Here are my short impressions of movies I saw. This will always be an ongoing effort. I think I will always add a few movies every few days. I will try to put the date of my first viewing for recent movies.
For the list of my favorite movies, go here. For further details about these movies, go to the The Internet Movie Database.
Without further ado, here they come:
Addicted To Love: This somewhat dark romatic comedy starring Mathew Broderic, Meg Ryan, Kelly Preston, and Tcheky Karyo (Uncle Bob in La Femme Nikita) is a joy to watch. I learn another use of the phrase "Godzilla's Tail."
Ace Ventura, Pet Detective: I like this slapstick comedy starring Jim Carey a lot. I think it was quite original. Jim Carey is very physically comedic here.
Ace Ventura 2: When Nature Calls: This sequel is bad. I don't like it at all. They made it just for the money. Nothing new, just worse rehash of the original Ace Ventura. I recommend you in the strongest possible terms not to see it.
The Age of Innocence: This is a Martin Scorsese's period film. It looks really beautiful--I believe it won an Oscar for Best Costumes. However, I don't like the story that much. A lot of big stars--Daniel Days Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Winona Ryder. Feel free to watch it if you are free.
Airheads: I liked Adam Sandler when he was the Opera Man on Saturday Night Live and tried to watch movies with him in it. That's the reason I picked Airheads one evening. It was a trauma. Suck So Bad (TM). There are billions of better other things on which you can waste your time.
Aladdin: Great animation, great songs. Typically great Disney animation. I don't like it as much as Beauty and the Beast but I still recommend it.
Alien: The book (by Alan Dean Foster) scared the bejesus out of me when I was young. The movie is very suspenseful but fell short of what I had imagined in my head when I read the book. I got a hold on the book first because it used to take a long time for a movie in the U.S. to come to Thailand. The best thing about the movie is that it paves the way for James Cameron to make Aliens.
Alien 3: I wonder how stupid the studio, the producer, and the director of this film were to totally squander the great Alien franchise they have. What were they smoking when they decide to make Alien 3? The best I can do is to just forget that there was such a thing as Alien 3.
Alien Resurrection: Ok, this one is better than Alien 3. But again, 99% of all movies would be better than that one. It's quite O.K. as a thriller with mean monsters but should not be compared to Alien and Aliens that start the series. Winona Ryder is also very pleasing to look at but she tends to go into her "Winona Ryder's School of Overacting's" style a bit here. (To all of you Ryder's fan, I watch all Ms. Ryder's films too, O.K.? :-)
The American President: Here is a love story about a widowed American president and his girlfriend who happens to be a lobbyist. See it. I like them sappy :-) Michael Douglas and Annette Bening starred.
Anaconda: This is a cheap thrill movie. You get to really big snakes killing anthropological expedition crews in the Amazon. Fine if you feel slightly lethargic. Eric Stoltz, Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, and John Voight starred.
Antz: This animation from Dreamworks SKG looks quite good. I enjoyed it. I've always like Woody Allen neurotic/diffident mutters and he is the voice of the lead ant here. (Oct 30, 1998)
Armageddon: This movie is very entertaining for me. I enjoyed it from the beginning to the end. I can't say that it's a movie based on solid scientific facts but who care? Bruce Willis is a great hero here, leading the crew of oil riggers, saving the world from total annihilation from a really, really big meteor the size of Texas. I wonder how rare that is, considering the Zipf distribution of meteor sizes, but I digress. Anyway, watching it is similar to watching Top Gun and The Rock just like the makers want us to feel. I get a bit annoyed with Ben Affleck because he is so childish for a guy who is supposed to save the world, but mostly because I remember him as the bad guy (Fashionable Male) from another movie called Mall Rats. Anyway, I suggest you watch this movie; you should get a lot of adrenaline rush. (Aug 11, 1998)
As Good As It Gets: Mr. Jack Nicholson won a Best Actor Oscar from this one. So did Ms. Helen Hunt for her Best Actress award. See it and you will know why. When you see how Mr. Nicholson performs his craft using nuances of his eyebrow movements, you will know why he is the Best Actor. I also always enjoy Ms. Hunt's role in a sitcom "Mad About You" and to see her acts in this movie is a revelation. Besides, the movies is aptly named: it's 'As Good As It Gets.'
Assassins: A movie about, you guess it, assassins. Starring Sylvester Stallone, Antonio Banderas, and Julianne Moore. Cheap thrill, I say. O.K. to watch once.
Babe: A story about a piglet who thinks he is a dog. When it didn't win the Oscar for Best Picture, I wept (just kidding, just kidding.) Anyway I lost a small bet when it didn't win--I knew it was a long shot, but what else could I do? True believer must stand for his belief. Oh, it was nominated for 7(!) Oscars.
Back To The Future: Great time-travel comedy from Robert Zemeckis. Michae J. Fox became a big star after this film. When I saw it, I just wanted to grow up to be Doc Brown.
Back To The Future 2: Further adventure of Marty and Doc Brown in a time-travel comedy with a lot of cool futuristic looking gadgets. I'm awaiting those portable fusion generator.
Back To The Future 3: Marty and Doc Brown in the Wild West. Still more great adventure into the past, present, and future. This is probably the last installment of Back To The Future series. I still like it.
Bad Girls: I fell asleep during the movie and never rewatch it, sorry. There are Drew Barrymore, Mary Stuart Masterson, Madeline Stowes, and Andie McDowell in it. So it might at least look good.
Basic Instinct: This is the movie that made Sharon Stone a star. I still don't have a definite solution about the mystery in the movie. I think Jeanne Tripplehorn looks sexy than Sharon, but my friends all disagree. A lot of nudity.
Batman: Before the movie came out, I read one of Frank Miller's great comic books "The Dark Knight Returns" about middle-aged Batman, so I was eagerly looking forward to seeing the movie. It sucks. Too much glitz and no substance.
Batman Returns: Sucks.
Batman Forever: Sucks.
