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Apollo 13

April 29, 2012
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The year is 1970 and it is another “basic” launching. Apollo 13 is not the first to be launched into space and therefore is seen as old news getting very little attention from the public who are all still interested in the Apollo 11 mission with Niel Armstrong. Apollo 13 is based on of the actual event that grabbed the nations attention as it faithfully tried to come back home. This real life story hits home for many people who witnessed these events take hold and the families that were forced to wait and watch to see if their loved ones would ever again call Earth home and be able to return to them.

The Apollo 13 Accident was thought of as an unlucky flight before it launched. 13 was thought of as a bad number at this thought was added to by the launch time being 1300 hours and 13 minutes on the 13th of April. No one could have for seen what actually went wrong however. Tom Hanks plays Jim Lovell who was led astronaut for this mission. Him and two other astronaut’s were bumped from their original flight on Apollo 14 a mere six months before the launch of Apollo 13 because the lead astronaut on the original 13 crew was having constant ear infections. Fred Haise (played by Bill Paxton) and Jack Swigert (played by Kevin Bacon) accompanied Lovell on the Apollo 13 mission as well. When assigned this mission Lovell’s wife Marilyn starts having nightmares about things going terribly wrong with the flight and can not stand even being at the launching and decides to stay home instead of attending. Throughout this movie the pass is kept up with suspense and excitement along with complete terror as a person watches the reaction of what truly happened. The movie itself is a great showing of how someone might have felt during those times and shows this to a generation that was unable to witness this disaster first hand. Though it is based on a real story it wouldn’t be unbelievable that Hollywood added some dramatic effects to the movie making it more interesting for the public though they did stay close to the truth as far as I can tell.

This movie is pretty amazing and it may just be the context that it was made off of which is really the amazing part. The Apollo 13 mission was one that was thought would never return and it did. The effort that it took to bringing these three men home was outstanding that it shows through the movie that there were so many people who were a part of doing this safely. What is portrayed through the movie seems as close to the truth as any Hollywood company could get and is a great feat for the movie itself because with a movie like this where the people who were actually apart of this disaster still being alive you want it to represent what they went through and honor them in as many ways as you can while making it. Over all I think that this movie accomplished just that and really enjoyed it and what it actually taught me.

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Jurassic Park

April 27, 2012
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When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth. Or when they were genetically engineered to rule over one island after being extinct for thousands of years. This movie was made in 1993 and for the time I can’t help but be amazed by the graphics and all of the other technology that was used to make this movie. Jurassic Park was a movie that I think was way ahead of its time. The CGI in this movie was outstanding for who knows why but some how it worked out well, better than many more recent Dino movies that have failed to recreate the magic of the dinosaurs that Steven Spielberg created in his exciting trilogy.

Jurassic Park was a big success for Universal Studios. The lead heroes did a great job working with the CGI to the point were any interaction seems so real, the acting was great throughout this movie. Sam Neil played an outstanding Dr. Alan Grant and they could not have picked a better candidate to play this once in a life time character. His role though out this movie and the second and third movies is so vivid that it makes it seem as though this could really happen (there have been conspiracies that this did happen and in fact Universal created the dinos using the methods done in the movie and then trained the dinos to act). The leading ladies of this film also helped make it everything that it has become with Laura Dern playing Dr. Ellie Sattler and young Ariana Richards playing Lex Murphy. Of course Lex would have no fun without her little brother Tim Murphy played by Joseph Mazzello with the two creating an extra dynamic throughout the movie.

And of course what movie would be complete without bad guys? Wayne Knight plays seemingly harmless Nerdy one of the computer experts hired to help maintain the island but as the audience finds out is working for a competitive company who wants the secrets from the island. This adds a little extra something to the movie because the threat of being eaten by reincarnated dinosaurs is not enough obviously there has to be a bad guy thrown in so he can have justice served to him in cruel ways as in this movie he is spat on by a littler carnivore the Dilophosaurus and that takes care of that problem.

In the end the survivors escape and the good guys are rescued by helicopter allowing the critters to roam free over the island as nature intended leaving us with a victorious roar and a banner that reads WHEN DINOSAURS RULED THE EARTH.

