Sunday, June 28, 2009

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)


Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is definitely my favorite western movie. There is no doubt about it. Although the only thing western about it is that it takes place in the West. Other than western, this movie is a mix of romance, comedy, action, and drama.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid are the most well known bank-robbers around the area. They are highly wanted for numerous robberies resulting in the shutting down of many banks. For many years, these two partners have been elusive until one day, when a posse persistently pursues them. After hours of trying to evade the posse, they reach a dead end at the canyon. However, they finally lose track of the group when they decide to jump off the cliff and into the river below even though Sundance could not swim. As soon as they reach Etta’s house, they realize that the posse will not give up until Butch and Sundance are dead. Desperate to escape, they decide to leave the country, taking Etta along.

What really made this movie stand out is the well-written script. The plot may be common and simple but the actors and the way the story was delivered made the movie unique and entertaining. There weren’t any slow or boring scenes that I could recall and the movie had many humorous and romantic scenes to create a well-rounded story.

Several people thought the choice of music was horrendous. I thought it was perfect for the story because the story takes place a long time ago and if they used modern music it would be wrong. I thought Burt Bacharach did a fantastic job.

Here are several of my favorite parts:

It was hilarious when they were trying to rob a bank in Bolivia but they didn’t know how to speak Spanish. When Sundance said that he didn’t know the language in Bolivia, Butch said not to worry because he knew how to speak Spanish. However, Sundance found out that Butch was lying. In this scene, Butch is the one trying to give orders in Spanish during the robbery but he couldn’t remember his lines. So, he took out a paper that listed all the common phrases used during a bank robbery. What is so funny is that Sundance is the one who actually remembers the common phrases and he is the one who didn’t know how to speak Spanish.

Butch Cassidy: Manos a... Manos, um... Manos arriba!
Sundance Kid: They got 'em up! Skip on down.
Butch Cassidy: Arriba!
Sundance Kid: Skip on down!
Butch Cassidy: Todos ustedes "arrismense" a la pared.
Sundance Kid: They're against the wall already!
Butch Cassidy: Donde... Ah, you're so damn smart, you read it!

Another funny part is near the beginning when they were robbing a train. They were trying to steal money inside a safe but the owner of the train refused to give them the combination. They decided to use dynamite to open the safe.
As Butch is walking away from the train after setting up the dynamite, he says, “Well that ought to do it.”

Seconds later, the whole train is blown up into smithereens.
As they stare at the remainders of the train and the dollar bills flying in the sky, Sundance Kid says, “Think ya used enough dynamite there, Butch?”

This part is when Butch and Sundance were trying to escape from the posse and were trying to figure out who their pursuers were.

Sundance Kid: You remember the time you and me and Etta went to Denver one summer for a vacation?
Butch Cassidy: I'm glad you brought that up, Kid. That's an important topic, considering our situation.
Sundance Kid: The night we went gambling, you remember?
Butch Cassidy: We had dinner at the hotel. Etta had roast beef and I had chicken, and if I can remember what you had, I'll die a happy man.

Here is another section somewhere in the beginning.

Sundance Kid: Well, I think I'll get saddled up and go looking for a woman.
Butch Cassidy: Good hunting.
Sundance Kid: Shouldn't take more than a couple of days. I'm not picky. As long as she's smart, pretty, and sweet, and gentle, and tender, and refined, and lovely, and carefree..

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

I have to say that The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) is one of the greatest, unique drama movies that I have seen.

It was an unforgettable night to Queenie and her husband when they find an infant on their porch. However, what stunned them most was the inexplicable phenomenon of an octogenarian baby. Despite the fact, Queenie decides to take care of the baby and named him Benjamin Button.

Benjamin was told that he would not live long but he proved them wrong. Although, at the age of 17, he discovered something unusual. His life cycle is extraordinarily reversed. One day, he meets a young girl named Daisy and they become childhood friends. Throughout the years, Benjamin becomes younger and younger while Daisy as well as the rest of the people around him grow older.