Batman and Robin: Sucks but Uma Thurman is gorgeous. Do you know that Uma Thurman is named after Hindu Goddess Uma? :-)
The Beautician and the Beast: This is a comedy about a New York beautician who accidentally got recruited to be the teacher of an Eastern European dictator's children. It is a bad movie. However, I did enjoy watching it. You know, the kind of movie that I'm afraid to recommend to anyone because I'm more permissive than most people. Timothy Dalton (an ex-James Bond) and Fran Dresher starred. (June 21, 1998)
Beauty and the Beast
Bed of Roses: Normally, I like Mary Stuart Masterson a lot. However, I didn't like this movie at all. Somehow, it didn't seem believable to me. Maybe Christian Slater's "raising eyebrows is my primary acting technique" acting is a reason. You can find better romantic movie than this--take a look at When Harry Met Sally or Forget Paris, for example.
The Big Hit: This is a totally awesome comedy. I expected it to be serious action movie when I saw the preview--I was in for a big surprise. The comedy is rude, crude, and vulgar, but I liked it! The shooting scenes tend to be a bit over the top like typical Hong Kong action movie which is understandable because a lot of the production team are from Hong Kong. Starring Mark Wahlberg (Markie Mark), Lou Diamond Phillips, Christina Applegate, and the incredible China Chow. (Aug 5, 1998)
Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure: This is a very cool movie about two slackers who became the catalyst for Universal Peace. Involves time-travel.
Bill and Ted Go To Hell: This is a sorry sequel of the above movie. Why did they make it?
Blade: Wesley Snipes is a man-vampire hybrid who wears body armor and carries a sword on his back. He also has a lot of cool miscellaneous gadgets for battling the undead. He kicks vampire asses in this movie. I like it, especially the the background rock music during the fights. (Oct 16, 1998)
Boogie Nights: This is about porn film stars and a director in 1970's and '80s. The protagonist's stage name is Dirk Digler. How can you go wrong with a name like that in that industry. I enjoyed it tremendously. It's funny and feels like a real story that could have happened. Hmm..., maybe it did happen.
Bram Stoker's Dracula: This is Mr. Francis Ford Coppola's rendition of the classic tale. I was looking forward to seeing it for a year. I bought the script to get a preview of what it would be like. From what I read, it could have been a great movie. Needless to say, I was completely disappointed by the movie. The movie was filled with normally competent actors doing their best to overact. This one is a trauma.
Braveheart: This epic movie about Scotch freedom fighter William Wallace (played by Mel Gibson) is absolutely riveting. The battle scenes are raw, gruesome, and powerful. I like it a lot. It beat Babe for the Oscar, but I forgive it.
Breaking the Waves: Hmmm.... I don't get it. I only know that it looks real in a sense that it could happen to real people, but I don't care so much about them anyway. A lot of critics like it, so you should decide for yourself.
Candyman: This is an awesome horror story about a long-dead guy who will come up from behind to slice and dice you if you pronounce his name five times in a mirror. See it and try it in front of your bathroom mirror :-)
Candyman 2: Farewell to the Flesh: This one is much worse than the original although the gore content is probably larger. If you have too much time, take a look, otherwise, forget it.
Cat People: This is the new one with Natasha Kinski in it. I saw it when I was a teenager and I saw it again recently. I came to the same conclusion: I just don't get it.
Children of A Lesser God: This is a story about an angry deaf woman and a hearing man. Marlee Matlin made her film debut in this film and won an Oscar for Best Actress. I learned a few signs for dirty words. It's a great romantic movie.
Cinema Paradiso: This Italian film about a guy who really, really likes watching movies won me over totally. Great drama. Heartwarming. Beautiful music by Morricone too. Thanks to my friend Jinha, I am listening to the music right now. Thanks Jinha!
Cliffhanger: This is one of the better Sylvester Stallone's action films. Kind of like Diehard in the Rocky Mountain. Great shots of the snowy cliffs. John Lithgow played the ruthless bad guy. I recommend it to you action fans.
Con Air: No, the movie CON me into seeing it. It tried to ride the success of The Rock the previous year but failed miserably. A lot of fine actors in there but they were not scripted properly. What a waste of resource.
Conan The Barbarian: This is the first Schwarzenegger movie I saw. I think I was about 12 years old when I first saw it. I remembered it as a fun-filled action movie. I watched it again in May 1998 and it was a lot worse than what I remembered. Still, it is still passable action movie. John Milius directed--he also co-wrote it with Oliver Stones. James Earl Jones (Darth Vader's voice) is the bad guy in this movie.
Contact: I read the novel by the late Carl Sagan that is the basis of this movie in 1987. It is a very intellectually exciting story. I never thought that the novel can be made into a good movie because of its depth. I'm glad I was wrong. Mr. Robert Zemeckis is the great director (who made Forrest Gump) who brings the pages to the screen. Lucky for us. Jodie Foster is very believable as the protagonist in this great movie.
Courage Under Fire: This is a very exciting military mystery about what really happened in a battlefield amid all the mayhems. Meg Ryan is so cool as a tough military helicopter pilot who command an all-male subordinates..
Cousins: This is a remake of a French film of the same name (only in French, go to The Internet Movie Database to look it up, O.K? I didn't see the French one.) Anyway, it is a very touching love story about two people who were married to other people. It's probably the best film about adultery ever. Ted Danson and Isabella Rossellini starred.
Cliffhanger: This is a fine action film by Mr. Sylvester Stallone. It has been a long time since the last time Mr. Stallone made a good movie (Rocky and Rambo come to mind.) But this one is good. Exciting through and through. Some great mountain shots too.
Clueless: My friend Paweenwich told me that Ms. Alicia Silverstone looks best in this movie and he is absolutely right. Besides Ms. Silverstone physical appeal, everything in this movie is funny. Highly recommendend.
The Craft: Four teenage witches wreaking havoc among their highschool friends and families. Easily digested movie. I like it. Neve Campbell is one of the witches.
Damage: The first time I saw this film in theater, I didn't like it. On laserdisc with the director's comments, however, it is a great movie for me. Be warned: This is dark, dark, dark film. Juliet Binoche looks ravishing in this film. (She is also in The Unbearable Lightness of Being.)
Dark City: This is a very good science-fiction movie. I love it. It is about a big simulation by very technologically advanced beings about human identity. Alex Proyas, who is the writer and director, is to be congratulated for bringing such a fine idea to film. Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly, and William Hurt are in it.
Daylight: This is another good Sylvester Stallone film. Exciting, fast-paced, and gripping. I would hate to go into a tunnel under water after seeing this film. See it, good Stallone movies are hard to find these days.
