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Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
1998 | Action, Drama, War
A classic
Film #14 on the 100 Movies Bucket List: Saving Private Ryan

When I think of war films, I immediately think of Saving Private Ryan. This is partly because I shamefully haven’t seen the majority of the older classic war films (but I may have done by the time I reach the end of this list), and also because this is the first war film I ever saw. I have my dad to thank for introducing me to this, he was obsessed with anything war related, and while I would never admit this to him as a teenager, even back then I could appreciate how brilliant this film was.

Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 World War II epic from Steven Spielberg that follows a group of soldiers as they embark on a mission across France to rescue a man who’s 3 brothers have been killed in action. It stars Tom Hanks as Captain Miller as he leads a host of recognisable faces including Vin Diesel (Caparzo), Barry Pepper (Jackson), Tom Sizemore (Horvath), Giovanni Ribisi (Wade), Edward Burns (Reiben) and Jeremy Davies as Upham as they trek across country to find Matt Damon’s Private Ryan.

The main plot is definitely very Hollywood, but the film itself looks and feels like anything but a glamorous Hollywood blockbuster. This is by far the grittiest, darkest and most horrific war film I’ve seen to date. Spielberg does not shy away from displaying the true horror of war, from the blood and gore of the fighting to the physical and psychological effects it had on the soldiers , it’s all here in all of its horrifying glory. One of the most memorable scenes of any war film is the opening sequence of the D-Day landings, that shows a haunting and frightfully bloody side of the war that no other films have managed to capture in such a dark and emotionally draining manner. Even the opening scene in Arlington Cemetery, especially when paired with a moving score from John Williams, is a tearjerker only a few minutes into the 2.5 hour runtime. I don’t know how factually realistic this whole film is, but it’s definitely one of the most compellingly believable films I’ve ever seen, especially the death scenes.

Visually the cinematography helps with the dark and gritty feeling. Everything looks grey and drab, even hazy at times, and this only helps to promote the overall tone of the film. Admittedly there are parts of this now that do look a little dated and there are a few early scenes with a strange out of place camera flare, but considering it was released 23 years ago, it’s aged pretty well and still looks quite good. It’s helped by a truly stellar cast lead by the ever brilliant Tom Hanks, who’s turn as Captain Miller is hauntingly good. The fact that he didn’t win the Oscar for his performance is criminal. Him alongside the rest of the cast, including memorably brash Brooklynite Reiben (Burns) and God-fearing elite sniper Jackson (Pepper), completely embody the camaraderie, friendship and sometimes hostility shown by the group of men perfectly. My only slight criticism of this film is that after growing to know and like these men over the course of the film, there is a question mark over some of their fates at the end which is a tiny bit disappointing.

Saving Private Ryan won 5 Oscars, including Best Director and Best Cinematography, but was nominated for many others including Best Picture, which in my opinion it deserved far more than the film that won in 1999 (Shakespeare in Love), as this is undoubtedly an all time classic war film.

Darren (1599 KP) rated Crawl (2019) in Movies

Aug 23, 2019  
Crawl (2019)
Crawl (2019)
2019 | Horror, Thriller
Injury Effects (0 more)
People in Florida not knowing how dangerous alligators are. (0 more)
Verdict: Intense Creature Feature

Story: Crawl starts when college swimming student Haley (Scodelario) who after a family disagreement with her father Dave (Pepper) hasn’t spoken to him in a while gets a call from her sister Beth (Clark) to make sure their father is out of Florida after a hurricane has taken a turn to put him in the path of the destruction.
Haley arrives back home, bringing back the memories with father and his training to make her an elite swimming, only to find him injured in the crawlspace, where he has been a victim of an alligator attack, the two find themselves trapped against the alligators, with the flood water rising and time running out, can they make it out, that is the question.

Thoughts on Crawl

Characters – This is a film that only really has two characters in, we have Haley who is a college student on a scholarship for her swimming, she has been training her whole life and is starting to question her place in the sport going forward, she reluctantly goes to make sure her father has gotten out of Florida before the hurricane hits and here she must put aside their differences to face off against the alligators that are looking to feed. Her swimming skills do come in crucial when it comes to staying ahead of the gators, but she does fall into the stupid decisions being made. Dave is the father that has buried himself in work after his wife left him, he had spent most of Haley’s childhood coaching her to be the best in swimming, with them both getting success, he has however become injured due to the attack and helps his daughter to escape, so they can rebuild their relationship. Where the two have been going through a strained relationship, it does show how the working together process isn’t working well to start with and as they rebuild their relationship, we see just how well they can work together.
Performances – Kaya Scodelario in the leading role is strong for the most part, we get to see how she manages to look like she isn’t completely in a comfortable place with her future and that she will never give up the fight. Barry Pepper, despite spending most of the film injured, does bring us a strong performance too which shows us that both the main stars of the film do carry the load well.
Story – The story here follows a father and daughter that find themselves trapped in a crawlspace where they are being stalked by alligators, making walking out difficult, while also being in the path of a hurricane which will see them below water sooner rather than later. When we break down this story, we do have a creature feature film that does see man versus nature, with it being both natural disaster and a living predator. This is a battle to survive which does feel intense, even if the trailer does give away most of the film’s story, which is highly disappointing to see. This story does keep the pace up and does have the side of the story which sees the family needing to put aside their issues to make it out.
Action/Horror – The action comes from the alligator attacks, they are intense and show just how deadly they can be, this is a horror that wouldn’t be terrifying to live through, this all shows just how deadly of a predator alligator can be.
Settings – The film is set in one location, the house where Haley grew up, starting with a large part inside the crawlspace under the house, it is contained, and you can understand why the gators would be in there too.
Special Effects – The effects when it comes to injuries are brutal to watch, with one scene involving a leg being placed back together standing out, the alligators look terrifying too through the film.

