Pulp Fiction, Apocalypse Now and Taxi Driver

I thought there was no point doing three separate posts as I pretty much watched these movies back to back to save time. I have one more film to watch tonight and it will probably be Fight Club which I will review separately.

The Deer Hunter

This movie did make Empire’s Top 500 but it was #468 so why am I watching it in between #35 and #8? Because I’ve been in a Robert De Niro/Meryl Streep/Christopher Walken mood for days! I’m going to have to keep this review short as I’m very quickly running out of time to watch these movies! I’m going to try another two tonight but it may only be 1 as I’m already quite tired!

It’s a beautiful movie that I think everyone should watch, I’d definitely put it on my ‘films to watch before you die’ list, if I ever had that list. Its about a group of men, their friendship and the terrible mental and physical effects of war. People say that the wedding scene [where one of the friends, Steve, marries his girlfriend before he, Nick and Michael go to war in Vietnam] is far too long but I disagree. I don’t think that I could of felt as much as I did if I didn’t witness the friendship they have which is shown during the wedding scene. The group of them made me think of my group of friends back home and therefore gave me that connection. You need to know the characters and their friendship to get involved in the movie. Also, it was incredibly important that the actors who play the friends have that friendship vibe and they do! My God, if they didn’t it would of a been a boring, average, another-Vietnam movie. But they do, especially De Niro and Walken which is probably one of the most important friendships in the whole thing.

The other aspect of the movie, other than friendship, is war. We’ve all seen a Vietnam movie but this is the only one where less than 30 minutes of it is in actual Vietnam. This movie, in my opinion, is probably running tie with Schindler’s List, on showing just how unbelievably cruel humans can be. In this one, its all about how people take pleasure in gambling other people’s lives. Literally. I kind of don’t want to say more because I think there are a lot of people out there who haven’t seen this movie and I don‘t want to really ruin it… I know, I’ll end it here for those who haven’t seen it and want to. Click below if you have seen it and just want to know what I thought!

The Thin Red Line

10.06pm – I’ve got about 50min left of the film and I had a look on my stats here and I’ve had over 3,000 views! Hurrah! Thanks everyone for visiting!!!!!

11.02pm – I suppose this film is good… I don’t know, I just found it boring because it was mainly about men’s feelings. The voiceovers were poetic in an emo kind of way. I found myself thinking “oh just quit your bitching” which is the totally wrong thing to say as war is a terrible thing and does terrible things to people’s minds. It was just so damn depressing! “The only time you should start worrying about a soldier is when they stop bitchin’.” I loved this line because its actually how I felt and I feel awful that that’s how I felt when I watched this movie. Its was just the voiceovers that were just… depressing. Some guy blew his butt off and that was unintentionally funny. It was sad to see how young some of the soldiers were. It was interesting to see the ‘bad guys’ being captured and seeing how terrified they were. All the actors seem to have huge foreheads. There are some beautiful shots but some just felt like they were there to make the film longer. However, I did feel a little more emotion when one of the soldier’s wife sent him a letter for a divorce after we’d seen so many flashbacks to their happy life. I really felt sorry for the poor soldier who’s only hope and his muse for getting through the war was his wife. I actually wrote in my notes “OMG that bitch!” so yeah…

It wasn’t my cup of tea, to be honest. And it may saw George Clooney in the credits but he has 1 speech and its about 10 sentences long. If you hate Sean Penn, don’t want this movie. Erm… that’s about it. Its alright and I can see why its considered great but it just wasn’t for me. Sorry!



The Great Escape

This is the first film I’ve watched with popcorn at home! I love the smell of popcorn, smells like a cinema. Obviously. Anyways, very good film, I really liked it!