Although this is a very long movie that runs for two and a half hours, my eyes never left the screen. The script is brilliantly written and the transitions are smooth. I believe that Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett are perfectly casted. What is most remarkable in this movie is the visual effects. It is amazing how convincingly young Brad Pitt appeared in the movie. The ending of the movie was very touching how Daisy's and Benjamin's relationship progressed. Although the story was unrealistic, it shows the creativity of the writer and is definitely original.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Terminator Salvation (2009)

Terminator Salvation has got to be one of the best movies I have seen this year (Depending on how good Transformers 2 will be).

At the beginning of the movie, a convict, Marcus Wright, is being executed and he agrees to donate his body for medical research. Around 17 years later, Marcus escapes from a Skynet base and heads towards Los Angeles by foot and has no recollection of his criminal past. He has no clue about Judgement day or even what year it is.

Meanwhile, John Conner is leading the Resistance against Skynet in order to save humanity. While leading an attack on a Skynet base, he reveals a file regarding the T-800 Terminator, which includes living tissue. John appears to be the only survivor of a nuclear explosion at the base and he returns to Resistance Headquarters.

Once Marcus reaches LA, he is saved from a T-600 Terminator by Kyle Reese, who has no idea that John Conner is his future son. Once they hear a radio broadcast by John Conner, they begin their search for the Resistance.

However, along the way, they encounter many deadly robots and Kyle and several other people are captured by a large Skynet robot. Fortunately, Marcus escapes and attempts to get the Resistance to assist him save Kyle and the other prisoners. Luckily, he comes across a skilled pilot, Blair Williams, and together they embark on their trip to the Resistance Headquarters.

Nearing the base, Marcus is wounded by magnetic land mines. As he is being rescued, Blair and other Resistance fighters discover that Marcus is a cyborg with human organs, flesh, and blood. John orders that he be terminated but Marcus tries to persuade them that he is human and that he should be released in order to save Kyle.
However, John was convinced that this was part of his scheme and that as soon as he releases him, he will attempt to destroy the Resistance. Defying his orders, Blair sets Marcus free but during their escape, she is wounded and he reluctantly leaves her behind. While John is searching for Marcus, who is being surrounded and attacked by the Resistance, his helicopter is being bombarded by hydrobots and it crashed and landed in the lake. Keeping his words, Marcus saves John's life and together they infiltrate the Skynet headquarters.

What I love about this movie is the action and special effects! It is well-paced and the action is continuous. The casting was perfect and Christian Bale and Sam Worthington did an exceptional job at portraying their character. Christian Bale never disappoints me. I also think that Anton Yelchin was perfect for Kyle Reese. Although, the fight at the end seemed a bit short. Why did they let the T-800 Terminator die so quickly? Also, why can't they just let Marcus live? I like to see him in the next movie! I know that he is supposed to be destroyed because he is a robot but they could have left out the heart transplant!

Overall, the whole movie is outstanding. I love the movie! Just as I walked out of the theater, I already wanted to see it again.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Quantum of Solace (2008)

The James Bond movies are known to be one of the most popular franchises in Hollywood history. All the way from Sean Connery in Dr. No (1962) to Daniel Craig in Quantum of Solace (2008) with another movie coming up in 2011. I believe that among all of these movies, Quantum of Solace is the most action-packed.

This film is a sequel of the previous film, Casino Royale. There is an intense car chase that takes place in Italy where James Bond is being pursued by other cars while Mr. White is trapped in his trunk. After he arrives at his destination, Mr. White is being interrogated by M about his secret organization. However, M’s bodyguard, Mitchell, reveals himself as a traitor and gives Mr. White a chance to escape by shooting at James and M. However, this did not stop James from accomplishing his mission to kill him.

While probing Mitchell’s apartment, he learns about the ecological organization called Greene Planet and meets Camille. A general known as Medrano, who is working with Greene, murdered the family of Camille years ago when she was still young. Now she intends to avenge her family. In addition, the two team up to destroy the Greene organization with the help of Mathis and Felix Leiter.

The plot was vague and not well executed. For some people, it is hard to figure out the motives in this movie but action-lovers tend to overlook the imperfections of the plot. I believe that Daniel Craig did a great job as James Bond. Although others may like Roger Moore, Sean Connery, or Pierce Brosnan better because they always appeared to be calm, cool, and collected even in times of peril while Daniel Craig gives James Bond a new identity. He is rugged, muscular, and his action scenes are more intense and physical. In addition, Camille is perfect for the role.

