Saturday, May 18, 2013


Ghostbusters (1984)
Directed by: Ivan Reitman
Written by: Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis
Starring: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moranis, Ernie Hudson
Rating: PG*
My rating: 6.5 out of 5 stars!

Hello again!

Last week, I had the pleasure of introducing one of my top 3 favorite movies to my fiancee. Over the years I've spent countless hours (105 minutes at a time) introducing people I love to Ghostbusters and I've gotta say...It NEVER gets old.

As I said, it's one of my top 3 favorites. Also, I have yet to get it on Blu-ray, so if you haven't gotten me a birthday present yet, it was three weeks ago :)

As you may recall from previous posts (though it's been awhile) the asterisk (*) next to the PG rating means that in 1984, there was no PG-13 rating. I put that on here as a disclaimer, in case by some miracle there is a parent out there who hasn't seen Ghostbusters (which would be a crime in and of itself) and is looking to advise their child. There is some language and suggestive elements to this film! It would probably receive a PG-13 rating today.

Let's move on, shall we?


Peter Venkman (Bill Murray; Caddyshack), Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd; The Blues Brothers) and Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis; Stripes) are professors of paranormal studies at a university who are searching for work when their funding is cut. They must borrow money, but they are able to create the world's greatest start-up, the Ghostbusters. Eventually, they gain clients, starting with Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver; Galaxy Quest). Ultimately, Dana's problem turns into an apocalyptic coming, and the Ghostbusters must save the world!!


What is there to say? This film is a classic. Its special effects were advanced for its time (nominated for the Oscar in Best Visual Effects, actually). Its funny, entertaining, and exciting. The cast and writing are phenomenal. Bill Murray drives the plot and the comedy as Venkman. Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters II) provide a different style of comedy, and Harold Ramis' Egon Spengler is the perfect straight man. Weaver and Rick Moranis (Little Shop of Horrors) lead the supporting players, and they all just fit perfectly.

I've seen this movie tons of times over the years, and I would not change a thing. I hope they don't try to do a remake. It's perfect as is. It's quotable, funny, and compelling.

My favorites (if I had to pick them, of course) would be Venkman (Murray) and Winston (Hudson), but I really can't pick between anyone in such a great cast.

You musn't count out the writing for this film's greatness, either. Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd are a great duo. Murray's Venkman was deadpan and perfect comedically, but all (most) of it was due to impressive writing by the Aykroyd/Ramis duo.

Overall, I just can't find anything that I don't like about it. I'm sure that I'm a little biased after the years and years of repeated viewings, but if you just watch it a couple of times, I'm sure you'll come to appreciate it like I do.


In conclusion, if you've never seen this film: ADD IT TO YOUR LIST IMMEDIATELY. If it's already on your list, bump it up a couple spots!! Come on! It's not every day a seasoned movie blogger such as myself gives it a 6.5 out of 5 rating!

Great comedy movie, little bit of language, but overall a fun flick for almost any age. I laughed, I cried, and I swore up and down that I was a god.

I'd have more to say, but there's only so many times you can call something great. It is not an easy feat to break my top 10 films, let alone my top 3.

Anyway: Thanks for reading if you have gotten this far! I truly appreciate your support! If you ever have movie suggestions or want to watch something with me, please feel free to shoot me a comment, tweet me, facebook me, throw rocks at my window (not recommended, I'm grumpy when I wake up), text me, email me, call me, smoke signal me, or wire me a message in morse code. I've got a lot of films at my disposal, but I'm super indecisive.

Another successful Archvies entry complete! Thanks for the support, everyone! Leave me some feedback!! God bless!!


Saturday, May 4, 2013

Django Unchained

Django Unchained (2012)
Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Written by: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson
Rating: R
My rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars

Hello blog-o-sphere! I told you I'd be back!

Just so happens I had 165 minutes to kill today, plus an entire bottle of Mountain Dew and a $5 Hot-N-Ready Little Caesar's Pizza. So I combined all of that into a "watch the movie no one wanted to see with you since you're by yourself" kind of thing.

