Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category

Flying Your Film Flag

Posted: June 28, 2014 by moviebuff801 in Commentary

By: Michael “MovieBuff801” Dennos

This weekend’s release of Transformers: Age of Extinction, the fourth installment of Michael Bay’s billion-dollar franchise where giant alien robots do battle with each other, and cause lots of explosions in doing so, brings back what’s now become one of the biggest battles in and of itself in today’s film fan circles: the battle of film lovers vs. film snobs. Much like the ongoing war between the Autobots and Decepticons in these Transformers movies, it’s a fight which may most of the time occur “behind the scenes,” but whenever it comes to the forefront, it can sure get nasty. There are those who will argue that directors like Michael Bay are destroying Hollywood by continually pumping out big-budget CGI-fests and that anybody who goes to see them are merely contributing to that downfall, while others just have to say, “Why does it matter to you what I see?” The real question here, from my point of view, isn’t so much who’s right and who’s wrong, but why is this such a big issue in the first place?

Before I go any further, let me just say that in no way is this piece meant as a personal attack on anybody, nor am I trying to accuse anyone. It’s just that this issue has become too much for me as of late, so I felt like getting it out this way. Also, this is being written on the fly, without a clear structure in mind.

To begin with, ever since I started expressing my passion for film — of any kind — through reviews of them, I’ve always told myself to stay grounded and not become too cynical about the state of Hollywood these days or too snobbish about the films I see. My tastes may develop, but I don’t ever want to become too jaded. I believe that to be an important asset for a critic of any kind.  In his last few years, the late, great Roger Ebert (one of my main inspirations for choosing to review films in the first place) notoriously gained a new wave of popularity of a more negative sort by becoming a lot more lenient where his critiquing of films was concerned. For example, he gave films such as Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Snow White and the Huntsman each a rating of three and a half out of four stars. I myself, like the majority of others who saw those movies, wasn’t a fan of either of them; in retrospect, they both get worse the more I think about them. However, there was still something to be admired about the way that Mr. Ebert was able to have those opinions, express them succinctly and not be ashamed about having them in the first place. Even before his declining years, Ebert gave positive reviews to other widely-dismissed movies such as Adam Sandler’s remake of The Longest Yard and the update of The Honeymooners, starring Cedric The Entertainer.

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Harry Potter Films Ranked By MovieBuff

Posted: January 19, 2014 by moviebuff801 in Commentary, Lists, Retrospectives

By: Michael “MovieBuff801” Dennos

As I mentioned in the list of my Ten Favorite Harry Potter Film Scenes, I love this series a lot.  In fact, I consider it to be my personal favorite film series ever — and going through all the films for the umpteenth time yet again recently has only solidified that opinion.  Sure, I also love other series such as Indiana Jones and Back To The Future a good deal, but Harry Potter has and always will hold a special place in my heart.  Like most people my age, I grew up reading the books and watching the movies — in many ways, making it my generation’s Star Wars — so there’s a real connection I feel to these characters along with a great passion for JK Rowling’s universe and the inherent story.  I would happily spend more than eight films and seven books in this universe and with these characters.

For the longest time, I’ve toyed with ranking all the films definitively, coming away with a pretty loosey-goosey list, but have never really settled on an order … until now.  Plus, I knew I couldn’t write for this blog and NOT do at least one post about Harry Potter, so here it is: my concrete ranking of all eight Harry Potter films.

Cue the John Williams theme.

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Written by PeckNT

Why It Will Be GreatBD-S-7246

Show Us What We Don’t Know, Stop Telling Us What We Do

  • Snyder and Co can avoid an easy misstep by simply doing one thing right with the Batman vs Superman story, avoid showing us the origins of Batman (and the company he brings). The Bruce Wayne story is tried and true, most people are still familiar with the Nolan story, so don’t relent on wasting important runtime to re-explain familiar ideas. Burton grasped this idea well, with some exposition dialogue revealing Bruce’s pain, while also relying on flashbacks to show an emotional character. The worst thing Snyder can do is to re-tell a story we already know.batman-live-characters-745548959-3270667

Cut The Fat

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Leonardo-DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the great actors to have never won an Academy Award. Now this has been known for a long time, but it seems like the topic has been discussed a lot more recently, likely as a result of Leo not receiving an Oscar nomination for his work in Django Unchained. Now I’m definitely a DiCaprio fan and I’ve loved a lot of his performances, but I started to wonder if DiCaprio ever really should have won. Sure he’s a great actor with a lot of great performances under his belt, but one also has to consider the competition too. So that’s exactly what I’ve decided to do. I’m going to look at a handful of DiCaprio’s more prominent roles and films as well as the competition from each year in order to find out if DiCaprio really should have won by now. An asterisk indicates a nomination.

