movie review

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Directors:

Victor Fleming

George Cukor

Mervyn LeRoy

Norman Taurog

Richard Thorpe

King Vidor

Writers:

Noel Langley

Florence Ryerson

Edgar Allan Woolf

Starring:

Judy Garland

Frank Morgan

Ray Bolger

Bert Lahr

Jack Haley

Billie Burke

Margaret Hamilton

Blurb:

Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home to Kansas and help her friends as well.

Thoughts:

If you don’t have a horrible story to tell about working on The Wizard of Oz, did you really work on it? Margaret Hamilton, the Wicked Witch, got third-degree burns on her face and hands. Her stunt woman was horribly injured as well. Buddy Ebsen, the original Tin Woodman, was admitted in critical condition to a hospital when he had an allergic reaction to the aluminum dust they used for his costume. Jack Haley, the Tin Woodman in the movie, ended up getting an eye infection from the aluminum paste they switched to. Ray Bolger, the Scarecrow, received permanent lines to his face caused by the glue they used for his mask. To top it all off, they sprinkled asbestos all over the set to look like snow and Judy Garland, Dorothy, got to lie in a pile of it.

All of that and so much more happened with this movie. When you read back over it all, it feels like a miracle that it was even made. That could be my ignorance of the behind the scenes of making movies, though.

I was introduced to this movie by my grandmother when I was relatively young. I loved it. Unlike my sister and brother, the flying monkeys never bothered me. I was too caught up in the music and bright colors. I loved Dorothy. I honestly think this movie may have been what started my love of fantasy.

It is yet another movie that has been added to the US Library of Congress. This might make my movie taste basic, but I don’t care. This movie is a classic and should be watched by everyone.

The Nine Lives of Christmas (2014)

Nine Lives of Christmas

The Nine Lives of Christmas (2014)

Director:

Mark Jean

Starring:

Brandon Routh

Kimberly Sustad

Stephanie Bennett

Plot:

After a stray cat adopts Zachary, he meets Marliee and realizes the single life is not as fulfilling as he thought it was.

Review:

So if I was ever an actress one of my goals would be to star in a Hallmark movie. That and a Law and Order episode. But I’m weird. What are the odds that Brandon Routh is weird too? I feel kind of bad for him, I thought he was a good Superman, but I haven’t watched him in a movie since then.

A fair amount of product placement going on here. They weren’t in your face about it, so that was nice. But it was still very much there. Hmmm…maybe I need to go shop at Wal-Mart.

The story was cute and not as bad as other made for TV Christmas movies. The relationship moved fast, but then who could blame her? They did kind of push the cliche being in a relationship negatives that Routh was afraid of, but I kind of see what they were going with there.

I liked this Christmas movie but probably not enough to add it to my Christmas routine.

3/5

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

mad-max-fury-road-vehicles

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Director:

George Miller

Starring:

Tom Hardy

Charlize Theron

Nicholas Hoult

Plot:

A woman rebels against a tyrannical ruler in post apocalyptic Australia in search for her homeland with the help of a group of female prisoners, a psychotic worshiper, and a drifter named Max.

Review:

So do you like car chases? If so this is the movie for you. The entire thing was one amazingly choreographed chase scenes after another.

The visuals were stunning. From the desert to the cars to the disgusting people. There was like one moment of CGI that was kind of cheesy looking. Overall, though, it really showed what you can do if you have a lot of time to choreograph and great stunt people.

I’ve never seen a Mad Max movie before so I did feel a little lost regarding history and what was going on in the world. I kept waiting for explanations but they weren’t there. Basically, I guess, all you need to know is it’s a post apocalyptic world and shits fucked up.

Loved Charliez Theron’s character. She was a total badass. There’s a scene where Max, Tom Hardy, has three shots to take out a light at long distance. He takes two and misses. She moves to stand behind him and doesn’t even say anything. She’s already proven she’s the better shot by that point and all he does is hand her the gun. Loved it.

I thought the score was off in a couple places. I felt like the music should have been super dramatic, loud, and frantic but instead it was slow and light and almost ethereal. It didn’t seem to fit the movie. Thankfully it was only in a couple of places.

Overall, the movie wasn’t as psychotic and scary as I expected it to be from the trailers, but I still liked it. It looked phenomenal and Charliez Theron was amazing. I’m interested to see if/when we get a sequel.

4/5

V for Vendetta (2005)

V for Vendetta (2005)

Director:

James McTeigue

Starring:

Hugo Weaving

Natalie Portman

Rupert Graves

Plot:

In a future British tyranny, a shadowy freedom fighter, known only by the alias of “V”, plots to overthrow it with the help of a young woman.

Review:

I use to have a V doll that went through the entire V speech, including climactic music. Yeah. I’m awesome.

I’ve evidently watched too many British shows recently because Natalie Portman’s accent bugged me. Never has before so I decided to just ignore it. She’s a fine actress, but apparently her British accent needs work.

It took one man with a particular set of skills and a wide spread broadcast to motivate a nation. It’s a beautiful idea.

The feeling and the speeches, everything in this movie elicits a rebellious reaction in me. I just watched a TED talk about how the world isn’t as bad as we think and yet now I feel the desire to over throw a government.

I thought of this movie because of the recent action movie list, but watching it again I realize there aren’t that many action scenes. They’re there and pretty awesome, but the movie is about a message not about kicking ass.

It’s been a while since I’ve read the comic and all I remember is that it was pretty brutal.

5/5

Dredd (2012)

Judge Dredd 2012

Dredd (2012)

Director:

Pete Travis

Starring:

Karl Urban

Olivia Thirlby

Lena Headey

Plot:

In a violent, futuristic city where the police have the authority to act as judge, jury and executioner, a cop teams with a trainee to take down a gang that deals the reality-altering drug, SLO-MO.

Review:

Recently I came across a thread that asked you to list the greatest action movies of all time. Now I wouldn’t say that the list that came to my mind was the greatest, but they’re all really good and some of my favorite movies.

Judge Dredd was on my list and I realized it’s been way too long since I’ve watched it. What if I don’t like it anymore?

Not possible.

Judge Dredd is one of those movies that I joke I’m going to buy for everyone at Christmas. It’s almost always cheap and there’s really no good reason for someone not to own it. I say I’m joking, but am I? One day…

A quick disclaimer, I have never read a Judge Dredd comic or watched the original movie.

Karl Urban as Dredd is such a badass. The way his face is in a perpetual frown and the fact that he barely speaks. Perfect.

Ma-Ma, Lena Heady, is an evil as fuck villain and you know this immediately because the movie starts with her having three dudes skinned alive and then thrown from near the top of a skyscraper while doped up on drugs that slowed time.

Seriously?

Yup.

Olivia Thirlby, Anderson, provides a nice newbie to ride along with. She’s a mutant that has psychic abilities, she reads people’s minds. By the end of the movie she’s earned her position as a judge, though, I’m not sure if I’d call her a badass. However, when she invaded that dudes mind and messed with him it was pretty cool.

The movie as a whole is great and I wish desperately that it had received a sequel, but it bombed in theaters because… people can’t enjoy a graphically violent sci-fi action movie? I don’t know, but it’s sad. To add insult to injury Urban’s TV show Almost Human was canceled too.

Bitter?

Yeah.

I highly recommend this movie.

5/5