Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Rocky (1976)

"Cut me, Mick"

Before I post my review I want to let everyone out there know that I actually hate sports, a lot! I don't find them entertaining one bit, I am more of an arts person. That being said, Rocky is one of my favorite movies of all time!

Rocky follows the story of Rocky Balboa, a no one boxer who gets a once in a lifetime opportunity to fight the heavyweight champion of the world. Rocky was Sylvester Stallone's big break, after starring in a string of incredibly low budget films (including soft core porn). Stallone really fought for his vision to be seen and he really fought to star in the film and it proved he knew what he was doing. Rocky nabbed 10 Oscar nominations including Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay for Stallone. In the end the film walked away with 3 Oscars including the coveted Best Picture Oscar.

The film is incredibly moving and shows pure dedication. Stallone portrays Rocky as a warm hearted person who does what he has to, to get by in life. Rocky is collector for a loan shark but shows early on in the film that he has a heart when he lets one of the guys go even though he was told to break his thumbs. Rocky lives in a studio apartment and his only friends are 2 turtles and a fish. He spends his days trying to woo the sister of his friend Paulie, Adrian. The interesting thing about Rocky is that it's completely about the character of Rocky and not too much about the boxing event at the end of the film. When Rocky trains for the fight all he wants is to "go the distance" with Apollo Creed, he doesn't care about winning or losing, he simply wants to go the whole fight with him and in the end his efforts are proven when he loses the fight. And the amazing ending that everyone has parodied (Adrian!) is amazing because after all that, he doesn't care about losing or the press, all he wants is Adrian.

Stallone plays the role of Rocky as the most lovable guy in the world. He is very simple minded, but you love him for it. He continues to play the character like this throughout the entire series as well. The film series, and this one especially, are incredibly iconic. People travel to the Philadelphia Art Museum all the time just to run up the stairs (I've done it!) and the Rocky statue (which is presented in Rocky III) still stands at the art museum. The film is a part of American culture and it most definitely deserved to win the Best Picture Oscar!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Jason X (2001)

"It's okay! He just wanted his machete back!"

So, in 1993 New Line Cinema obtained the rights to Jason Voorhees, and they chose to kill the character off once and for all in the film Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday. After that the studio decided to work on getting Freddy vs. Jason done and in theaters. 8 years later they still had nothing, but they were close, so they decided to revisit Jason and bring us a new film.

Jason X finds us met up with Jason Voorhees (played for the fourth and final time by Kane Hodder) once again as he is being readied to be put into cryo freeze because he can't be killed. When this happens, Jason stabs the person in charge of this subsequently freezing her as well. Jump 450 years later and the two are unfrozen and taken aboard the Grendel space ship. Needless to say, unfreezing Jason wasn't such a good idea and good old fashion killings begin.

The film is nothing more than a "popcorn flick", it really shouldn't be taken seriously. It's one of the weaker installments in the series but not at the worst (at least when he went to space he was actually in space most of the time, as opposed to say, Manhattan). The film has really terrible performances from the actors in the movie, and none of them are people you've heard of before or since. This isn't the first film in a horror series to send their killer to space (Leprechaun and Hellraiser anyone?), but it's always a mistake. What's the point of sending Jason to space? There really isn't one, except to try and use CGI as much as possible. That all being said, the film has some nice little nods to the other films, like how he just wants to use his machete as opposed to a new weapon and of course the reenacted Part VII virtual reality scene.

And of course even though the "uber" Jason scenes were really unneeded and only there as a novelty act, it's kind of bad ass to see Jason like that. Also, Kane Hodder IS Jason Voorhees, he's the only person to play the role more than once and he's also the best. He made the character his own and this film is a lasting tribute to the character, mainly because of his unwillingness to die.

Overall the film is incredibly goofy and over the top, but again it's really just there for entertainment purposes. You can take it as a Friday the 13th film or you can just take it as a film to enjoy and laugh at.