ThrowbackThursday

#Goodfellas – Review – #ThrowbackThursday

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Goodfellas – Budget of $25 million – 2 hours and 25 minutes

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Goodfellas
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Henry is the child of an Italian mother and an Irish father.  They are both hard working people but Henry doesn’t admire them.  He admires they guys he sees outside his window.  They are mobsters and they are lead by Pauly.  Pauly is a big guy that is known to move slowly because he moves for no one.  Henry admires the respect everyone in the neighborhood gives them. He wants that respect too.  So he gets a job at Pauly’s shop and works legitimately for a while.  But is not long before he starts stealing, fighting, and committing arson.  Soon, Pauly connects Henry with Jimmy and Tommy.  However, when Henry beats a charge without ratting out the crew, he becomes a Goodfella.  While he can’t be a Made guy because of his heritage, he will always have the respect and loyalty of the crew.  But when Henry breaks the rules, respect and loyalty go out the window.

Based on Wiseguys by Nicholas Pileggi, this is the movie that told the mobster story in a different light (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  By showing the glitz and glamour of life as a mobster, it’s easy to see how people get sucked into easy money even as children.  But this story stands out because it’s not told just through the eyes of Henry.  It’s also told through the eyes of Karen, his wife.  People often wonder about the women who fall in love with mobsters, gangsters, and killers.  She puts all the cards on the table.  From their first date to him wooing her to seeing him be violent, she fell deeper in love with him.  This movie doesn’t have Tommy Gun shootouts or crazy chase scenes.  Its slow pace sets the tone and allows you to get to know each and every character intimately and let the story unfold naturally.  This is a classic to watch.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

Everyone takes a beating sometimes – Henry

I don’t know what the hell’s wrong with you. You wasted 8 aprons on that guy. We gotta toughen the kid up – Pauly

Never rat on your friends and always keep your mouth shut – Jimmy

By the time I finished meeting everybody, I thought I was drunk – Karen

That’s what the worlds coming do. How you like that – Tommy

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#StandByMe – Review – #ThrowbackThursday

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Stand By Me – Budget of $8 million – 1 hour and 29 minutes

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Stand By Me
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As Gordie, Teddy, and Chris play cards, Vernon has one question for them.  Do you guys want to see a dead body? Vernon heard his brother and his brother’s friend talking about a dead body they found while stealing a car.  They can’t admit to finding the body because they would have to talk about the stolen car.  So they swear to keep it between the two.  But Vernon can’t wait to tell his friends.  The boys all their alibi straight for the weekend and follow the train track to a dead body.  As the 4 boys make their trip, they will open out and share pain, joy, sadness, and strength.

Based on The Body by Stephen King, this is not a coming of age film (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  This is the step before coming of age.  This movie’s point is for the boys to realize their own mortality and respect life.  While they have dealt with death, abuse, and neglect, they saw it through the eyes of a child.  After this trip, they are no longer boys, but young men who understand that the world is larger than their small town.  This is one to watch with your preteen or teenager.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

You guys wanna see a dead body – Vernon

Chris isn’t a thief – Gordie

You wanna be the long ranger or the Cisco kid – Chris

I don’t need on babysitter – Teddy

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#TheGoldenChild – Review – #ThrowbackThursday

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The Golden Child – Budget of $25 million – 1 hour and 34 minutes

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The Golden Child
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Chandler Jarrell is a social worker that prides himself on finding missing children.  He goes on a public access show to plead for help to find Cheryll Mosley.  During the show, Kee is watching and goes to find him.  Kee believes he is the chosen one to find a special child, known as The Golden Child.  Without the child, the world will fall into death and destruction.  Kee finds Chandler and tells him that the child was stolen in Tibet and has powers.  They must save the child to save the world.  After seeing a vision of the child, Chandler agrees to help.  The next night he has a dream that leaves a dagger scar on his arm.  Chandler and Kee learn that Sardo will use the dagger (forged in hell) to kill the child, allowing evil to rule the world.  Chandler must get the knife first and kill Sardo.  Chandler may take this as a joke until he needs The Golden Child to save a life.