This movie is of course amazing if I have not said that already. Taking in everything that it has to offer plus calculating just how great it was for 1993 it has to be given as many thumbs up as possible. If a person has not seen this movie for some reason I would recommend highly that they go watch it and continue watching Jurassic Park 2 and 3. Though I have grown to love these movies maybe not everyone does so if not keep your opinions to yourself.

In the Line of Fire

April 26, 2012
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So this movie had a lot going for it. To begin, it starred Clint Eastwood, a CIA agent assigned to protect the president. The story line throughout the movie was really strong as well, it had a good pass to it and was really enjoyable. The plot was thick with action and I really liked it as an over all movie. The cast seemed to have great chemistry and each character had a little something that made them intriguing.

For those of you who haven’t seen this movie here is what happens. Eastwood’s character Frank Horrigan is a CIA agent who can not get his mind of November 22, 1963 when he was hand picked agent to project President Kennedy by Kennedy himself. Of course we all know that Kennedy was one of the few presidents who have been assassinated and this torments Horrigan because he is one of the few agents to have a president die on him. This is a problem for him when he is assigned to the new president who is running for re-election and therefore has a tour schedule. This is where Mitch Leary comes in (played by John Malkovich). He is upset with the government because he thinks that the are not doing their jobs right and because of this he plans to assassinate the president. Leary has studied Horrigan for years because of the previous assassination that he was involved in. This ties the two together in a weird way and Leary starts to taunt Horrigan about the up and coming assassination attempt. In any attempt to save the president Horrigan asks if they can change his schedule so that Leary will not know where he will be at all times but this is rejected and Horrigan is forced to come up with another way. This time he is ready to take a bullet to save the president and will do anything to stop Leary with the support of his Secret Service Director Sam Campagna (played by John Mahoney).

This may be one of Eastwood’s best movies or at least him at his best as he portrays the mentally conflicted agent who wants to correct his mistakes of the past by refusing to let them happen again. This movie is no stop amazingness and I think that it is really relatable. Though there has been no assassination attempts lately (that we know of) there is still always that pending doom ever since 9-11 and though this movie was made before then it just shows how this movie can be preserved in today’s time and probably in decades to come. And though not everyone believes there will always be a threat to our president’s this movie shows that there is always some kind of threat and there are always those people who will stop at nothing to prevent it from happening. I have to respect Eastwood for his portrayal of a real American hero and even though this is a fictional story there are men like Frank Horrigan who would take a bullet and that should be honored. I think everything should watch this movie and I am glad that I had the opportunity to see it.

The 1990’s

April 25, 2012
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The 1990’s may seem like nothing important came from them but there were some large gains in the film industry, however, will every gain comes a demise and this was true when it came to budgeting films. In the 1990’s actors and actresses were starting to demand more and more un reasonable salaries and commodities such as private jets paid for by the studio and ridiculous hours. This made most movies cost more than $100 million dollars to make and produce which many didn’t bring back after release. Multiplexes became more popular throughout the 90’s while drive-ins seemed to decease all together. The DVD was created in 97 which is an important landmark in home entertainment. This lead to Blue Rays in the 2000’s. Also Dreamworks was founded in 1994 which became a top contender in the production of movies releasing popular hits soon after founding. Producing The Peacemaker in 97 and their first big animated movie Antz in 98.

Throughout the decade many things were happening outside of Hollywood and the movie making industry. The Timeline held some important events. To start off the decade in 1990 the Hubble Telescope was launched into space and Nelson Mandela was freed. In 91 the Soviet Union collapsed  and the Copper age man was found frozen in glacier along with the operation Desert Strom. 1992 lead to the end of the Cold War but held the Riots in Los Angeles after the Rodney King Verdict along with my birth (pretty important). In 1993 the world trade center was bombed and the use of the internet grew exponentially. 94 was the year that the Channel Tunnels opened in Europe connecting Britain and France as well as the election of Nelson Mandela as President of South Africa and O.J. Simpson’s arrest for double murder. In 1995 Oklahoma City was bombed and there was a Sarin Gas Attack in Tokyo subway. 96 was the year the Mad Cow Disease hit Britain and in 97 Princess Diana died in a car crash. Also in 97 Hong Kong returned to China, Pathfinder sent back images from mars, Scientists cloned a sheep, and Tiger Woods won the Masters. In 1998 India and Pakistan tested Nuclear weapons, Titanic became the most successful movie ever, and U.S. President Clinton was impeached. In 1999 the Euro became the new European currency, there was the fear of the Y2K Bug, JFK Jr. died in a plane accident, there was a killing spree in Columbine High School and the Panama Canal was returned to Panama.