1993: What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?*

Leonardo-DiCaprio

In all honesty I haven’t seen this film in a long time, but Leo’s performance as stuck with me pretty well. DiCaprio has the role of a mentally disabled young boy and he handles it extraordinarily well. When playing mentally disabled people, it’s easy to fall into offensive territory, especially for a young actor. Thankfully DiCaprio never falls into that hole and portrays his character respectfully and accurately. It’s a great performance, though if I had to point out a weakness it would be that even though DiCaprio does a good job handling the mental disability, there isn’t much of a character out side of that. Granted, this is in part because DiCaprio is in a supporting role, but it’s worth considering all the same. That year, Tommy Lee Jones won the Oscar for a good, albeit not really Oscar worthy performance in The Fugitive. Also nominated however was Ralph Fiennes for a stunning turn in Schindler’s List. Another fine supporting performance came from Sean Penn in the underrated Carlito’s Way. In all honesty, out of the four actors mentioned I think I’d give the Oscar to Sean Penn first, and if not in him than Fiennes. So while DiCaprio made a great case for himself, there were better performances that year.

1996: Romeo and Juliet

Leonardo-DiCaprio

Geoffrey Rush won Best Actor for Shine (a movie I haven’t seen), but when I consider the great performances from Steve Buscemi in Fargo, Ewan McGregor in Trainspotting, Kenneth Branagh in Hamlet, and Billy Bob Thorton in Sling Blade, it’s clear Leo had a fair share of competition. More importantly his performance in Romeo and Juliet is actually pretty weak (the man isn’t a Shakespearean actor) and I only included the film because it is notable.

1997: Titanic

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The role that turned Leonardo DiCaprio into a household name and still one of his most beloved. In fact I don’t doubt a lot of people posting DiCaprio/Oscar memes think this is the film he should have won for. To his credit, DiCaprio is very good in Titanic. He’s charismatic, charming, and extremely likable. His performance is also one of the most memorable traits in the film. But with that said the character of Jack Dawson is pretty one-dimensional and uninteresting. He feels more like a woman’s fantasy than a real character. This is more of a flaw with the writing but it does limit how effective DiCaprio’s performance can be. Jack Nicholson won the category for his performance in As Good As It Gets, a film I haven’t seen, but given that it’s Jack Nicholson I’m sure it was a good performance. However also nominated was Matt Damon for Good Will Hunting in a performance just as charismatic as DiCaprio’s but with a lot more depth. The same can be said for Mark Wahlberg in Boogie Nights. Guy Pearce and Russell Crowe both gave great performances in L.A. Confidential but may have been seen as Supporting do to the ensemble nature of the cast. Hell I even think Ben Affleck gave a great performance in Chasing Amy, though I realize a nomination for a Kevin Smith film would never happen. Bottom line, while I could maybe see DiCaprio getting an Oscar nomination, he definitely did not deserve to win.

2002: Catch Me If You Can and Gangs of New York

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l_217505_603a98ceAfter Titanic, Leo had a few years of irrelevant films before coming out big working with Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese. His work in both films is very good. In Catch Me If You Can, DiCaprio takes the same charm and charisma he had in Titanic and applies it to a character with a lot more layers. He’s also pretty good in Gangs of New York, though the character isn’t very deep. Still it’s a good performance and the beginning of DiCaprio moving away from his stance as a teen idol. So let’s look at the competition. Adrien Brody won Best Actor for a very moving performance in The Pianist. Also nominated was Gangs of New York co-star Daniel-Day Lewis gave a phenomenal performance and Nicolas Cage for an unforgettable dual role in Adaptation. That year also gave us Tom Hanks playing against type in Road to Perdition, Ed Norton in 25th Hour, Tom Cruise in Minority Report, George Clooney in Solaris, and even Adam Sandler (yes, Adam Sandler) in Punch-Drunk Love. There were a ton of great performances in 2002. Of all of them, I’d probably have given the Oscar to Nicolas Cage who is amazing in Adaptation. If not him, than probably Daniel-Day Lewis for Gangs of New York or Ed Norton for 25th Hour. So no, I don’t think DiCaprio should have won in 2002. In fact, looking at all the great leading performances, I may not have even nominated either of DiCaprio’s performances.