So, following that little alone time sesh, here is a collective pile of my thoughts on the very fresh viewing of Django Unchained


I bought this movie just a few weeks ago (it hasn't been out on DVD and Blu-ray even a month yet). I've been allowing myself to splurge on a special edition Blu-ray of some kind every so often, and Django was my April. I got the Blu-ray combo pack special edition from Target. It came with a metal case, the DVD, the Blu-ray, a disc of bonus features, plus an iTunes digital copy and an Ultraviolet digital copy. So far it's been worth the little extra I've paid. I used the Blu-ray today, and it was stunning picture quality.

I'd also like to add to this newly discovered "prelude" section that I had heard a lot of good and bad things about this movie before watching, but I'm a huge Tarantino fan.


Two years before the Civil War, as winter approaches, a dentist-turned-bounty hunter, Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz; Inglorious Basterds) is hunting for three particular wanted men, and seeks help by purchasing a slave who would know their faces, named Django (Jamie Foxx; Ray). Schultz enlists Django's help by including the promise of freedom. Django is freed, but chooses to remain in the employ of Schultz, and Schultz agrees to help his friend look for his estranged wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington; Fantastic Four), who is undoubtedly still enslaved somewhere closer to their South Carolina roots. Once found, Django and Schultz hatch an elaborate scheme to free Broomhilda from the ownership of plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio; Inception).

My thoughts:

In short....I loved it!

Christoph Waltz won an Oscar for this role and it's easy to see why. His Dr. Schultz kept us guessing the entirety of the film. Part of me thinks that I was just so used to Waltz playing the villain (even in Tarantino's other films) that I kept waiting for some evil turn or twist to happen from him, but it never did. His character was brilliant from start to finish. Tarantino also deserves props for his contributions to creating Schultz's character. Most directors would have made him seem more like "the hero", but Waltz and Tarantino created him as just another flawed man, and the brilliance of it shines through (to me, at least).

I've always been a DiCaprio fan (though Titanic isn't my favorite film) but I have to say he delivered here too. His Calvin Candie was believable and strong throughout. The level of play was very high from everyone, but DiCaprio set the stage. Candie's head slave, Steven, played by Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction) was a perfect compliment to DiCaprio's collected Candie, and both played an integral part in the story as well.

The writing (of course) was superb as well. It was well deserving of it's Oscar win in that category as well. A  lot of people find Tarantino's constant use of profanity (and in this case, the "n" word) unnecessary, but I call shenanigans! Is it unnecessary because it didn't further the story, or because it made you uncomfortable to hear it? It DID (in most cases) do both of those things. Tarantino is good at using profanity, nudity, and violence to further his stories. In this case, he told a fictional story about a time when the slave trade was running rampant through the United States. Without the language, nudity, or violence, it's just a feel good story about a free slave who finds his wife, but with it, it becomes a real picture into somewhat recent human history. It SHOULD have made you uncomfortable. That was the intent.

I thoroughly enjoyed the cameo roles played by some of the more famous people, like when Miami Vice's Don Johnson appeared as plantation owner "Big Daddy", Jonah Hill as an enraged member of the Klu Klux Klan, and even Quentin Tarantino himself, in the employ of the slave trade. It made my film experience that much more enjoyable to have so many recognizable faces among it.

The biggest props of the film, though, have to go to Jamie Foxx. The last movie I saw him in before this was Horrible Bosses, and while that movie is hilarious, it doesn't equate to the cinematic accomplishment that Jamie Foxx was such an integral part of here. I had heard Will Smith turned down the role and (as much of a Will Smith fan I am) I couldn't be happier. Foxx's Django accomplished something strangely reminiscent of Tom Hardy's "Bane" in The Dark Knight Rises in that he says so much without saying much in the way of words. Django's character does speak more and more as the movie goes on, but he says way more with his face and his actions than his Tarantino-scripted lines can.

I realize that was in great detail, but the watch was very fresh so I had a lot to say. Plus, it's nearly a three hour film.