This decade was full of good things along with bad like many decades are but I think that many of these things are forgotten about but maybe that is just because I was so young when it happened and it is all so recent that it hasn’t hit History class rooms yet. Whatever the reason, these things can not be ignored because they have had large effects on our history. The movie industry may not have been the most important thing during this decade but they took many things from it and learned along with it. There was success and failure much like in the real world and there was growth which is one of the most important things in any business or just in live in general.

Batman

April 25, 2012
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The rise of comic book movies started in the 80’s. Batman was a surprising success in 1989 when it was released. Starring the Joker as the main evil doer people were apparently drawn to it much like with the recent remake, people like these characters. In the 1989 version Batman or Bruce Wayne was played by Michael Keaton the original Batman set high standards because he did a great job at playing the misunderstood millionaire turned super hero. His double life seemed to conflict with his everyday life which is an important part of Batman. I think that it was well done throughout the movie even though the movie is a little cheesy in some place, over all it is a pretty good movie. A younger Jack Nicholson stared next to Keaton as The Joker, a character that is all together insane which is something Nicholson pulls off very well. The two face each other several times during the movie and each time is done well.

Besides the two main characters the supporting cast does a good job as well at setting the mood in Gotham. With all good comic book movies the hero needs to have a love interest and that is were Viki Vale comes in played by Kim Basinger. She plays a photographer for the local newspaper who teams up with Alexander Knox played by Robert Wuhl who suspects something is not right with the Bat figure that is being seen around town. The two sneak into the 250th Anniversary Ball celebrating the 250th year of Gotham City. This is where Viki meets Bruce and the two spark interest in one another. After their date Viki because curious about Bruce’s shy and personal mood and follows him to where he lays two roses in an ally. While all of this is happening The Joker kills off the head of the Criminal Leader and tries to take control but is rejected by the others. It all leads to one big show down at the Nuclear Plantation that was in the start of the movie. Here Batman and The Joker face off but it doesn’t end there. It leads to a parade that is happening down town where the Joker has sent hazards balloons. Batman swoops in to save the day of course. The Joker, a little ticked off, grabs Viki and brings her to the top of the cathedral where Batman and The Joker truly show down. In the end Batman is victor but not before he almost falls to his own death. Ending the movie with Batman giving the Gotham City Police the Bat signal for a way to call for help if ever need be.

This movie is comical in ways that it probably wasn’t supposed to be but I still found it entertaining. Over all pretty good movie if you are a comic book nerd or like the comics turned movie. I’m sure it doesn’t follow any comic book plot line but what movie does? I think this one is worth the watch.

Top Gun

April 25, 2012
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Maverick and Goose are probably one of the best bad boy duos from any decade. The two make a perfect team as they play the cool guys with no rules in Top Gun. This movie has a little bit of everything, action, romance, comedy, tragedy, you name it and it’s got it. Top Gun was made in 1986 back when Tom Cruise picked good roles to play and played them well. This is probably one of my favorite movies that he has made and it might simply be because I love Goose, he is one of the best side kicks of all time and every time that he dies I cry. Goose was played by Anthony Edwards and can also be seen in Revenge of the Nerds and played Dr. Mark Greene on the hit TV show E.R but I don’t think he ever reached such a high as he did after his portrayal of Goose. Cruise and Edwards were a great team and should be recognized for that. The leading ladies of this film were Kelly McGillis who played Charlie, Maverick’s love interest, and Meg Ryan who played Gosse’s love interest Carole.