Deep Impact: This is the first great movie of 1998 that I saw. This is about what happens when a 7-mile comet intercepts Earth. It could happen tomorrow for all I know. Great Suspense-Drama. You should see it. I also got a few homework problems for my students from watching this movie. (June 6, 1998)
Deep Rising: This predictable flick involving deep sea monsters attacking a luxury cruiser is O.K. to watch if you don't expect much. Lots of gore. It's kind of like a mixture of Anaconda and The Relic. There is Femke Janssen in there too :-) (May 15, 1998)
The Devil's Advocate: Despite some serious overacting by Keanu Reeves and Al Pacino, the main story about Good Vs. Evil still gives plenty of thrill. Be warned though, I'm a sucker for Good Vs. Evil stories. Your mileage may vary.
Die Hard: This is the first and the best of the Die Hard Trilogy (are they coming out with a new one?) This is probably Bruce Willis's best role as a super cop who fight legion of bad guys. Plenty of excitement. Some inaccuracy about the Glock pistols which happen to be my favorite handguns, but I let it go. :-)
Die Hard 2: This one is not as good as the original, but very close. My heart was pounding when I saw it. Lots of cool HK-MP5 machine guns :-)
Die Hard With A Vengeance: This one sucks.
Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story: This is a movie about the great kungfu master/lousy actor Bruce Lee. Funny thing is, the acting in this film is probably better than the real Mr. Lee's. It's great for me because I like kungfu movies as a child. Jason Scott Lee (no relation) is believable as Mr. Bruce Lee. If you like kungfu actions where participants grunt or make howling sounds before and during fighting, this is the movie for you.
E.T.: You probably heard about this Spielberg movie already. I saw it only twice. I think it's a good film, but not that great for me. My cousin, Sib, as a child were very afraid of the E.T. plastic figure and I had more fun scaring her than watching the film. My sister Kay thinks Drew Barrymore was too cute in this film.
The Empire Strikes Back: This is the second installment of the Starwars Trilogy. Exactly what I expect from Starwars Universes. I think the Empire's AT-Walkers and Chicken Walkers (those tanks with legs) are cool. Yoda is cool too. Too bad, I learn how to use English from him :-)
The English Patient: This movie won lots of Oscars. It's long. It's slow. To me, watching it is like reading a good book. I like it very much, but a lot of my friends hate it because it's long and slow. Oh, by the way, The English Patient is the mysterious third-degree burn pilot shot down at the beginning of the story that feed us bit by bit about who he is and how he comes to be. It's a love story too. So, if you are repelled by sappy love stories, stay clear.
Ever After: This is the coolest Cinderella story ever. Cinderella, AKA Danielle, kicks asses. Starring the lovely Drew Barrymore and the sinister Angelica Houston. (Oct 18, 1998)
Face/Off: What do you expect from John Woo, John Travolta, and Nicolas Cage? If the answer is a film with megatonnage of actions, then you get it here. Some say it looks like cheap Hong Kong action movies, but they are wrong. This film looks like a VERY EXPENSIVE Hong Kong action movie. Some inaccuracy about human physiology, but who care?
Fallen: This supernatural thriller starring Denzel Washington is quite interesting to watch. It's about a fallen angel fighting with a man. If you are into this type of movie, you might enjoy it. If you are not, don't bother. I enjoyed it. (June 20, 1998)
Fear of a Black Hat: This is a parody of a gangster rap group called N.W.H which stands for Niggers With Hats. Their rationalization of the band's name alone warrants your viewing. I love the film but needed a close-captioned TV to follow all the fast conversations. Go watch it!
The Fifth Element: This is a film by Luc Besson, the guy who made La Femme Nikita. Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich battled evil force that came from outer space in the future Earth. Gary Oldman is very funny as a powerful, evil arms dealer. Look great. There are holes in the details and plots, but the fun factor overwhelm them. I like it.
Firestarter: This movie adaptation of a Stephen King's novel is reasonably well done. Drew Barrymore as a kid is very cute in the title role. She has to burn lots of things with her psychic power here.
Forget Paris: This is one of the best date movies of all time. Touching and romantic. Billy Crystal and Deborah Winger are the leads. I like the way the story unfolds in a conversation among friends. Like it very much.
Forrest Gump: It is a touching movie that is definitely better than the book on which it is based. Tom Hanks won another Oscar for Best Actor in this one. His other one is from Philadelphia. It is about a simple-minded person who became a part of every significant events from 1960's to 1980's. I would classify it as a bittersweet comedy. A lot of people went to see it when it came out, so I don't think you can go wrong watching it.
Fortress: This is a "futuristic sci-fi thriller" with Christopher Lambert in it. It's about the prison called Fortress. I didn't expect much and was pleasantly surprised by it. Not too bad, you might want to try it.
Four Weddings and a Funeral: This is a great romantic comedy for England. Funny. I think it's worth your time. Hugh Grant and Andie McDowell starred. Those of you who fear commitment, do not watch it with your girlfriends. You will be setting yourself up :-)
The Full Monty: I don't know what the buzz is about. I just don't get it. I can neither recommend it to you nor persuade you not to see it. Maybe you will see what I don't. A lot of people like it. I'm just not one of them.
The Glimmer Man: This is one of Steven Seagal's movies. Here, he teams up with Keanan Ivory Wayne as policemen fighting typical bad guys. Badly act, familiar action scenes, not funny. If you live forever, go ahead and take a look, otherwise you will likely waste your time.
The Godfather Part 1&2
Godzilla: This 1998 Monster Mega Movie didn't do too well at the box office compared to its hype. I think it is a victim of its own overly active promotion. When people were hyped up as they did before watching the movie, there is no way else to go except down. That said, I didn't watch the movie in theatre but caught it on video. I don't think it's very bad, just not up to its expectation.
Golden Eyes: This is the first James Bond movie starring Pierce Brosnan. I like it a lot. This is the perfect male-fantasy movie--it has an invincible hero, fabulous babes, lots of fighting and explosions, and nasty villians that got it in the end. All in all, a satisfying experience for me. Compare this with Tomorrow Never Dies.
Gone With The Wind: My friend Hsun Hua and my Mom love this movie. I just don't get it. But you are free to check it out. You got the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of unhappiness anyway :-) By the way, according to Mr. ShowBiz, it is the top grossing film of all time if its take is inflation-adjusted.