  • The theme tune! What a song! Everyone knows it! I knew it and I’ve never seen this film before! I loved that its associated with England, especially as we often whistle it at football [soccer to you yanks lol] matches.
  • I love that the whole story line is based on a true story. Its incredible! Its so well written and I had to remind myself that it actually happened.
  • The beginning conversation is a bit funny because its basically some Nazi person going “don’t escape” and the English guy is like “well, we’re gonna”.
  • The mumbling! I’m sorry, I know the sound equipment isn’t like what we have now but I couldn’t hear or understand a single word any of them said! I had to ask my dad loads of times what was being said or what was going on.
  • “Steve McQueen plays the American guy who is dropped into British films in order to make them sell [in America]” – Eddie Izzard. He may be joking but its totally true! American’s are still a bit edgy when it comes to a full British cast! Another example, for the young ones, why do you think Renée Zellweger was in Bridget Jones’s Diary?
  • The camp is incredibly clean and actually looks like a pretty decent place to live compared to what I’ve seen in other movies. However, my mum reminded me that the prisoners were generals or people of high rank so therefore they were treated a bit better.
  • Unfortunately, I am only 19 and therefore saw things before this film so I kept thinking about Chicken Run and that this movie has people from Jurassic Park, 8 Simple Rules and CSI.
  • I love that Squadron Leader Roger Bushell [Jurassic Park guy] was so willing to try everyone’s ideas, the bird lessons, a non-camp costume designer, the 4th July celebrations [considering they got independence from the British *cough*], the friendships and team work, and the mention of claustrophobia. The friendship and teamwork got me the most because I really bonded with the characters and I was on the edge of my seat hoping they’d escape and that they’d stay ‘escaped’. I think if I felt nothing for the characters then the movie wouldn’t of worked.
  • I know I’ve been quoting Eddie Izzard a lot in recent reviews but its just because he’s been popping into my head because I’m starting to see films that he mentions in his routines. Anyways, I remember Izzard mentioning the geography is a bit off in this movie; “Remember Jim Garner nicks a airplane in that film and he flies to Switzerland and he gets about 20 miles away from it- in an airplane! And Steve’s on a fucking motorbike and he gets there! Before him!”
  • The credits are nice, with the character’s names and then their nicknames. Gives it a nice personal touch.
  • Dedicated to those fifty.



    Published in: on May 23, 2010 at 6:40 PM  Leave a Comment  
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    Saving Private Ryan

    6.35pm – I really loved this film when I first watched it the whole way through with my dad and brother back in England and that was a year or so ago so I can’t wait to watch this again with my dad tonight after dinner! However, I just know my review is going to be long so I’ll be needing a lot of Mountain Dew to keep myself awake and determined lol.

    11.31pm – *yawns* Film was awesome as usual but I chose to watch South Park on TV instead of typing up all the notes I made [over a page] and now I can’t be bothered so I’ll type it up in the morning ^_^

    NEXT DAY [11th]

    5.05pm – Ok, I’ve been putting off typing this for too long now! I’ll type up my notes but my apologies if they don’t make sense, at least I’m not making you try to read my handwriting again lol.