2004: The Aviator*

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After over ten years, Leonardo DiCaprio finally was nominated for his second Oscar and I can say it was well deserved. DiCaprio is fantastic in The Aviator. He fully embodies Hughes and gives the man a lot of character and depth. Quite frankly he’s mesmerizing to watch and The Aviator might just be his best performance. But did he deserve to win the Oscar? Well, Jamie Foxx for Ray. Haven’t seen it, no comment. In fact other than DiCaprio, the only nominee I’ve seen is Clint Eastwood in Million Dollar Baby in one of his best dramatic roles. However, there are some great performances from non-nominees. Jim Carrey was incredible in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, a film which fully showed off is comedic skill but also downplayed it in favour of some very powerful dramatic beats. Tom Cruise went against type as a chilling badass in Collateral and Paul Giamatti was great in Sideways. There were some fine choices to choose from, and I honestly think it’s a very tough call between DiCaprio and Carrey.

2006: The Departed and Blood Diamond*

leonardo_dicaprio_the_departed

leo_narrowweb__300x46401In 2006, DiCaprio only starred in two films but both of which made an impact at the Oscars, earning a total of ten nominations between the two (five each). His performances in both films are quite good, bringing a lot of energy to the roles as well as a certain level of depth. Overall, I’d say his performance in The Departed is the superior role, but like I said he’s good in both films. But what about the competition? Well, Forest Whitaker won Best Actor for The Last King of Scotland, a film I haven’t seen. I have however seen nominee Ryan Gosling who gives one of his best performances as a drug addicted teacher in Half Nelson. That year also gave us strong work from Ken Watanabe in Letters from Iwo Jima, Clive Owen in Children of Men, Daniel Craig in Casino Royale, Hugo Weaving in V for Vendetta, Sacha Baron Cohen in Borat, Ulrich Mühe in The Lives of Others, and Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale were both great in The Prestige. A lot of great performances, but ones DiCaprio is just as good in The Departed as all of these actors are in their films. In fact he’s better than most of them and definitely deserved to be nominated. However, I believe the victory that year should have gone to Ken Watanabe for his moving performance in Letters from Iwo Jima. Though a much more subtle performance than either of DiCaprio’s 2006 efforts, Watanabe brings a fascinating character to life and brings such an air of dignity to the role. He shows a lot of complex sides while delivering a very emotional performance.

2008: Revolutionary Road

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Revolutionary Road was a definite step down for DiCaprio after the streak of The AviatorThe Departed, and Blood Diamond. Not that he’s really bad, but the performance consists of a lot more yelling and less character. Now I do think DiCaprio is perfectly cast playing opposite Titanic co-star Kate Winslet. Their couple in Titanic are often seen as the “perfect couple” so seeing the two as a couple slowly failing is very uncomfortable and effective. But like I said, the performance is nothing special. DiCaprio has his moments mind you, but it doesn’t even compare to what was done by so many other actors that year, including: Sean Penn in Milk, Frank Langella in Frost/Nixon, Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Michael Fassbender in Hunger, Benicio del Toro in Che, Josh Brolin in W., Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino, and especially Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler.

2010: Shutter Island and Inception

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Inception_Leonardo DiCaprio

In 2010, DiCaprio got to play two very similar characters in Shutter Island and Inception. The movies themselves were very different, but both characters were going through very similar feelings and experiences. I probably lean towards his role in Inception because it allows DiCaprio to handle grief and sorrow but also lets him be a cool infiltrator. At any rate, both performances were very good and a big step up for Leo after Revolutionary Road, but how do they stack up to the other top performances of 2010? Well, Colin Firth won the Oscar for The King’s Speech and for all my complaints about that film he isn’t among them. Other nominees include Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network, Jeff Bridges in True Grit, and James Franco in 127 Hours. Great work was also done by Ryan Reynolds in Buried, Kevin Spacey in Casino Jack, and Casey Affleck in The Killer Inside Me. Still, DiCaprio’s work is certainly on the level with all those actors, right? Well, most of them. Great as DiCaprio was in Inception (and Shutter Island) the top performance of 2010 has to go to James Franco in 127 Hours. He showed a tremendous amount of range, had a great arc, and carried the film for the most part.