Good Morning Vietnam: This comedy/drama starring Robin Williams is extremely funny and sad at the same time. War is a bad thing. You can take a look at one of Thailand's leading actresses, Ms. Jintara Sukapat, in this film too.
Happy Gilmore: The only reason I saw this movie was that Mr. Adam Sandler was in it. This is not a great film. I can take it because I like Mr. Sandler's work in Saturday Night Live. If you don't know him before, this is not a good introduction to his work. You should see The Wedding Singer instead.
Hercules: The only beef I have with this great Disney animation is Michael Bolton's singing the theme song. Otherwise, it's great. See it with your kids.
The Hot Spot: The only good thing I can say is that you get to see Jennifer Connelly with her clothes off here. Otherwise forgettable.
How To Make An American Quilt: Ms. Winona Ryder looks great in this movie. Unfortunately, that is basically the only thing I like about it. Somehow, it didn't click for me at all.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame: This is another good looking Disney animation. It's not that entertaining for me though. However, it is much better than Pocahontas.
Immortal Beloved: This is the only film that I agree with people who tout Mr. Gary Oldman's acting genius. In his other films, his acting is a bit too much for me. Not so in this film! He is perfect as Beethoven. I kept guessing who his "Immortal Beloved" is. The music is grand--this should not surprise you, we are talking a film about Beethoven here. You must see this film.
In & Out: It could have been a great comedy for me. The first half-hour or so is funny. However, it becomes a serious film. Not that it is a bad film--it's just not what I expected when I started the film. Kevin Kline is a straight highschool teacher who is publically outed by an Oscar winner who is his former student.
Independence Day: This one is very unrealistic. A tale about alien invasion of planet Earth that destroy all the major cities in the world in a day. However, it's so much fun to watch. I suggest you see it. Apparently a lot of people agree with me, it was the top grossing film in the U.S. in 1996.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: A sequel of the Raider of the Lost Ark. This time, Dr. Jones (Harrison Ford) battled an evil shaman in India over some magical phallic rocks. Fun to watch, but I think it's scarier than the first one. I like it a lot.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The third movie in the series started by Raider of the Lost Ark. This time, Dr. Jones and Dr. Jones Senior (Sean Connery) were looking for the Holy Grail. Great Fun.
It Could Happen To You: In this romatic comedy, a cop (Nicholas Cage) tipped a waitress (Bridget Fonda) with half of his lotto winning. Then the two good-hearted people fell in love, but without some obstacles from his wife. Maybe the second best movie about adultery (the best one is Cousins.) Sappy, but did I tell you I like sappy? I like it.
Jacob's Ladder: Tim Robbins is a postman who think there is a conspiracy against him. I like this film. Some people don't like it. See this and think for yourself. Lots of weird images.
J.F.K. : This is a masterpiece cinema by Mr. Oliver Stone. You can catch Kevin Costner in one of his better roles here too. I don't agree with a lot of "evidences" in the film but, still, it's a great film. (For an inaccuracy about ballistics, you should at least take a look at Penn & Teller's How To Play With Your Food.)
Jaws: This is the movie responsible for me not knowing how to swim till I was 17. I saw it when I was a kid of about 8 and didn't go into deep water or oceans till I went to college. You can see Spielberg's talent for making thriller films even then. I believe it was remade, with minor detail changes, into Jurassic Park :-)
Jerry Maguire: This is a cool love story. Cuba Gooding Jr. got an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in this one. Renee Zellweger is beautiful. Her kid in the movie is very cute too. Great date movie, I say.
Jingle All The Way: This touching family pic about a workaholic dad played by Arnold Schwarzenegger trying to keep his Christmas day promise to his son is very well executed. I know they intentionally try to be manipulative, but the movie brought tears to my eyes :-) Very funny and touching.
Johnny Mnemonic: This movie is based on a short story by William Gibson (who penned the classic Neuromancer.) I hope the paper-to-film translation was defective because if the story is as bad as the movie, then Mr. Gibson has surely slipped. I can't recommend it even if I like Ms. Dina Myer in this film a lot.
The Joy Luck Club: A story about two generations of Chinese mothers and American daughters. I didn't watch it at first because of the name that I found funny. How wrong I was! This is a great drama film. Watch it when you are in a mellow mood.
L.A. Confidential: Great story about police corruption in 1950's Los Angeles. Just go see it, O.K? Can't tell you more.
La Femme Nikita: I saw this French thriller/drama in Theater 7 times. Something about gorgeous woman (Anne Parillaud) with big guns and the will to use it got me. A lot of inaccuracy about weaponry, but that's O.K. It was remade into an American film called "Point of No Return" starring Bridget Fonda (which was released in Asia as "Assassin" which is definitely NOT the same one as "Assassins" starring Sylvestor Stallone and Antonio Banderas, phew!) Just in case I didn't make myself clear, I love this movie.
The Last Seduction: Linda Fiorentino plays a role of a lifetime--a cold, seductive, ruthless temptress. She should have won an Oscar.
Leaving Las Vegas: This is the film that Nicolas Cage got his Best Actor Oscar. Very absorbing and depressing film. It's a great movie, just don't see it when you are down or on depressant drug. Elizabeth Shue (whom I followed since Karate Kid) got nominated for Best Actress also.
Lethal Weapon: This one is the first in a series of cop buddy movies starred by Mel Gibson and Danny Glover. It's a fine action movie. Mel Gibson looks crazy just like what he is supposed to be. This movie was a fine advertisement for the Beretta F-92 guns used in the film.
Lethal Weapon 2: More of fine actions with comedic relief from Joe Pesci. They battle scum racists here.
Lethal Weapon 3: The crews from the last movie team up with gorgeous Rene Russo battling bad guys once again. Yet another fun-filled action flick.
Lethal Weapon 4: This is a very funny, action-packed movie. As usual, Riggs and Mertaugh battle the bad guys, but this time, the big boss is a Chinese Kung Fu Master (Jet Li.) This movie shows that moderate number of Kung Fu scenes is so much more effective than constant bombardment in most Hong Kong action movies. Also starring Rene Russo, Joe Pesci, and CHRIS ROCK!!!