When watching this movie today, remember it was made in the 80s.  So the graphics, while revolutionary back then, were a bit rough and comical now.  While the quips between Chandler and Kee are funny, there isn’t much else to the story.  This is not one of Eddie’s best films. This movie feels like an attempt to make Eddie an action hero but he doesn’t have a stern voice or enough of an intimidating presence to pull it off.  He just isn’t believable in the role.  If you want a good Eddie Murphy movie, stick to Coming to America (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).

I give it 2 out of 5 stars

That’s a good destiny – Chandler

That’s no twice – Kee

By the time he finds you, it will be too late – Sardo

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#PrincessMononoke – Review – #ThrowbackThursday

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Princess Mononoke – Budget of $23.5 million – 2 hours and 14 minutes

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Princess Mononoke
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Prince Ashitaka is able to save his village from a boar possessed by a demon god but not without sustaining an injury to his arm. The injury leaves a large mark that grows and causes pain. Before the boar died, it cursed Prince Ashitaka to have a growing vengeance and hatred that will consume him until he dies. With the fear of what he will become, Prince Ashitaka is asked to leave his village.  The Oracle gives him a lump of metal found inside the boar’s veins. With this clue, Prince Ashitaka hopes to find someone with knowledge of the metal so he can figure out a way to save his life. While on his journey, he discovers his arm is getting stronger and more accurate. He can kill someone with a single strike but it only increases strength when he is angry. While the increase in strength is great, the injury grows each time he uses his arm. Later he finds Lady Eboshi. Eboshi commands a village of hard-working men and women who were excommunicated from their villages. Lady Eboshi wants to remove all the animals and take over the forest. She hopes she can expand her territory to make more metal goods and dominate the world. Her main problem, Princess Mononoke.  Princess Mononoke was raised by wolves and has a deep hatred of humans. She wants to put an end to Lady Eboshi’s expansion so her pack will have a place to live. Prince Ashitaka is in a huge dilemma. He knows that Lady Eboshi has the answer to saving his life but he has fallen for Princess Mononoke. He will have to choose between his life and love.

In a day of computer graphics and special effects, seeing a hand-drawn animation is refreshing. The in-depth storyline tells the constant struggle between progress and nature. It’s only natural for Lady Eboshi to expand but the animals need a place too. While this is an animation, it’s complex plot, strong battles, great jokes, and masterful drawings make it a true anime. Now, there is an English dubbed version of this movie, it’s best to watch it in Japanese with subtitles. This is how the animators intended it to be. Often the words and lips do not sync up, causing a distraction. If you are considering delving into the world of anime, this is a good film to get your feet wet. You will laugh and be lost in all its beauty and wonderment.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

Quiet your rage. I beg you – Prince Ashitaka

I hate humans – Princess Mononoke

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#GlengarryGlenRoss – Review – #ThrowbackThursday

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Glengarry Glen Ross – Budget of $12.5 million – 1 hour and 40 minutes

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GlengarryGlenRoss
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Real Estate salesmen Sheldon, George, and Dave wait for their boss John and VP of Rio Rancho Blake to come out of John’s office to make an announcement. After a few moments, Blake tells them they have the worst numbers in the company. So in order to get the Glengarry leads (the best leads), they must outsell the other salesmen. The first place earner will get a car and the leads. The second place earner will get a set of steak] knives. The third-place earner will get a pink slip. The men are livid because their leads are old, crazy, broke, or outdated. They don’t believe they could ever make a sell. They are also mad cause another salesman Roma isn’t there. Roma is the current top earner in their region and an obvious winner. Sheldon is on a losing streak and begs for the top leads. George just doesn’t understand why they have to fight for good leads. Dave is sick of the company and wants to steal the leads and sell them. Roma just wants to get the next sale. However, the next morning the leads, phones, and contracts are gone after a robbery. Now with each man having a motive, they are investigated to find the culprit.

