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Darkman quick movie review

What can I say about Darkman?  It’s very much a product of its time in terms of its action movie-ness, yet it’s clear Sam Raimi wanted to make a superhero movie back when studios weren’t knocking each other open to buy up licenses.  So we can an original character and a new franchise and get to hear Liam Neeson do an American accent.  Read the rest of this entry

A Walk Among the Tombstones (movie review)

A Walk Among the Tombstones stars Liam Neeson… and other actors that are completely overshadowed by the big dog (including Matthew from Downton Abbey). Look, I tried to get ya’ll in and out of here quickly with today’s Movie Review, but I sorta failed. Now that I think about it, that’s a good analogy for this movie. Read the rest of this entry

The LEGO Movie (movie review)

Like all art, opinions on The LEGO Movie are entirely subjective. The thing is, almost everyone seems to think it’s a great movie while there are few detractors. Rhett Bartlett (Dial M for Movies) called it "one of the great film disappointments of this decade." That’s going too far for me – my opinion falls closer to the middle of the spectrum. Read the rest of this entry

5 points on Batman Begins (movie review)

After the disaster that is known as Batman and Robin, it seemed like it was time to let the Batman movie franchise die… at least for a while. Then suddenly, Christian Bale and Christopher Nolan brought us Batman Begins, and nothing would ever be the same.
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5 Things I Loved About Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace

star-wars-episode-one-the-phantom-menace-3d-movie-poster**Don’t worry – the things I hate are coming up!

I caught Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace in all it’s 3D glory (or lack there of – the opening crawl and subtitles were certainly in 3D), and I have to say that every time I’ve watched this movie since it came out in 1999, it’s always better than I remembered.  It’s the sort of movie that’s tailor made for the movie theater experience because it’s so heavy on visuals, sounds and short on…  other things that make a movie great.  Anyway, here are 5 things I loved about Episode I.

5.  Liam Neeson is in this movie?!?

I just like watching Liam Neeson  do his thing – if he came  out on stage and blew his nose, I’d clap.  He doesn’t have anything especially interesting to say, but that man can handle a lightsaber – as opposed to Samuel L. Jackson in Attack of the Clones, who looks like he’s about to fall flat on his face.

4.  Computer Graphics

The digital effects that appear in Episode I might be par for the course these days, but back in ’99, this movie was visual eye candy the likes of which had never been before, and it was in every single scene.  Space ships, droids, Jar Jar (p-usa!), Watto and so on – it’ just kept going!  Even that quick shot of Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon and Jar Jar swimming to the underwater city was mind blowing back then.

3.  Lightsabers! (And Other Stuff That Goes BOOM!)

Speaking of Liam Neeson handling his lightsaber (err…  that didn’t come out right), there sure is plenty of lightsaber action in the movie, so much that you might say the lightsaber is overexposed in Episode I, but there it is.  Also, stuff just blows up all the time in this movie (mostly on Naboo – not much blows up on Coruscant or Tatooine), and at it’s core, Episode I is an action movie, so it’s all good.

2.  The Pod Race

The Pod Race scene is the only part of the film that makes it clear that this is an independent movie – a studio movie would never have a 10 minute racing scene in it – well, unless the movie was about racing.  This and the ending lightsaber duels are the most memorable scenes of the movie.

1.  The Music

John Williams really tears it up in Episode I.  The score just never stops rocking – beyond the first two laps of the pod race, almost every single moment of the movie is coated with music, and it’s quality stuff – not the leftovers Williams served up in Attack of the Clones and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.  When bad dialogue or incoherent storytelling rears it’s head in Episode I, you have nothing to fear:  John Williams is there to tell you what this scene is supposed to make you feel.

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