  • Unfortunately I’ve grown up in an age where I see the DreamWorks logo and I think I’m about to watch Shrek.
  • Trumpet music + flag blowing in the wind = war film.
  • Great casting of the OLD!Matt Damon, looks exactly how he’s going to look in 40 or so years time.
  • It’s a horrible shot of all those white crosses [and Jewish symbols] in rows. It’s a perfect symbolism of all the lives that were lost because Hitler got a bit greedy.
  • I love the colouring of this movie, its got a kind of green tint to it. But what I love most of all is that whatever they’ve done or whatever camera technique it is, it makes the actor’s eyes so clear and their eye colour more vivid, its just beautiful. My favourite example is at the beginning where you look into the OLD!Private Ryan’s eyes which are a gorgeous shade of blue, just like the ocean and we hear the sound of the waves crashing onto a beach.
  • The classic beach scene. What a way to start a movie. You can sense the fear but also the pride. Even though I wasn’t there and have never been in the middle of an actual war [thank heavens], I think this is very accurate. As soon as they leave the boat they’re immediately shot and you can totally see the bullets hit them and body stuff flying everywhere. Must of taken forever to wire the actors up for blood and brain matter to fly out. I loved it when the camera went underwater and for a moment the sound is peaceful and then goes above water and it’s the horrible sounds of the bullets then back underwater for the peacefulness and then up again and so on. Obviously, the images under the water were horrible because the bullets still hit the men underwater but its all about sound, the sound is often worse than the visual. Then there’s people with guts hanging out and blood flying everywhere and its gross but that’s war for you. Unfortunately, South Park has warped my mind and I found this part a bit funny; one of the medics is trying to help a wounded soldiers and shouts “I STOPPED THE BLEEDING!!” then the wounded soldier gets shot in the head. And then another time I laughed when I know I shouldn’t of was when a bullet deflected off a guy’s helmet, he takes the helmet off to see where the bullet it, another soldier says “lucky bastard” then the first guy gets shot in the head. Anyways, at the very end when all the firing has toned down a bit, one guy says “what a view” then Tom Hanks says “yeah, what a view” and to be honest, it is one heck of a view; it’s a beach that’s filled with dead bodies and body parts and fish and the sea is red from human blood.
  • My brother’s reaction to the opening scene: “OOO!” “BAM!!” “NICE!” my reaction to my brother’s reaction; *eye roll*
  • I love how Tom Hank’s shaking hand can symbolize and tell so much, very clever idea.
  • The iconic scene where the sound is like we’re underwater or partially deaf but you see all the horror that’s around Tom Hanks. I keep thinking of Ice Age2 where they do this and I’m sure its been done a million times in other TV shows and movies, it’s a very iconic [powerful] scene now.
  • The whole movie feels like its got hand-held which makes it more personal for the audience, almost like we’re in the action which I think was a very smart move for Spielberg. There were also times when it felt like we were watching a home movie because there were times when there was blood or sand on the lens! There are also all different kinds of wonderful camera angles, there’s ones on the ground, some aerial shots, everything in the filmmaking manual.
  • An emotional scene for the audience when we see all the women typewriting letters to the family back home about their losses. My dad said that every letter was personal, not just the same one sent out but with a different name. I thought it was very powerful to see them type the letters then hear their commanding officers do voiceover of what the letters say. Then one typist notices that one mum will have to receive 3 letters in one day about 3 of her 4 sons. I had to look it up as I thought it was a bit BS that they’d send out soldiers to find another soldier just because his mummy wants him home; turns out there is a thing called Sole Survivor Policy where if one or more of your siblings or mum/dad dies in the war then you don’t have to serve anymore.
  • There’s some short shots of tea, bacon sandwiches and a man shaving which my dad said were signs of comforting hope.
  • There’s a pretty awesome [in a film way, not a content way] scene where Tom Hanks and this other soldier are walking through this camp thing and there are things happening in the background, foreground and… well, pretty much everywhere, there is a soldier in every single part on the screen which really shows just how many people were involved in this war.
  • If you’ve been reading some of my reviews, you’ll know that I love the use of silhouettes on film and this film is no exception. I love that you know exactly what’s going on and how the characters are feeling even though you only see an outline of their body. There is also a shot where they’re walking up a hill into shot and it’s a classic Western-film style shot which made me smile a smug smile because I knew it was Western-film style because I’d watched Western films.
  • Me and dad chuckled a little when it cuts from them in a death scene to them in a field with sheep. Quite a contrast.
  • This movie has perfect moments of humor which you need in war movies but you’ve got to be super careful where you put them because it could easily fall flat on its face. Good thing this film put the humor scenes in in the right moments. Its nice to see them joking and having a bit of banter amongst each other, makes the characters feel more human.
  • 50 minutes went by so fast!! I normally look at the clock in a movie and wonder how must longer there is [which is a bad thought, I know] but with this film, I didn’t look at the clock till about 50min had gone! That’s the sign of a great movie.
  • Spielberg did a good job of showing that these men weren’t trained in the army for years, that they were drafted and once had ‘normal’ jobs.
  • I loved how me, my dad and my mum all laughed and cringed when they found the wrong Private Ryan. It was just perfect comical timing but it also had emotional depth too. Like, you really felt sorry for the wrong Ryan but also totally gutted that it’s the wrong one.
  • It was around this point where they’d found the wrong Private Ryan when Eddie Izzard’s voice came into my head and I remembered his skit on Saving Private Ryan about how you never see any English or French soldiers in this movie. “Maybe we could just look ’round the edge of the frame, “Hello! Hello, I’m a British soldier, this is a Canadian soldier here, three French, some Polish. There’s Australians and New Zealanders, there’s some Indian soldiers, South Africans. All been fighting here. What’s the name for us? Oh, The Allies, that’s it – The Allies.” Its funny because its true! There are no other soldiers in this movie!! It gives arrogant people the impression that only Americans fought this war.
  • The church scene was a very good scene because it was emotional and personal, just what a war film needs because its not just about bullets and killing people. I liked Tom Hank’s character saying that he has to think of it this way; if one soldier dies, that means that he’s saved 2 other soldiers. Then the other soldiers talk about their mum’s and the medic guy talks about his mum and its so sweet and yet so sad; he would try to stay awake when he was younger so he could talk to his mum when she got back from work but the harder he tried, the quicker he went to sleep. And then when she rushed home early to talk to him, he’d pretend he was asleep even though he knew his mum just wanted to know about his day.
  • I thought it was funny but also really good when a Jewish soldier laughed and mocked the German soldier prisoners. It showed that not all Jews were how they’re portrayed in most movies as being silent and stuff, so he just shouts at them and showing off his Jewish necklace.
  • Another ‘sign’ of all the lives that were lost during this war was the bag filled with dog tags of those who died.
  • “James Francis Ryan?” “Yeah! How d’you know?!”
  • I felt that Ryan was an ungrateful sod and they should of forced him to leave but alas, that wouldn’t be the ‘soldier way’ so they stay and fight with them. Ergh, damn American pride lol.
  • Sitcky bombs! That always make my dad laugh. “This is good, now we’ve got to surrender our socks.”
  • I really loved Matt Damon’s acting when he tells the story of the last time him and his brother’s were together. He laughs so much and it really feels like real laughter. And it’s the kind of laughter that happens when you’re telling a story that’s just so damn funny to you and probably you alone. I love those stories, I have them a lot with my old friend Jade. Oh, and Matt Damon has the whitest, brightest teeth I’ve ever seen!!!
  • I thought it was a little funny that the soldiers who were sent to find Private Ryan silently agreed to try and avoid him having to fight.
  • Back to modern times and OLD!Private Ryan salutes to the grave and I almost cried. I think I probably would of if my dad wasn’t next to me because I know he’d of said “man up” lol.
  • I’ve only one bad thing to say about this film and that was that it gives the impression that only the Americans fought in this war and I probably wouldn’t of thought that if I hadn’t been a fan of Eddie Izzard. Anyways, I recommend EVERYONE to watch this, it’s a fantastic movie that never gets dull or crap.



