

Starring: Zack Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Hoyt Axton, Polly Holiday, Frances Lee McCain, Frank Welker, Howie Mandel, Glynn Turman  and Corey Feldman

The thing with Gremlins and my late viewing of it is because the things that I saw in it when I was a child did nothing but freak me out. On one hand you have these adorable like creatures, referred to as Mogwai, that eventually turn into these creepy creatures that would freak out any kid. I always find it funny what films from the 70s and 80s got away with. It seems like the MPAA was far less strict back then and it shows in Gremlins and Poltergeist, both PG rated movies. I think that those two decades are some of the best decades for movies. You have directors taking control and making the movies they wanted to make and they had much more freedom than they do now. They took risks that directors now a days don’t and it shows with all the vanilla and bland blockbusters that grace the movie screens now. Gremlins is quite the daring and fascinating fantasy film that we don’t see much of anymore.

A lowly and unsuccessful inventor Randall Peltzer (Hoyt Axton) is on a quest in Chinatown to find an unusual gift for his son William Peltzer (Zack Galligan). He comes across an antique store where he finds a creature known as a Mogwai. The owner refuses to sell it to him but the owners son manages to find away to sell it to him. Randall goes home with the gift and a set of rules; 1. Stay away from bright lights, 2. Stay away from water, and 3. Don’t feed after midnight . Bill immediately has a connection with the Mogwai, known as Gizmo. Bill works a dead-end job at a bank and essentially is the only thing keeping the family a float.

After, accidentally, spilling water on Gizmo more of his kind start developing from him. This leads events down a crazy road when Bill brings it to his teacher Mr. Hanson (Glynn Turman), who starts experimenting on one of the newly born Mogwai. After breaking the third rule, the Mogwai start turning into these demon like creatures that start causing mayhem around the town. Only Bill and his friends can stop the terror that they unintentionally begun.

Having been released 30 years ago this year and it is surprising how well it holds up. I can say that even though I’m 21 years old I found Gizmo to be a cute character. While watching this movie I didn’t expect it to go the way it did. I expect this cute movie about a relationship between a man and his pet. Once the movie picks up and starts getting into the plot a little more in-depth. I knew that the rules for taking care of these creatures would be broken at some point but I didn’t expect them to turn into demon like creatures that go on a rampage.

I find it fascinating that this movie can be considered to be a kids film because all the stuff that happens in this movie aren’t exactly things that most children would be to keen on. It is rather creepy for a kids film. Although I do think there is a lot to this movie that is exciting and fresh it just doesn’t come across as a movie kids will enjoy.

I think the acting and performances all around were great. You can always tell an 80s film when certain actors and actress are in it, example Corey Feldman who I don’t think acts anymore. It always feels natural when the characters are on-screen and not forced at times. The cinematography isn’t anything new but it does a good enough job setting up the movie and the scenes. The most impressive thing is the visual effects. Practical effects always have a way of feeling real and the interactions between the actors and the creatures is true because they are interacting with something instead of nothing. Visuals now are so dependent on computer generated images that it now just seems fake. The reason this movie holds up as well as it does is because of that real interaction.

The movie is not all great. The biggest problems are the logic flaws within the movie. Why would you leave big cocoon like things just lying around your room while you are away, even I would have done something to them and not just leave them standing by. Maybe if they citizens stood their ground instead of running away from the Gremlins their town wouldn’t have been in such disarray. There not big issues but they do hurt the film in some ways. Also the rules for the Mogwai’s aren’t that well thought out and only really serves the purpose to create tension throughout.

All in all I truly enjoyed Gremlins on a first watch, any watch after this I won’t know but we’ll see.

B+

First Time Watching Gremlins

gremlins

Believe it or not I’ve never actually took the time or had the chance to see Gremlins. There are a lot of movies that I haven’t seen that are consider classic films from the 70s and 80s and I’ve taken the time to catch up on some; such as NeverEnding Story (not a big fan of) and Goonies (which surprised and excited me). I hope to catch up on as many I can.