Based on a play, this is a movie for anyone who has ever been on the edge of losing their job.  These men express the sheer panic of not knowing what’s next but each for different reasons.  Sheldon has a sick daughter, Romo has never lost, George hates competition, and Dave hates change.  So this shake-up is unwelcome by everyone.  However, it is up to the viewer to realize who is really pulling the strings in this puppet show.  While it may not be evident at first, the reveal of cold calculating cunningness will leave you amazed and disgusted.  Even though this reveal is memorable, it’s a long slow build to get there.  It’s easy to let your mind drifted off.  This is where most plays fall short of their film adaptations.  So watch this when you truly have time.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

Oh, Have I got your attention now – Blake

Then go home – John

I need those leads and I need them now or I’m out – Sheldon

It;s not right to the customers – George

When you die, you’re going regret the things you don’t do – Roma

They should check if were insured – Dave

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#ThelmaAndLouise – Review – #ThrowbackThursday

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Thelma and Lousie – Budget of $16.5 million – 2 hours and 9 minutes

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Thelma and Louise
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Louise is ready to head out of town to help a friend and she asks Thelma to go with her.  Without any notice to her neglectful husband Darryl, Thelma packs up her stuff and gets ready for a road trip.  One item Thelma packs is a gun; in case they run into some crazy people.  Their first night out, Thelma parties with a guy.  Louise tries to warn her the guy’s a cad but Thelma just wants to dance.  In the parking lot, the guy attempts to rape Thelma.  Louise puts a gun to his head.  They start to walk away when the guy says something that rubs Louise the wrong way.  She shoots him and they get in the car and drive off.  Thelma wants to go to the police.  However, Louise is certain that no one will believe it was self-defense. Louise decides to get some money and drive to Mexico.  After some thought, Thelma decides to go with her.  These two fugitives are on the run to freedom but a drifter, a truck driver, and a robbery stand in their way.

It doesn’t take long for this movie to ramp up and deliver the goods.  The camera work while using a real car with real scenery is a change of pace in today’s CGI/green screen world.  This movie even uses the majesty of the Grand Canyon to bring peace and disruption to the same scene.  You feel like you are in the car and develop a sense of urgency as the two women are being chased.  It’s easy to see how this film inspired Kill Bill and Set It Off (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).   It’s easy to lay blame on each woman for the decisions they made but they blame themselves too.  It takes some time but they take some responsibility for what they have done.  Now it does have a lull but hang tight and pay attention.  That lull is used for character development to give the viewer a relationship with each main character.  However, the most shocking entity: this movie is still relevant today.   It’s easy to see why this movie is labeled one of the greatest road movies of all time.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

No, I’m calling from the Playboy mansion – Louise

Well it’s a good thing you’re not Regional Manager and I am – Darryl

Because I didn’t ask him – Thelma

Don’t matter. Brains will only get you so far and luck always runs out – Hal

I just came to see you baby – Jimmy

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#Rocky – Review – #ThrowbackThursday

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Rocky – Budget of $1.1 million – 1 hour and 59 minutes

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Rocky
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Rocky is another bum in the neighborhood.  His boxing coach has given up on him, his crush ignores him, and the friends are losing respect for him.  He works for the local bookie as muscle collecting debt by force but that’s just not who he is.  Then he sees Heavyweight Champion Apollo Creed arriving in Philidelphia for a fight on the TV.  Rocky believes he is a great boxer but everyone else thinks Creed has a big mouth.  However, Creed’s competition is injured and no one else can train for a fight in 5 weeks.  So Creed decides to get a local boxer.  He stumbles on a flyer for a boxer called the Italian Stallion and loves the sound of the name with his.  He decides to give Rocky the chance of a lifetime to fight for the belt.  His trainer is concerned because Rocky is a southpaw with little experience.   Creed, on the other hand, could not care less.  To him, this quick knockout is just a show.  The only problem is: No one told Rocky it was a show.  Rocky is coming to fight.

This is not a story of Rocky vs Creed, it is a story about Rocky beating his own demons.  Normally when speaking of demons, drugs or alcohol is the logical conclusions. However, for Rocky, his demons are self-doubt and insecurity.  So when training, he is not training to fight Apollo.  He is training to become bigger than he believes he could ever be.  He has decided to become his own hero.  With everything thing involved in this story, its easy to get lost in the fantasy.  The defining moment is this sports movie does something few movies can do, it incorporates a love story without getting sappy.  It’s a great break from tradition.  With a strong message for anyone facing a tough situation.  As Rocky told Creed, your biggest competition is the person staring at you in the mirror.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

When do I fight again – Rocky

Don’t tease me – Adrian

It’s a waste of a life – Mick

Be a thinker, not a stinker – Apollo

You owe me – Pauly

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