    more notes on the way…

    Bridge On The River Kwai

    10.45pm – Ergh, I cannot be arsed to write this review which sucks because I really liked this movie and I wrote a lot of notes on it but I’m in a teenage-mood and can’t be arsed but I don’t want to have to do it tomorrow… could I maybe get away with just scanning my notes and posting them up? Don’t think so as my handwriting is pretty damn terrible… damn me being a lazy teenager…

    10.49pm – I’ll scan them in the morning and just say good luck to anyone who tries to read them ^_^

    5.48pm [the next day!] – Scanned them if you still wanna read it! Click below to read!

    Published in: on March 3, 2010 at 6:45 PM  Leave a Comment  
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    I think that I may review Platoon in a different way than I have before and see if I like this style better. Obviously, I’ll still start with the ‘introduction’ to my feelings of the movie because you all care [ ^_- – that‘s right, just so you know I‘m joking I‘m resorting to using the lame ‘wink‘ face… ^_- ]

    I’ve read that this film got praise and criticism for film reviewers and here is another review of praise. It’s a great war movie that doesn’t gloss over how violent war is and shows the two types of leading soldiers; the good and the bad. And bad soldiers unfortunately do exist on the ‘right’ side, not just ‘the enemy’ side.

    Here are my notes;

  • I have this theme tune on iTunes and I didn’t even realize it! Well, I remember it being called ‘Platoon Theme’ but I’m stupid and didn’t make the connection between the title of the song and the title of the bloody movie. Thanks Josh, for sending my war songs without me knowing!
  • One of the first shots we see are the body bags which warns the audience that this is going to be a realistic war film that won’t gloss over the fact that people actually died.
  • This is a bit of a film-studies-nerdy note but the lighting in this movie is fantastic. Its hard to light up the outdoors at night so the camera can actually see them without it looking artificial. There was also the good use of having the actors block out the sun with their silhouettes which is a technique I’ve always loved.
  • IT’S DR. COX!! Its cool seeing him as someone other than Dr. Cox.
  • The ‘bad’ soldier, Tom Berenger has scars all over his face which indicates that he was attacked or blow up or something and lived which therefore makes him more badass.
  • For modern people who are used to Johnny Depp being the leading man are going to watch this and end up playing the ‘Where Is Johnny Depp’ game. He has a minor role in this movie and therefore you try to spot him throughout the whole film.
  • There is a good fight where the ‘bad’ soldier and the ‘good’ soldier, Williem Dafoe [James Franco’s dad in Spider Man to you teens out there].
  • There is a great scene where you see the effects war can have on you mentally. Charlie Sheen is all sweet and innocent then suddenly he shoots bullets at the ground, demanding a disabled Vietnamese man to dance. Sounds a little funny but its quite horrible to watch. It really shows that sometimes the mental damage war does is worse than the physical damage.
  • This movie shows that not all soldiers are heroes. We need to remember this. If we treat these ‘bad’ soldiers the same as the ‘real’ soldiers, then they’re going to get worse.
  • It made me want to watch Tropic Thunder.
  • I thought that the classic shot of Williem Dafoe’s good soldier with his arms in the air whilst being shot would be funny to me because of Ben Stiller in Tropic Thunder but it wasn’t. It really wasn’t. Its was horrible to watch and almost made me cry. It was unfair which is what war is all about.
  • It’s a great war movie and I would recommend it to anyone who loves American history and war movies. Though, to be honest, if you’re a fan of history or war movies, you’ve probably already seen this movie! However, younger generation, if you like Tropic Thunder [like I do] then you will really like this movie.



    Published in: on January 26, 2010 at 10:44 PM  Leave a Comment  
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