The Lion King: This is the top grossing animated film of all time. Gorgeous-looking. Funny. Perfect for kids and adults alike (well, my kind of adults anyway. Those of you who are too serious please go away :-) Exactly what I expect from Disney's Animation.
The Little Mermaid: This is the animated film that marked Disney's return to Greatness. Beautiful animation, great songs. Go see it.
Little Women: This adaptation of Jane Austen's story is well made. The scene looks authentic and the "little women" are cute. Although, Ms. Winona Ryder overacts a bit some of the time. Claire Danes looks a lot better in Romeo & Juliet. I recommend it.
The Long Kiss Goodnight: Geena Davis rules in this action/thriller. It's very fun to watch. Although the story is quite run-of-the-mill, the mayhems are accomplished beautifully resulting in a very pleasurable movie experience. One of my friends said "It's Gooooooood" and you should believe her. Hmm...did I mention that Geena Davis rules?
Lost In Space: This 1998 remake of a TV series is full with computer graphics. A lot of beautiful effects. However, the story is very muddy and the acting lightweight. Anyway, I had a lot of laughters seeing it with my friends from Atrium. If you are very uncritical of movies like me, it worths a look. If you are normal human being, you might be annoyed by it. (May 22, 1998)
The Lover: I believe that the book on which this movie is based must be very good, otherwise they wouldn't make a kiddie porn like this for general public. If you don't mind sex which looks underage, take a look.
Kids: This is a brutal portray of many of the kids these days. Lots of teenage sex here. Some look definitely underage. It's a good movie in a sense that it is a realistic simulation of our reality, but I couldn't eat my lunch afterward.
Kull The Conquerer: This medieval tale of swords and sorcery is very forgetable. See it if you are a masochist. You will be entertained by such profound quote as "With this axe, I rule." Oh, you might also be amused by the heavy metal music during all the fight scenes.
Mad City: John Travolta is a phenomenally unlucky ex-security guard of a museum who tried to get his job back but end up being a hostage taker with all the associated problems (FBI snipers, jail, etc.) Dustin Hoffman is a TV reporter accidentally trapped inside the museum and used the opportunity to get a scoop for his news program. I like it. Not much, but like it anyway. If you are in a mood for drama or you are a fan of either Travolta or Hoffman, you might like it. (Aug 14, 1998)
Mall Rats: This is a very entertaining story about young people who just hang around the malls and win back lost loves. Lots of laughters for me. The scene about "Stinking Palm" alone guarantee its comedic place in my heart. Jason Lee is very funny here.
The Man in the Iron Mask: This film about Louise XIV and the 3+1 Musketteers starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Gabriel Bryne, Jeremy Irons, Gerard Depardieu, and John Malkovich is fun to watch. I especially like the middle-aged musketteers in action. The scenary is very beautiful too.
Mars Attacks!: This is an off-beat parody of all the bad sci-fi movies during the 50's and 60's. Tim Burton made a perfect movie for me. I think it's a great film but it did bomb at the box-office.
Michael: John Travoltra played the archangel Michael in this film. The problem I have with it is its lack of focus. They tried to make too many points in this movie. As a result, nothing memorable came out of it. Not recommended.
Mimic: Huge, mutated, genetically engineered insects who come back to meet their makers. Exciting actions of course, but quite predictable. I like it anyway. Ms. Mira Sorvino played the biologist who started it all.
Mortal Combat: I was a big fan of Mortal Combat arcade game series. Imagine my disappointment when I see this PG-13 movie ruining all the R-rated-ness of the games. Bad fighting movies, bad acting, and bad effects prevent me from recommending it, however, I still think Bridget Wilson is cute.
Mr. Holland's Opus: This is a great film. Do yourself a favor and see it. It's about a highschool music teacher whose "temporary gig" became his career. I believe most of us know some influential teachers like Mr. Holland. Richard Dreyfus is Mr. Holland and Glen Headley is his wife.
Mulan: This animated Disney film about a Chinese girl who dressed as a man to go to war in place of her father is very enjoyable. I am also pleased to report that Mulan is the first female lead character from Disney who does not have an enormously curvy figure. (I was amazed at how they drew Pocahontas a few years back.) It's touching, funny, and sappy like what I expect from Disney animation. Eddie Murphy is very funny as the voice of a minuscule dragon named Mushu. So far (mid 1998), Disney animation still looks better than any other attempts by other studios. (Oct 9, 1998)
Murder At 1600: Wesley Snipe and Diane Lane star in this murder mystery set at the White House. Interesting whodunit. Basically, an attractive female White House staff was murdered and we have to guess who killed her and who tried to cover it up. Not a bad movie, I say.
Naked Gun: This slapstick comedy starring Leslie Nielson was a hoot for me. However so many of my friends think that it was just a stupid movie. What do they know? Go watch it! (You can see O.J. here too.)
Naked Gun 2-1/2: Despite its name, this is the second Naked Gun movie. Same slapstick formula which I like.
Naked Gun 33-1/3: This playing with the sequel numbers is getting tired. This is the last Naked Gun movie so far. I still like it but I don't think I will like the next one. :-)
Natural Born Killers: This Oliver Stone film is ultraviolent. So, if you cannot stomach gut and gore, don't even think about watching it. Those of you who can, take a look. You will either love it or hate it. I love it.
The Nightmare Before Christmas: This is a tour de force in stop-motion technique of making animated movie. You should at least take a look at how much work is done moving all those characters. Young children probably won't like it--it might be a bit too scary. Like I said, you should take a look at the technical aspect of the film. It was not that entertaining to me as a story but the technique blew me away.
Nothing To Lose: I like this movie. It is a comedy about a guy who lost everything and, on top of that, was robbed by an amateur car jacker. The surprise is that the would-be robber becomes the hostage and they have a lot of adventure together.. Starring Tim Robbins, Martin Lawrence, and Kelly Preston.
One Night Stand: The only good things about this movie are the gorgeous Natasha Kinski and Ming Na Wen. I don't like it. But you shouldn't believe all I say, judge for yourself.
The Parent Trap: This is a fun movie from Disney. Newcomer Lindsay Lohan plays two characters who are separated twins in this movie and they are soooo cute. Made me want to have children but then it was just another case of me confusing fiction with reality again. :-) The story has been told on screen many, many times, so the fun came from watching Ms. Lohan's superb acting. (Sept 26, 1998)
The Peace Maker: The plot is fine but the acting is pretty bad. Nicole Kidman is totally unconvincing as a Nuclear Weapon expert. I didn't like it.