In Conclusion:

I realize that this film is unusually controversial compared to normal "Archives Report" material (and if you have a problem with How the Grinch Stole Christmas you need to just leave right now) but this is one of my favorite things about film. I love discussing it. In my personal opinion, the work of the writer/director required the severe language and violence to properly convey his message. The controversy over it just means he made his point. Forgetting that these dark times happened to our nation shouldn't happen. We should remember our mistakes, so we don't repeat them. As I'm sure you'll find out from me in the future in this very blog, I'm a big believer in the point and the message of a film, rather than nitpick at the means they used to reach it.

If you made it this far: Thank you! I really appreciate any support this blog can muster! I'd love to blog for a living one day! Please let me know your thoughts on the film, my blog, your upcoming summer vacation...anything. I'd really love to hear it!

Thanks again! Until next time! God Bless!


Thursday, May 2, 2013


Serenity (2005)
Directed by: Joss Whedon
Written by: Joss Whedon
Starring: Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, Summer Glau, Sean Maher, Adam Baldwin
Rating: PG-13
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


I'm back!!!

I know how agonizing it was for me to have been gone so long, but my life has been crazy! I eventually gave up on most of the Christmas movies I had watched during that season and tried but failed to put out an entry on The Great Muppet Caper... (don't worry, that one is still coming!) but I've spent most of the last few months watching TV Series'....which leads me perfectly into this review, because not too months ago I got hooked on the single season space western, Firefly.

Netflix has been my best friend lately, so it was no different in watching this series. The only complaint I had through the whole series was that there wasn't more of it. In retrospect, I think that it was ahead of its time. With the proper CGI involved, Firefly could still exist! I think Serenity actually helps make that case, since it came out a few years later.

Now, I know this blog is generally based on my ever expanding collection of DVD's (and now thanks to Santa Clause, BLU RAYS) but Netflix only expands that world for me, so I'd be a fool not to utilize the extra material it provides.

All that was to say this: If you haven't watched Firefly, you probably ought not to read this review. You need to be in the loop on this one, but I'll try to keep it generic so those of you will WANT to watch both the series and the movie.

The Film:

If you hadn't gotten it already, Serenity is set when Firefly left off (AFTER THE FIRST SEASON!!! CURSE YOU TELEVISION GURUS!!!!). Serenity is also the name of the Firefly class ship captained by Mal Reynolds (Nathan Fillion; Castle) and served by a rag-tag crew. Simon (Sean Maher; Much Ado About Nothing), a doctor, and his sister River (Summer Glau; Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles) are fugitives from the allied planets and aboard Reynolds' vessel, which can sometimes create tension. I really don't want to give too much away (in hopes that you'll watch all this and discuss it with me sometime) so let's just say Simon and River are running from something bigger than all of them, and however reluctant, Mal has a good crew and a good heart.

My Thoughts:

I'm really starting to dig everything Joss Whedon (The Avengers) has done. He has this uncanny ability to make you laugh, yell, and cry, all from the edge of your seat. Everyone's excited for Avengers 2, but I'm just as excited to see Whedon's take on Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. 

Needless to say, I loved this film. It provided me with a little closure to Firefly, as well as keeping me thoroughly emotionally invested. Whedon's characters have clear wants and needs but they're all incredibly unique, interesting and unpredictable.

The cast was always great, but Fillion, Maher, and Tudyk were the shining stars of this particular endeavor. Glau is perfect as River, and the rest of the cast does a fantastic job as well.

The Conclusion:

Serenity was a great way to round out Firefly. Do I miss it? Sure. But once the Avengers have settled into their roles, Joss Whedon may just toss us a little more action aboard Captain Reynolds vessel, and to that I say "Bring it on". 

If you have not had a chance, watch Firefly, and then if you have two more hours (TO LIVE), watch Serenity. Just a really well made film.

I know it was kind of short this time, guys, but I'm just getting back into it. For now, its back to TV on Netflix, but I will be bombarding you with reviews of films very shortly!

Thanks for reading! I welcome your feedback of any kind. Let's discuss! I love it!

God bless you all!