2011: J.Edgar

Leonardo-DiCaprio-as-J.-Edgar-Hoover

I liked J. Edgar and I liked DiCaprio’s performance in it quite a bit at the time. But here we are a year and a half later and I barely remember the film or the performance. I still think Leo did a good job, but Best Actor over the likes of Jean Dujardin in The Artist, George Clooney in The Descendants, Ryan Gosling in Drive and The Ides of March, Michael Fassbender in Shame, and Joseph-Gordon Levitt in 50/50? Hardly. Michael Fassbender’s work in Shame was the best performance by a lead actor in 2012.

2012: Django Unchained

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I won’t spend too much time on this one given how recent this is so I’ll go through quickly. Samuel L. Jackson gave the strongest performance in Django Unchained and Christoph Waltz was better as well. Also consider the great supporting turns from the likes of Tommy Lee Jones in Lincoln, Javier Bardem in Skyfall, Robert De Niro in Silver Linings Playbook, and of course Philip Seymour Hoffman’s PGCMA winning role in The Master. So Leo really didn’t deserve it in 2012.

So to circle back to the point of this post; does Leonardo DiCaprio really deserve an Oscar? The answer is yes he does… for The Aviator. Sorry for the misdirection earlier, but I couldn’t reveal my answer so early in the post. Anyway, The Aviator is definitely DiCaprio’s finest hour. It’s the film which solidified DiCaprio as a lot more than a teen heart throb and also showcased the most of his talent. No Leonardo DiCaprio film relies on his performance as much as The Aviator and he completely delivers. It ‘s also important to note that he is better than his competition (that I’ve seen). I love Eternal Sunshine and I love Carrey’s performance in it, but I can’t deny how good Leonardo DiCaprio was and is in The Aviator.

So while I don’t claim DiCaprio has been snubbed time and time again, I do claim that he has one performance which was worthy. Keep on mind I haven’t seen Ray, so my opinion may change, but in all honesty I doubt it will. 

IF

PG Cooper: Oscar Nomination Thoughts

Posted: January 10, 2013 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in Commentary

Just some bullet points expressing my opinions on what was nominated.

-Shocked that both Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow were passed over for Best Director. This more or less rules out any shot  of Argo or Zero Dark Thirty winning Best Picture. I expected those films to be the front runners, along with Lincoln. Affleck was snubbed.

-Given the last point, the front runners have obviously changed. Lincoln is the obvious front runner, and I’d put Life of Pi and especially Silver Linings Playbook as the dark horses. I’m definitely on board with Silver Linings Playbook, one of the year’s best.

-Surprised that Beasts of the Southern Wild and Amour scored Best Director nominations.

-I’m annoyed Les Miserables scored a nomination for Best Picture, but I’m not surprised. Besides, no nomination for director Tom Hooper torpedoes any shot that film had at winning Best Picture.

-As much as I enjoyed Django Unchained, I’m not upset Tarantino didn’t get a director nomination; I wouldn’t have nominated him either. Picture and original screenplay are enough.

-DiCaprio not getting nominated is surprising given it was his first time playing a villain. Not a snub necessarily, just surprising.

-Jacki Weaver’s nomination is shocking to me.

-I liked Alan Arkin in Argo, but it isn’t an Oscar worthy turn.

Moonrise Kingdom definitely deserved more, but I’m happy with a Original Screenplay nod.

-Robert De Niro’s first Oscar nomination in over twenty years. Well deserved.

-With five nominations, Skyfall is the most nominated Bond film ever.

-Speaking of Skyfall, Deakins’ cinematography was nominated.

-Paul Thomas Anderson was unfairly ignored. No nominations for Writing or Directing.

-On the plus side, The Master‘s principle actors were all nominated, which is very well deserved.

Prometheus was snubbed for Production Design.

-First time a Peter Jackson adventure in Middle Earth was NOT nominated for Best Picture

-Great films not nominated for Best Picture: Chronicle, Looper, Moonrise Kingdom, Skyfall, The Master, Prometheus, The Avengers, and The Raid. Not that I expected these films to be nominated, but just thought I’d mention them.

-I have yet to see: Zero Dark Thirty, Amour, Beasts of the Southern Wild, and Life of Pi.

Overall, not a bad selection in spite of my problems. At this point I’m betting on Lincoln winning top honours, but of the front runners, I’m pulling for Silver Linings Playbook. 

HT Schuyler: 70’s Horror Rundown

Posted: October 31, 2012 by htschuyler in Commentary

Well, it’s Halloween again. In honour of this awesome time of year, I am going to do a quick rundown of what I think are some of the most important horror movies of the 70’s. Why the 70’s? Well, in my opinion the 70’s is one of the most important decades in horror history, so why not? I’m sure some movies will be left out, but I will try to mention as many as I can that I’ve seen. So, without further ado, here is HT SCHUYLER’S 70’S HORROR RUNDOWN . TM.