Philadelphia: This is a great portray of an AIDS-inflicted homosexual lawyer. Tom Hanks is great in the leading role. (And I thought he could only act in comedy roles.) The acting is superb but I felt so sad watching it. Not for people in the down mood. My sister Kik likes it very much.
Pocahontas: Disney screwed up in this one. After a series of hits (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King), this one disappointed. Hunchback of Notre Dame and Hercules are better. If you have to choose NOT to see a Disney animation, choose this one.
Point of No Return: A rip-off of La Femme Nikita. See the original first if you have a choice. Released in Asia as "Assassin" (with no extra s at the end.)
The Postman: This movie was considered to be one of the worst movie in 1998. It's about 3 hours long and starred and directed by Kevin Costner. Now, I didn't expect anything from the movie since everyone says it's terrible. I rented it on video because I vaguely heard that David Brin, a famous science fiction writer, is associated with it somehow. I have to admit that the idea about the restoration of the United States after a global civilization meltdown, initiated by a guy pretending to be a postman and hence a civil servant, is intriguing. However, the execution of the story on the screen is too overly dramatic and flawed. I like the idea of the movie, but not the movie itself.
Powder: This story about a young man with psychic abilities caused by his extraordinary birth is interesting but not that interesting. It's O.K. to watch in a mellow mood, I think. If you want intensity, this is probably not the movie for you.
Predator: Arnold Schwarzenegger led an elite special force team battling a formidable hunter from outer space. Need I say more?
Predator 2: Another formidable hunter from outer space. This time, it's in the concrete jungle. See it.
Pulp Fiction: This is a great film. The conversations are very funny. The acting is very good. John Travolta got his comeback break from decade-long hiatus in this film. Samuel L. Jackson's recital of the Bible before blasting his targets away is done with such intense conviction that it's comedic. All in all, I like the film a lot. (When it was showed in Thailand, a lot of people didn't like it because the subtitle was very bad. The viewers missed a lot of the stories. To them, my sympathy.) On the other hand, if you don't like violence, don't see it. It's a violent film.
Raider of the Lost Ark: Here we are introduced with Dr. Indiana Jones the archeologist/adventurer extraordinaire. It wasn't much younger than Starwars, but I find it a lot more re-watchable. Still a great movie after all these years.
The Rainmaker: This is an adaptation of John Grisham's book of the same name. It is directed by Francis Ford Coppola. What can I say? It's a good court room drama from one of the best writers about the subject, fleshed out by very competent actors (Matt Damon, Danny DeVito, John Voight, Clair Danes, Danny Glover, etc.), and made by a great movie making team. I don't think you can go wrong watching it. However, it might help if you never read the book before. In my experience, 95% of the time, if I read the book first, the movie based on the same book would seem lesser than it actually is. Anyway, if you in a drama mood, see it. (June 14, 1998)
Red Bike Story (จักรยานสีแดง): This is a Thai movie. It is basically a marketing ploy by the studio (Grammy Film) to promote their singers (Tata Young & Mos) and their sister company's (Grammy) albums. They assumed that most Thai viewers who would see this movie are easily fooled. Very insulting to me. Cinemax was showing this "movie" in the Southeast Asia region, so I took a dip. Bad, bad move. The story sucks, the script is non-existent, the acting is so bad I'm very reluctant to associate the word "act" with it. I apologize for my country if you have a misfortune to see this movie. You can knock your head against a concrete floor to get the same kind of pain you can get from watching this movie. Please don't see it.
The Relic: This thriller featuring the beautiful Penelope Ann Miller as a museum curator (!) in a story of a monster created by unnatural DNA hybridization is exciting throughout. Some gruesome scenes. I like it.
The Replacement Killers: Chow Yun Fat, a Hong Kong superstar, made his U.S. film debut here. The acting is slightly better than most Hong Kong action films. You won't be disappointed if you like cheap thrill and you don't compare it to Face/Off. Mira Sorvino is the best part of this movie. She is beautiful and you can tell she is tough. She shoots a lot too. Do you notice that I like beautiful women with guns? I think so.
Return of The Jedi: The third installment in the Starwars Trilogy. The effects look much better than Starwars. I like Jabba and Ewoks, and the scantily cladded Princess Leia. I'm looking forward to watching more movies about Starwars universe in 1999.
Return To Blue Lagoon: Frankly, the only thing I was watching was the young Milla Jovovich. It was a long time ago and I don't even remember much anymore.
Robocop: Violent. Funny. Sarcastic look at our future. I love it. Pay attention to the news programs and commercials in the story. ED-209 looks very cool.
The Rock: This is a great action film starring Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage. Very exciting all the way through. You got VX-gas, F-18, Thermite Plasma, and assortment of firearms and explosions. :-) The acting is crisp. The story is also tight, no holes there.
Romy and Michele's Highschool Reunion: This is a cute, little funny story about two blondes going back to their reunion trying to look like accomplished businesswomen. Miro Sorvino is beautiful. I love the little frown she has when she starts to say something.
Scream: I saw a lot of horror films when I was a teenager. Most of them suck. Here is a horror film that doesn't suck for a change. Every time I thought I knew who the killer was, I was slapped totally by the plot twist. See it, if you don't mind some blood and gut.
Scream 2: A sequel that is about as good as the original. Neve Campbell gave a respectable impression of Linda Hamilton in Terminator films here :-) I like the original slightly more, but my sister Kik prefers this one. (Did you take a look at her when she was young?)
Showgirls: This movie contains a lot of nude scenes, dance scenes, and Las Vegas. How come I fell asleep? It's scary how off-the-mark the guy who made Robocop was in making this film.
Single White Females: Battle of the Babes. Bridget Fonda and Jennifer Jason Leigh are roommates in this thriller. One of them is psychotic. The scene with that high-heel shoe stuck indelibly in my brain now. You can watch worse movies than this one.
Sleepless In Seattle: Two of my favorite actors are here--Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Unfortunately, this doesn't help the movie much for me. The movie maker tried to hard to make it romantic. Too artificial, I say. If you want romantic comedy, go see Forget Paris, When Harry Met Sally, or Addicted To Love.
