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The Aviator (2004)
A modern masterpiece
I find this film to be the best of 2004, easily. The sets and lighting are rich and colorful. The film clearly has the visual style and technical prowess that it deserves and needs for its story. The story itself spans Hughes life for 20 yrs. From the filming of his first film "Hells Angels" to his flying of the spruce goose in 1947. The performances are also of note. Especially Leonardo Dicaprio, finally shedding his teeny boy image with his portrayal of Howard Hughes. Gritty and realistically playing a man of many demons and phobias. Also of note is Cate Blanchett as Kate Hepburn. She is magnificent while making Hepburn a real person instead of the impersonation she could have been. Also praise must be said about Alec Baldwin( with the best use of the f word in in modern movies), Alan Alda, Danny Houston, Matt Ross, John C.Reily(strongly playing Noah Deitrich), Adam Scott and Kate Beckinsale expertly playing Ava Gardner. This film is a treat for movie goers who loves films from all eras. The score, performances, lighting, camera-work, directing, script and the production itself sore as some of the best in recent years. A must see.
Shattered Glass (2003)
Excellent movie about the corrupting effects of fame...
This movie blew me away. Journalism is not the easiest of professions, but one of the main rules is to always pursue truth. What Glass did was create truth to further himself. This film was excellent in showing how the idea of glory and fame can corrupt a man with the best intentions and ultimately destroy him. Hayden Christenson showed he finally can act, while Peter Sarsgaad gave a tour-deforce performance as Glass's editor who uncovers the lies. This movie shows how sometimes telling the truth is not always the easiest route but in the end the best route.The best thing about this movie is the minimilist approach. There was not a lot of characters or scenery, or a overly long expansive story . But a very simple and great story that brings you down with the main character and shows that the true heroes and stars of journalism our the ones who pursue and uncover the truth( like the Saarsgard character). I recommend this film to anyone who follows journalism or just likes movies in general. 9 out of 10
Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)
This film has been out for about two years but with its limited distribution finally made its way to North Carolina. But the point is that this film is amazing. With Bruce Campbell being the perfect Elvis plus his one liners amazing plus the part at the end about how terrible the phrase to stop the Mummy was amazing. But the film actually achieves quite a bit as a movie that shows how poorly people are treated as they get older and how we just want to forget about them and let them die, it also touched on regret and responsibility. A amazin amazing movie plus there was also some cool scenes with the Mummy. I recomend this film to everyone who enjoys films with subtle commentary and fun films with great one liners, and of course anyone who is a fan of the Bruce.
DC 9/11: Time of Crisis (2003)
I find it very interesting that for what will probably be one of the only films made of president Bush. The person they get to play him was the same one that played him on a show that made fun of him. The performances are adequate and situations laughable. This film looks like it was written and directed by Karl Rove. George W Bush is portrayed as Alexander the Great. A fearless leader who is all knowing and who had no fear. Every situation regardless if it matches his expertise or experience he is shown as being all knowing. He has all the answers and is never wrong. Since it has always appeared to me and others that Bush is a manifactored President they make him appear as if he created everything instead of who he is. Even though I believe that there is some truths in this it still comes off as bad storytelling. Plus the guy who plays Rumsfeld comes off as being to Gung HO! 5 out of 10
Mike Hammer, Private Eye (1997)
Perfect incarnation of Spillane Novels
This show is probably one of the best incarnations of the great Spillane novels. Tough and gritty with plenty of lovely ladies for the men. This show had a nice edge which although could be hard was also lose enough not to fall into self parody. Good turns by the cast of regulars. Especially Shannon Whirry as Velda. Its hard to see why this show only lasted one season. Considering the following and the syndication market this should have been on at least three seasons. But if you want to see a good Mike Hammer incarnation that has good stories along with being faithful to the character watch this one. Only complaint seeing Stacey get all these women. I am not going to dispute Mike Hammer having a beautiful girlfriend but him walking into a room and having women make sexual innuendos to him is just not believable but oddly appropiate for the show. Also I think we can fairly say that the lady in red is a hallucination that Hammer has and not a real women. Great show check it out!