The Last House on the Left(1972)

Before anyone starts complaining as to why I’m mentioning this film, let me simply say that despite it being a rather poor film, it was revolutionary for the time. It relentlessly displayed rape, murder, sex and nudity like very few films had before it. It tells the tale of a young girl and her friend trying to score some weed in the city, only to be kidnapped and murdered by a gang of psychopaths, only for the same psychopaths to later seek refuge in the young girls parents’ house. The parents discover their crime, and murder the gang. The end. It’s not particularly well made or enjoyable, but it provides a fair amount of shock and terror that some people may crave, so for that, it deserves a mention.

The Exorcist (1973)

What can I say about this movie that hasn’t already been said? It’s a horror masterpiece. The award winning film tells the story of a young girl possessed by a demon, and bad shit happens. Simple, yet unforgiving in its terror. There are so many iconic moments that just stick with the viewer, and if the make-up effects on Regan don’t make your skin crawl…well, then there’s something wrong. A brilliant piece of terror that is rightfully cited as one of the greatest horror films ever made.

Black Christmas (1974)

A holiday classic that displays the delightful tale of a psychopath killing off sorority girls in the festive season. Often considered the film to have spawned the modern slasher film (next to Psycho, of course, but that’s a whole other debate entirely).  The first film to utilize the POV killer shot, the scary phone calls and groups of people being killed off in creative ways, this film is truly a classic. One of my all-time favourite horror movies and one that I can’t recommend enough.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

You want terror? Here’s the terror. Arguably one of the most horrifying movies ever made, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre holds up to this very day. A group of backtrackers in Texas find themselves victim to the chainsaw-wielding Leatherface and his morbid family. Includes enough scenes to traumatize someone for life and enough to make someone want a shower after watching due to the sheer brutality and disturbance of the film. A truly frightening experience that is not for the faint of heart, but is worth it for those who can handle the extreme horror.

Jaws (1975)

Debatable whether or not this is a true horror movie, I say it counts. Why? Because it’s pretty damn scary. What makes this film so effective is the great acting, brilliant direction and build up to showing off the creature, and creating characters that you really care about and hope to see succeed. The creepy scenery, the iconic theme song and memorable quotes all play a part in what makes this movie a true classic.

The Omen (1976)

Some people call this a rip-off of The Exorcist, and while there are definitely similarities between the two, I find this movie strong enough to hold up on its own.  When a couple find out their newborn baby is actually the son of the Devil, the father searches for answers as strange deaths start to occur that all lead back to his young son. Heavy on atmosphere and suspense, great acting from everyone and a great direction, The Omen is a thrilling experience that satisfies fans of religious horror.

Suspiria (1977)

A young dancer goes to a dancing school in Germany, and soon deaths and strange occurrences start happening. She discovers that the school is actually run by a coven of witches.  The movie is filled with bizarre imagery, surreal colours and a kick ass soundtrack that gives the movie a demented, nightmare like feeling. A strange experience that gets a different reaction out of everyone, but a frightening one none the less.

Dawn of the Dead (1978)

George A. Romero’s follow up to the brilliant Night of the Living Dead tells the story of a group of survivors seeking refuge in a mall. The movie works as a great social satire as well as a horror film, and the movie is responsible for many of the now common zombie movie tropes. A fun ride from start to finish, a must see for zombie and horror fans alike.

Halloween (1978)

A lunatic escapes from an insane asylum and stalks a young babysitter on Halloween night. The movie is full of suspense, memorable kills and terrifying imagery. Creating one of the first big horror movie killers, Michael Myers, and terrifying audiences for generations. The movie still holds up very well, and is a must see during the season of the witch.

I Spit on Your Grave (1978)

A young woman who is trying to complete her first novel in a small rural town is brutally attacked and raped by four deranged men. After surviving her horrific attack she seeks bloody revenge on the men, leaving no one alive. It’s a hard film to recommend due to its disgusting and traumatizing rape scenes, but for those of you who can handle that sort of thing, the revenge is very satisfying.

Alien (1979)

This horror sci-fi classic is about a team of explorers in space who discover that there is a violent alien life form on board who starts to kill them off one by one. Amazing special effects and brilliant art design by H. R. Giger, this movie stays in your head long after it’s over. A kick ass heroine, ground breaking effects and amazing direction make this a horror classic.