Alright so not to many of these nominees are really surprising to me. I mean some nominations do make me ask question like why didn’t Leonardo DiCaprio get nominated and why didn’t Ben Affleck and Katherine Bigalow didn’t get Best Director nominations even though the movies they directed scored some of the best reviews of the year and both nominated for Best Picture. Something that is quite striking is that all for main actors and actress from Silver Linings Playbook got nominated which isn’t a common occurrence and that it scored every one of the important nominations this year. I can’t wait to see who will win these major awards.

Lincoln and the Ratification of the 13th Amendment

File:Lincoln 2012 Teaser Poster.jpg

Lincoln

Directed by: Stephen Speilberg

Starring: Daniel Day Lewis, Sally Fields, Tommy Lee Jones

As the Civil War continues to rage, America‘s president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield and as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.

Don’t get me wrong this is a fantastic movie and probably Stephen Speilberg’s best film in years but there where some parts of this movie that just kept dragging the movies pace down to an incredible halt. From the trailers I was expecting something along the lines of War Horse, showing more of the Civil War under Lincoln’s administration but boy was I wrong. The movie itself is pretty much just the 13th amendment becoming and amendment and not much else except a deep and more character driven story of Lincoln and the man that he was during the last few months of his life. Now on to Daniel Day Lewis, who I thought was incredible in There Will Be Blood and pretty much anything that he does, tackle the role of Lincoln and I can safely say that I do not see an ounce of Lewis but so much of Lincoln that it is uncanny, he lives and breathes as the fateful 16th president. His performance is so lifelike that I am not surprised to hear that he is the frontrunner for the Oscars and right now his performance is the one to beat. There are some actors who play the same character over and over again but when it comes to Lewis every performance is different and brings life to the character no other actor can. When I saw the trailer and heard the voice I was questioning the movie but after watching the performance I couldn’t see it any other way, and the voice is apparently historically accurate so kudos to Lewis on that.

When it comes to the rest of the cast both Sally Fields and Tommy Lee Jones did fantastic jobs, Jones did steal most of the scenes that he was in but I don’t think his performance was a good as most critics say that it is. The cinematography was superb and really captured the times that the movie took place and never felt out of place, there where shots that were really long but they really added to the enjoyment of the movie. I have to say this but to me Speilberg has gotten somewhat sentimental in his later years but this is the first time in a long time that he really moves past that and actually made a quality film that I felt did delve to much in sentimentality.

 

Overall I think this is by far one of the greatest movies so far this year and definitely should be seen before the end of the year.

10 out of 10

 

 

Lincoln trailer which looks void of vampires and actually looks good

Up until now I was never really looking forward to Steven Speilberg‘s Lincoln. Sure Daniel Day-Lewis is certainly going to be one fantastic Abe Lincoln, which is a good thing looking at the other movie based on our 16th president that came out this year. After seeing this trailer I know that it is going to be a pretty good movie, maybe a slight like last year’s J.Edger, with another fantastic performance by one of hollywood best actors today. I know for certain that I will be seeing this movie now that I have seen some footage and I’m confident it will likely be an Academy Award nominated movie.

DreamWorks has announced that the film “will focus on the political collision of Lincoln and the powerful men of his cabinet on the road to abolition and the end of the Civil War.”[8] According to Spielberg, Doris Kearns Goodwin‘s entire book about Lincoln’s presidency is “much too big” for a film, and said that the film will focus on the last few months of Lincoln’s life (similar to The Passion of the Christ), the ending of slavery and the Union victory in the Civil War. Spielberg said that “what permanently ended slavery was the very close vote in the House of Representatives over the Thirteenth Amendment – that story I’m excited to tell.” Spielberg plans to show “Lincoln at work, not just Lincoln standing around posing for the history books…arguably the greatest working President in American history doing some of the greatest work for the world.”[9]

Screenwriter Tony Kushner has said that he worked on the script for six years and that he was very interested in “the relationship of Lincoln to the abolitionist left” and that Lincoln’s “incredible ability to finesse very, very treacherous political circumstances and continue to move the country forward, I mean, to lead the country forward in the midst of the most horrendously difficult period in its history, I think, is breathtaking and awe-inspiring.”[10]

In Team of Rivals, Goodwin describes the following episodes of the final months of Lincoln’s life in detail:[11]