Heat

A group of professional bank robbers start to feel the heat from police when they unknowingly leave a clue at their latest heist.

As the opening credits reel off a million now household names, I’m wondering how the hell there could be so many parts in this movie. And by the end, I was left wondering just what Hank Azaria and Natalie Portman’s characters brought to the table (nothing against their performances) beyond piling an extra half hour into an already long and unfocused film. Continue reading “Heat”

Alien

The commercial vessel Nostromo receives a distress call from an unexplored planet. After searching for survivors, the crew heads home only to realize that a deadly bioform has joined them.

As a 6′ 3″ male with a 30-inch waist and pale complexion, you may find it ridiculous that I’m just as afraid of tall, skeletal beings as the next person. But here I am, watching Ridley Scott’s Alien in the middle of the day, and I’m hiding behind my hands. Continue reading “Alien”

A Fistful of Dollars

A wandering gunfighter plays two rival families against each other in a town torn apart by greed, pride, and revenge.

A Fistful of DollarsWhen I get the chance, I read the IMDb plot summary of a film before I watch it. It’s just common sense. It manages expectations. But by reading the synopsis for A Fistful of Dollars, I may have set myself up for disappointment. Continue reading “A Fistful of Dollars”

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Fred Dobbs and Bob Curtin, two Americans searching for work in Mexico, convince an old prospector to help them mine for gold in the Sierra Madre Mountains.

The Treasure of the Sierra MadreI was surprised to find the origin of the line, “Badges? I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ badges!” in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. I suppose that’s the real treasure. That and Walter Huston’s now benchmark eccentric prospector character. Continue reading “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre”

Notorious

A woman is asked to spy on a group of Nazi friends in South America. How far will she have to go to ingratiate herself with them?

NotoriousNotorious made me question my masculinity. While watching the film last night, I tried to follow in Cary Grant’s hegemonic footsteps. I decided I would start by having a few glasses of scotch, before putting on a suit and mumbling to everybody in the same mysterious monotone. Continue reading “Notorious”

Toy Story 3

The toys are mistakenly delivered to a day-care center instead of the attic right before Andy leaves for college, and it’s up to Woody to convince the other toys that they weren’t abandoned and to return home.

toystory3Sometimes, I think to myself, “Man, I wish I had been a kid when _________ came out.” That could be a film, TV show, book, video game… Whatever. But then I realise, I was a kid when Toy Story came out, and I was (almost) an adult when Toy Story 3 came out. I grew up with one of the best animated trilogies of all time, and it grew up with me. Continue reading “Toy Story 3”

Seven Samurai

A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.

sevensamuraiSeven Samurai has too many Samurai. Kurosawa reportedly put together incredibly detailed dossiers for each of the leads, but unfortunately, I’m not interested in how Kambei likes his rice, or what Kikuchiyo’s favourite colour is. One of them got shot and I didn’t even realise, until I thought to myself, “I thought this film was supposed to have seven Samurai…” The body count by the end leaves only three alive, but I couldn’t pick them out of a line-up. And that has nothing to do with the fact that I can’t tell Asians apart. Continue reading “Seven Samurai”