Marc Forster's directing was superb although at times it could be dizzying since the camera is constantly shaking during certain action scenes. Apparently, Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace have less gadgets compared to previous James Bond movies but it has much more action. There is only one thing that I absolutely disliked in this movie. During the opera, the loud singing was very distracting while the audience was trying to listen to what was going on or watch the action sequences. Although opera lovers may find it okay. All together, it was a very satisfying movie and many were captivated by the pulse-quickening action.

WALLE (2008)

WALLE, released to theaters on June 27, 2008, is about a lonely robot named WALLE, who lives in a futuristic Earth, which has accumulated a large amount of garbage towering everywhere. WALLE is designed to compact garbage in order to clean up the environment. All humans were to board the Axiom ship until these robots were done gathering all the waste but this process seems to be making no progress at all and the robots were shut down.

However, WALLE is the only robot that is still working and he lives in a garage, where he collects interesting artifacts, with his only friend, a cockroach. Unlike other robots, he begins to develop emotions and often times, he feels lonely. His only sort of entertainment is watching a romantic movie known as Hello Dolly and wishes he had a love of his own.

One day, WALLE encounters a high-tech robot known as EVE, who has been dropped of to Earth by an enormous ship and sent to search for signs of vegetation. Amazingly, he is instantly captivated by her beauty and intends to befriend her. However, he fails to capture her interest no matter how he persistently attempts to impress her with his endless collection of artifacts.

But his luck is about to change when he leads her to his garage where he shows her many of his artifacts nevertheless, it's the plant, which he found a while ago, that snags EVE'S eyes and she instantly communicates with her mother ship. Ironically, EVE goes into hibernation mode after her mission accomplished leaving WALLE in distraught. Several days later, the mother ship returns for EVE and WALLE tries to get her back by hitching a ride on the ship.

This movie is enjoyable for all ages and is a delightful mixture of action, romance, and comedy. It also has a very interesting plot and shows how Earth would look like if we continue to fill it with waste. Some scenes were very touching and keep your eyes glued to the movie. The story flows well and it always keeps you entertained. I believe that this movie is one of the best animation films.

Friday, June 5, 2009

King Kong (2005)

Ann Darrow, portrayed by Naomi Watts, is an unemployed actress who is greatly in need of a job. However, she runs into Carl Denham, who is a filmmaker looking for an actress to replace the one who has dropped out for his movie, and is convinced to star in the film. Carl pays a captain to sail to a mysterious island, which, according to his map, is known as Skull Island. Along the way, Ann meets Jack Driscoll, who is a screenplay writer, and they fall in love with each other throughout the movie.

As they finally reach their destination, crashing into the island’s shore, they encounter natives in an old civilization and are being attacked. After escaping them and returning to their ship, Ann has been secretly taken away and offered to King Kong as a sacrifice.

The crew enters the dangerous jungles of Skull Island in order to rescue Ann. However, they stumble across large, deadly dinosaurs and insects. As they attempt to evade them, many of the crew has been killed. Meanwhile, Ann is being carried away by the massive King Kong.

However, the over-grown ape and Ann begin to enjoy each other’s company and King Kong does anything to protect her. As the sky begins to darken, Ann and King Kong are watching the breath-taking sunset on a towering mountain. Even when it seems as if all hope has been lost, Jack refuses to leave Ann behind and decides to search for her by himself while the rest of the crew returns to the ship and wait.

I believe that this is the best version of King Kong so far. I love this movie even though it was three hours long. Some may find that it is way too long. It was unbelievable how realistic King Kong and all the other creatures appeared and the visuals and sceneries were outstanding. Peter Jackson really has the vision and skills to create such an extraordinary masterpiece. All the acting was superb and the action was non-stop. In addition, Peter Jackson knows how to capture the intensity and suspense in the scene by playing the suspenseful music while the actors act. This movie also had excellent soundtracks. Some may believe that adding the dinosaurs to the movie was unrealistic and not a great idea but I thought that it made the movie even more exciting. It added suspense and was the perfect opponent who gave King Kong a chance to really prove how strong and powerful he was. It also proved his feelings for Ann and how he would risk everything to save her. The ending, as always, is very moving because there was nothing Ann could do to save King Kong. Overall, I believe that King Kong was a very pulse-quickening and uncomparable film.