Sling Blade: Billy Bob Thornton's acting alone make your viewing of this film worthwhile. Great low-key film about a good-hearted retarded man who murdered his mother and her lover with a sling blade when he was a child. He was released and befriended a boy and his mother who has an abusive boyfriend.
Snake Eyes: This is a Brian DePalma's thriller about an assassination investigation by a lone cop in a space of a few hours. It's so-so for me. I enjoyed watching it in the theatre but didn't think about it afterward. (Nov 1, 1998)
Some Kind of Wonderful: I love this movie as a teenager. Mary Stuart Masterson is a secretly-admiring tomboy buddy of a guy (Eric Stoltz) who loves another girl (Lea Thomson.) This is one of my first laserdisc purchases. I like it a lot.
Species: This one has Ben Kingsley in it. I bet Mr. Kingsley must have felt some regret for having his part in this film--he was in Gandhi and now this? My disappointment accumulates when I realize that the great H.R. Giger, who designed the original look for Alien, also has his hand in designing this lame Cil monster. The best thing for me is to look at Natasha Henstridge taking her clothes off but she kept turning into a monster a few seconds later. Make up your mind, damn it! I can't concentrate! Anyway, it sucks pretty bad.
Sphere: This sci-fi movie has Dustin Hoffman, Samuel L. Jackson, Sharon Stone, and is directed by Barry Levinson. The story is by Michael Crichton. So, how can it be bad? I don't know. I guess I expected too much from everyone and when their performance is just so-so, I was disappointed. I mean, it involves a time machine which, to me, is very interesting. Just that I didn't buy the magic-like power of the Sphere. Then again, Arthur C. Clarke said that a sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Don't expect much and you might be O.K.
Starman: This cross-species (Terran + Extraterrestrial) romantic movie is a joy to watch. I saw it the first time when I was about 16 or so. The last time I saw it was in 1997; it's still good. Jeff Bridges and Karen Allen starred.
Starship Troopers: The acting is wooden, but who care? The alien bugs (inappropriately called Arachnids in the movie--don't they know they can confuse children? Arachnids have 8 legs, the aliens have only 4.) look so real. The computer graphics that went into making those bugs alive is stunning. Its tongue-in-cheek style appeals to me perfectly. Dina Myer is perfect as a woman soldier. Michael Ironside seems like he had a lot of fun starring in the film. Totally different from Robert Heinlein's book of the same name. The book is a lot more serious. Paul Verhoven (who also made Robocop and Showgirl) make a great movie here. (Sadly, it bombed at the box-office.)
Star Trek: The Motion Picture: This is the first Star Trek movie in theater. Captain Kirk acted his overacting self. The effect is ridiculous by today's standard. The bad guy is some unknown space cloud called V-GER. Terrible acting. See it and laugh.
Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan: O.k. this one is a bit better. Kirk had to fight his old enemy Khan. We got to see Kirk's wife and son too. The effect is still ridiculous.
Star Trek 3: The Search For Spock: More Star Trek exploit. This time, they have to rescue the reincarnated Spock on a marooned planet. The effect is tolerable this time.
Star Trek 4: The Voyage Home: O.k. this one was directed by Leonard Nimoy (Spock) and it was quite good. Basically, Captain Kirk and Co. time-traveled to save the whales.
Star Trek 5: The Undiscovered Country: US-Russian detente replayed in the Federation-Klingon Universe. Worse than the last one.
Star Trek: Generations: Some weird spatio-temporal distortion made possible the meeting between Admiral Kirk and Captain Jean Luc Picard. Now we know who is the better actor! :-) Probably the last milking by Admiral Kirk of the Star Trek silversceen franchise. I was annoyed by Data's stupid choice to try to be just like human emotionally. Still, I enjoyed it.
Star Trek: First Contact: This is the first Star Trek movie featuring only the cast of the Star Trek: The Next Generation series. This time the Enterprise crews had to fight the Borg whose plan to take Earth by time-travel(!) must be stopped. Once again, Data annoyed the heck out of me by denigrating himself trying to be like us normal human.
Starwars: It was the greatest movie the first time I saw it. However, after a decade or so, it looks kind of quaint and funny. The special effects were awesome in its time. A lot of imagination in its universe. I don't think teenagers these days would appreciate it that much. As a matter of fact, when I saw its re-release in 1997 in Thailand, I heard a few of the kids talking after the movie about sleeping through it. The best scene when I rewatched it was when Darth Vader was flying his Tie-Fighter and tracking his target by dialing some knob in front of him. If you didn't notice that, take a look the next time you watch it.
Strange Days: This flick didn't do that well in the box office. Don't let that fool you though. Its story about racial tension and police cover-up at the turn of the millenium (THIS millenium, which one do you think? :-) grips me totally. The Superconducting Quantum Interference Device (SQUID) that can record and play back human thoughts is totally cool. I wonder when we will get that.
Terminal Velociy: This action film starring Natasha Kinsky and Charlie Sheen (yep, I put her name first) about Russian spies and an American parachutist is quite fun to watch. However, it is not a distinctive film. So, if you expect just a plain, reasonably exciting action film, you will be fine.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Tekken 2 and Tekken 3: Well, they are Sony Playstation games, but someone should expand the animations into a full-length animated film. As it stands, the animation part is better than 99% of all the computer graphics commercials upto 1997. My friend Paweenwich mentioned this to me a while back and I think he is absolutely right. Oh, the animation in Soul Edge (Soul Blade in the U.S.) should be expanded too. (Note that all three games mentioned are made by the same company, Namco.)
There is Something About Mary: This is a major surprise hit of 1998. The Farrelly Brothers who made Dumb and Dumber and King Pin brought us this hilarious movie. It's rude, crude, and vulgar. It's also totally enjoyable for me. I love the scene in which an amphetamine-crazed Benji started attacking people. Cameron Diaz is Mary. (Nov 6, 1998)
Tomorrow Never Dies: This is the second James Bond movie starring Pierce Brosnan. This one sucks. When the acting is not wooden, it's too much. Implausible plot, but then I cannot blame a James Bond movie for that. Teri Hatcher (of Loise & Clark TV series) looks so aged. That Hong Kong actress seems to forget that she is not acting in a Hong Kong action movie and it's O.K. to actually act. Jonathan Price's talent is wasted on a bad script. The only things I like are the cool toys that Q gave to James Bond. Compare this with Golden Eyes.