Top Gun is a great movie about aircraft pilots for those who have not seen it. Maverick is kind of the hot shot who doesn’t really follow any rules but his own and gets in trouble for this. After some of his actions he is proved, against the captains wishes, as the best and is sent for additional combat training. Once at the new training base Maverick builds a rivalry with another pilot who goes by Iceman (played by Val Kilmer). As the movie progresses Maverick meets Charlie and the two start a relationship. Meanwhile on base Maverick shows off by “shooting down” and enemy pilot but in the process he flies in too low of altitude and gets chewed out by Iceman for his unsafe actions. As the competition between the two continues Maverick is once again in the air as a wingman and acts against the number one rule which is never to leave your wingman’s side getting both of them “shot down”. During one of the last drills Maverick and Iceman are teamed up but Maverick is upset because Iceman took too long to attack an enemy craft. Maverick takes the shot instead and when the two aircrafts get close something goes wrong and Maverick’s engines are out which makes them start to crash towards the sea. Goose who is sitting behind him this whole time barely gets the emergency ejection handles pulled and crashes into the canopy that has popped open, killing him. After Goose’s death Maverick isn’t the same and has a hard time flying the way he did before. After everything Maverick does graduate from the class and goes back to the base where an attack takes place. Iceman is sent out with a wingman who gets shot down and is surrounded by enemy pilots. This is when Maverick is deployed to help but gets freaked out when his engine dies out again but this time only for a brief period. Because of this he leaves Iceman in the hands of the enemy and his new RIO bitches him out for is telling him to go back. And that is pretty much the gist of that movie.

It is a great one to watch and one that I would call a Classic. If you haven’t already seen it or haven’t seen it for a while then I would recommend that you go watch it.

 

Back to the Future

April 24, 2012
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This movie is simply amazing. Another great 80’s film brought to us by director Robert Zemeckis. I can’t imagine why some one hasn’t seen this movie if there is even anyone left who hasn’t. The old 80’s technology does this movie justice, i couldn’t imagine having this remade with all of today’s technology ruining it. Part of the charm of this movie is how simple everything is, the future, the past, the present is all very consistent which is why it works. The plot really shines through and the characters have room to develop throughout the movie. Yes, this movie is about time travel which in itself is a pretty complicated subject for any decade to tackle but Zemeckis direction helps make it possible. Back to the Future might be one of the best time travel movies that I’ve personally seen.

For those who haven’t seen it for some reason here is kind of gist of what happens. Marty (played by Michael J. Fox) is a kid in high school who is friends with this old science guy named Dr. Emmett Brown (played by Christopher Lloyd) who has developed a time machine. When they are testing it out in the mall parking lot at night Marty learns that it is powered by some nuclear fuel that Doc got from some questionable middle eastern who come and attack them because the Doc had promised to build them bombs with it and has yet to do so. They come and shoot up the parking lot and Doc in the process. Marty jumps in the DeLorean, which is what Doc built the time machine in, and starts driving around the parking lot trying to escape the terrorists. Just as he reaches 88 mph he races off into the past, 1955 to be exact. In the past he meets the younger Doc who helps him try to get back to the future, he also meets his mom who develops a crush on him, and his father who is a helpless nerd. After a few different events Marty is sent back into the future and sees Doc get gunned down yet again as he races off in the DeLorean. As soon as the terrorists are gone he runs up to Doc who he finds alive thanks to a letter that Marty had written him in the past. The movie ends with Marty back at his home with his girlfriend in the driveway when Doc appears in the DeLorean which is now a hovercraft and needs Marty to come with him to the future to save his own son….To be Continued is what we are left with. Pretty intense and such a great movie.

After the movie Michael J. Fox starred in others but nothing that ever reached quite as big as the Back to the Future trilogy. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease later in live and was reduced to small roles as Parkinson’s started affected his acting. He is the voice of Stuart Little and has guest starred on multiple TV shows. He has also started the Michael J. Fox Foundation that is fighting to find the cure for Parkinson’s. He is a great actor and an amazing person who I belive should be recognized for his amazing accomplishments.