Scene of the Movie – Boat wave.
That Moment That Annoyed Me – Does nobody in Florida know how deadly Alligators are?
Final Thoughts – This is a fun and intense creature feature that doesn’t hide away from the blood and will keep you on the edge of the seat.

Overall: Creature feature fun.
Battlefield Earth (2000)
Battlefield Earth (2000)
2000 | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
Ight Imma Head Out
When an alien species takes over Earth, the humans finally decide to rise up and fight back. Watching Battlefield Earth is like taking a shit that just doesn’t want to come out. It’s frustrating, it’s messy, and it only serves to screw up your day. In fact, this movie is so painful that I am forcing myself to watch it until I finish this review. Man, you should see how fast I’m typing right now.

Acting: 3
Less than two minutes in, the movie has one of those bloodcurdling “NO!” screams after main character Jonnie Goodboy Tyler (Barry Pepper) finds out someone close to him has died. That’s when I remember saying to myself: “What the hell did I just get myself into? I gotta sit through the rest of this?” You would think, “Well, it’s only uphill from here.” You, madam or sir, would be wrong. From John Travolta and Forest Whitaker’s painful performances as aliens to the rest of this horrid cast, I can’t really decide who did the worst job. I gave them a 3 because, well, I’m assuming they showed up on set everyday.

Beginning: 0

Cinematography/Visuals: 3
Fast forward to four minutes after the “scream”. You see a bunch of cavemen (ish) beating up a prop from a broken down minigolf fun center. You see this happening with weird cut shots and slow motion, all while focusing on the anger and intent of the cavemen who see it as a threat. It is quite possibly one of the dumbest scenes I have seen in film. It angers me even now just thinking about it.

Conflict: 6

Entertainment Value: 0

Memorability: 0
The only thing I need to remember is this movie is garbage and to run if someone ever mentions watching it. There is nothing about this movie I will ever treasure.

Pace: 2
Let me watch paint dry and see if I’m not more entertained. My wife captured a caterpillar in a jar recently because she thinks it may become a butterfly. I’m pretty sure it’s dying because it only moves an inch every few hours. That inch outpaces the speed at which this movie drags along. Give me the DMV. Give me the longest wait at any Disneyworld ride. Give me the lines for the 2008 voting stations. I will take any of these things over Battlefield Earth.

Plot: 0

Resolution: 1
Ended just like it began: As a failed movie with no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

Overall: 17
I usually don’t judge people on tastes. We’re all different and we all like different things. But if you enjoyed this movie in any shape or fashion and you profess to be my friend, please lose my number. The passion with which I hate this movie has no end.
Snitch (2013)
Snitch (2013)
2013 | Action, Drama, Mystery
6.6 (5 Ratings)
Movie Rating
I’m a huge fan of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. His wrestling persona is
extremely entertaining and he’s a pretty decent actor. He did good with this movie but it wasn’t enough.

The premise of the movie is based on ‘true events’ (whatever that
means), it’s more about a law that’s real in our country right now, I’ll get in to that later.

There are a lot of characters so stick with me. The Rock plays John
Matthews, he owns his own construction business. He has an ex-wife, Sylvie Collins played by Melina Kanakaredes, and a current wife, Analisa played by Nadine Velazquez.

Johnand Analisa
have a daughter Isabella and he has a son with Sylvie, Jason Collins played by Rafi Gavron. The other major players are Barry Pepper who plays undercover DEA agent Cooper; Susan Sarandon who plays Joanne Keeghan a US Attorney; Jon Bernthal
who plays Daniel James an ex-con trying to get his life back together; Michael Kenneth Williams who plays Malik, a drug dealer; and Benjamin Bratt who plays Cartel leader Juan Carlos. Out of all of these, I liked Daniel, Agent Cooper, John Matthews, Malik and
Joanne Keeghan, in that order.

The law the movie is based on is about mandatory minimums. If you are
holding and it’s enough to distribute then you go to jail. The length of your jail time is based on how
much you are holding when you’re caught. In this case, Jason, who is 18 and still in high
school, is set up by his ‘best friend’. This friend sends him a huge bag of ecstasy against Jason’s wishes.

When the package arrives Jason gets caught because it’s a
sting. His jail time based on the amount of ecstasy is ten years in a prison that holds murderers, rapist and violent criminals.

The movie starts excruciatingly slow, the real action doesn’t start until
almost halfway through, or at least it felt like it. It’s good once you get there but I wasn’t really into
the people in it/living it. I kept thinking of the actors as themselves not the characters
they were playing, even the ones I liked. There were too many close ups and‘in action’ scenes that involved someone with a camera running or walking next to the actor.

I getthat it was to try and build apprehension and anxiety but it was more annoying and kept pulling me out of the story so I couldn’t connect emotionally with the characters.

I didn’t believe the union between John and Analisa or that there had been one with Sylvie, there was no familiarity and I didn’t believe the love or tension between them.

John was a business man who’s never seen action so he’s kind of a wuss, but it’s the Rock, a huge tall muscle-y intense looking guy. Whenever he flinched I kept waiting for him to kick ass but he never does.

Then in another scene he’s magically badass, shooting
a shotgun one handed out of the window of a semi-truck he’s driving.

The movie was more about showing people this heinous law then entertainingus. I don’t like that, it’s not why I go to movies. The only saving grace would have been if it had been really entertaining but it was only mildly entertaining at best.

I’d say rent it if you like the Rock or if you’re curious, it wouldn’t be too much of a waste of your time but
definitely don’t waste your money in a theatre.