Top Gun: A fine USAF recruitment film about "Maverick" fighter pilots. Tom Cruise got his big break here. Meg Ryan was in it as Mother Goose's wife for a short time too. If you like acrobatic flying F-14s, see it. It was exciting for me.
Total Recall: This is another film by Mr. Paul Verhoven. It is quite disappointing for me, but only because I read a book upon which it was based and expected something different. All in all, it's a pretty violent fun-filled action film.
Toy Story: This is the first feature-length film made entirely with computer graphics. A few weeks later, the stock of Pixar, the company that made the film, went public making Mr. Steven Jobs (ex- and current CEO of Apple Computer) a billionaire. For all the buzz about CG, the thing that made this movie great is the story. It's a great story for kids and young-at-heart adults. Love it.
True Lies: This is another Cameron-Schwarzenegger dynamite film (beside Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day.) Great actions, lots of details about weapons. See it if you like action films. Mr. Cameron always pays attention to details. You should see his film multiple times to absorb those small details. :-)
The Unbearable Lightness of Being: This is a long movie about a doctor (Daniel Day Lewis), his wife (Juliet Binoche), and his mistress (Lena Olin) in Czechoslovakia around the time of Russian invasion. The way I like it is similar to the way I like The English Patient. Like a good, inviting book. Oh, lots of nudity too.
Under Siege: This film has Steven Seagal in it. To my utter surprise, it rocks! This is a great action film about a battleship hijack. The hero is an ex-SEAL chef who must retake the ship from lots of mean bad guys. Lots of firearms and close-quartered battles. Mr. Seagal should just play this part in all his other films--he is good in it. A man must know his limitation.
Under Siege 2: Dark Territory: This is a sequel of a Steven Seagal's movie and surprise to the n-th power, it still rocks! This time a train is hijacked by a mad genius who turns it into a temporary command center to dole out destruction from artificial satellite-induced seismic activities. Mr. Seagal reprises his role as an ex-SEAL chef on vacation who must retake the train from lots of mean bad guys. Fun fun fun.
The Unforgiven: This is one of the best Western movies ever. Clint Eastwood starred and directed. He won a Best Picture Oscar for this one. Everyone acted well. Great story. Please see it for yourself.
The Untouchable: No, the film is not about the untouchable caste in India. It refers to a group of incorruptible policemen who battled Al Capone. This is a fine cinema. Sean Connery is in it.
The Usual Suspects: This great film is about a group of criminals who accidentally met in a police station when they were questioned about a crime. The following two hours is pure entertainment. See this and be amazed.
U-Turn: This Oliver Stone picture about a stranger accidentally stuck in a town full of strange people has a very distinctive style. Weird angle shots abound. The plot is not half bad either. Enjoyable little thriller.
John Carpenter's Vampires: This is a very entertaining movie about a team of vampire slayers contracted by the Vatican to eradicate the undead. James Wood is the tough, foul-mouthed head-honcho of the vampire slayer team. Ironically, I laughed the most when he kicked a priest's ass. :-)
Volcano: I understand that this movie bombed at the boxoffice. I didn't expect much from it and found it to be quite enjoyable. Basically, the La Brea tar pit in downtown L.A. became a new volcano and emergency response teams must deal with it. I think it is quite exciting. I guess that the movie was a victim of its own hyperhype that caused a lot of viewers to be disappointed by their own expectation. Not for me, I didn't expect much and I got a lot more than I hope. So, don't expect to see a masterpiece, just take a look and enjoy the excitement and you will be a bit more happy.
Wayne's World: This is definitely one of the Great Comedies of All Time. The title characters (Wayne and Garth) from Saturday Night Live come to the big screen and they don't suck. It was responsible for the resurgent popularity of Queens' Bohemian Rhapsody a few years back. Party On, Wayne.
Wayne's World 2: This one is not worthy, even with Kim Basinger.
Waterworld: This one does not look like Kevin Costner spent $175 million making it. The plot has a hole the size of Atlantic ocean. I consider my time wasted.
The Wedding Singer: This is a surprisingly enjoyable movie for me. Adam Sandler plays the titled role set in mid 1980's. I'm a fan of Mr. Sandler since his Saturday Night Live days, especially his roles as Opera Man and Canteen Boy. I don't think the movies he made since quitting SNL are that great. Sure, I saw all of them, but I still think none of them can be truly called a good film. This one, however, is a good film. Funny and romantic. I like it from the first to last minute. Ms. Drew Barrymore is his love in this film and she is always radiant. See it with your sappy loved one. I wished I could have seen it for the first time with my girlfriend but she was about 12,000 miles away at the time:-) I also got a chance to see John Lovitz and Kevin Nealon who were great comedians from SNL here. It's quite scary to have a period movie set in the mid 80's, I must have aged a lot. (June 13, 1998)
When Harry Met Sally: Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan play a long time friends who happens to have sex one night. Great romantic comedy. Mr. Crystal went on to make Forget Paris while Ms. Ryan went on to make Sleepless in Seattle. I can see some "code reuse" here.
Wild Things: Denise Richards AND Neve Campbell!!! :-) This whodunit mystery is surprisingly good. Good story. I couldn't predict the ending. I think it's worthy of your time. (July 1, 1998. Yeah, I know it's Wednesday :-)
William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet: The visual designs are just awesome in this contemporary rendition of Mr. Shakespeare's famous play. Leonardo Di Caprio and Claire Danes starred in the title roles. I like it very much. Stimulate my visual cortex a lot. Look at the neon crosses in the church, for example :-) I bought their Interactive CD (that was made with Macromedia Director) just to see more designs and artworks.
The X-Files: Fight The Future: Mulder and Sculley uncover mysterious events on the big screen. This involve a bunch of mysterious old people who scheme to rule the world/cut a deal with aliens, the aliens themselves, deadly virus, flying saucers, and grotesque corpses. If you ask me, I think they are the luckiest people in showbiz since Captain Kirk. However, I enjoyed the movie because of the magnitude of the conspiracy involved. The Antarctica scene is very pretty. Watch it and check out the skeptic websites too.