That concludes my 70’s Horror Rundown. I hope you enjoyed reading, and from myself and everyone else here at PG COOPER’S MOVIE REVIEWS, we wish you all a safe and happy Halloween.

-HT Schuyler.

PG Cooper: What A Character: A Tribute to Eli Wallach

Posted: September 22, 2012 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in Commentary

You gotta love a good blogathon, and thanks to Kellee of Outspoken and Freckled, Aurora of Once Upon A Screen, and Paula of Paula’s Cinema Club, I find myself in the fortunate position of being able to participate in another fun blogathon. The “What A Character!” blogathon is designed for several different bloggers to help bring attention to their favourite character actors. I was lucky enough to get the great Eli Wallach.

Unfortunately, my exposure to Wallach’s body of work is very limited. I did greatly enjoy his cameos in Mystic River and The Ghost Writer, but there isn’t enough in either of those films to really write about. But there is one other Wallach film I’ve seen. It’s a Western classic, arguably Sergio Leone’s masterpiece, and one of my favourite films of all time, it’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly tells the story of three men all seeking buried gold. Two of these men, the “Good” and the “Bad” (Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef), are characters of mythic status. The two characters’ pasts are wrapped in enigma and they both feel like archetype legends. It’s Clint Eastwood at his most badass and Lee Van Cleef makes for a scary villain. Both give top notch performances, but it’s Eli Wallach’s turn as Tuco (or the “Ugly”) that not only steals the show, but also elevates the film to a higher plane.

In a way, I feel like I cheated in choosing Eli Wallach. The man is described as a character actor, but I find Tuco to be the most compelling character of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Unlike the quiet power displayed by Eastwood and Cleef, Tuco is loud, brash, and fast-talking. Tuco is bursting with character and personality, and he’s always incredibly fun to watch. The character himself may be a bit of a dirty scoundrel, but Wallach brings so much energy and charm to the part one can’t help but love him.

Tuco is also the most complicated character in the film. The reason he’s called the “Ugly” is because he’s neither good nor bad. He can be very selfish, but he also has a family and there are hints that he had a difficult childhood which lead to him being a bandit. Instead of fitting an archetype like Eastwood and Cleef do, Wallach’s Tuco feels like a real human. I’m not saying most people should be described as ugly scoundrels, but most people don’t conform to being either good or evil. Instead, most people fall in the middle, just like Tuco. Wallach brings humanity to Tuco and in doing so makes Tuco the most relatable character in the film. This is important because it gives the audience a character they can really connect with, something that is lacking in Leone’s first two films in the “Dollars” trilogy. This is ultimately what makes The Good, the Bad and the Ugly a true classic. Without Wallach’s incredible performance, I’m sure the film would still be very good, like For A Few Dollars More and, to a lesser extent, A Fistful of Dollars, but it would not be the masterpiece it’s known as today.

I don’t mean to undersell the other attributes of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly or claim that Wallach is the sole reason the film works. Make no mistake, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a brilliant film that works on a number of levels. But I also think it’s important to acknowledge just how important Eli Wallach is to the film’s quality. His performance is incredible and has cemented Wallach’s name in film history. I think that more then warrants his inclusion the “What A Character!” blogathon.

“Whoever double-crosses me and leaves me alive, he understands nothing about Tuco. Nothing!”

PG Cooper: 7 X 7 Link Award

Posted: September 3, 2012 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in Commentary

Thanks to the awesome Paula Guthat, of Paula’s Cinema Club, I’ve been fortunate enough to receive the 7 X 7 Link award. Similarly to the Liebster award, the idea is to introduce blogs you follow and discover new ones.

The 7 x 7 Award highlights a blogger’s favourite pieces of work and is passed on to others so that they too can do the same as a way to promote posts and/or blogs.

 

I’m also obligated to answer seven questions. Cool! Let’s do it.

1. Tell everyone something that no one else knows about you.

People who know me in “real life” know this, but I’m a fan of Heavy Metal and have seen a lot of concerts, the last of which being Iron Maiden with Alice Cooper opening.

2. Link to one of the posts that I think best fits the following categories:

 

a. Most beautiful piece: Though not published on my site, my post “Me, My Dad, and the Movies” is easily my most heartfelt article. In it, I describe the effect of growing up watching movies with my Dad and how are mutual movie viewing has changed over the years.

b. Most helpful piece: I’m going to go with my list of “Top-Ten Underrated Performances”. Mainly because I was bringing attention to performances that are ignored and I hope people give them a second look.

c. Most popular piece: My “Top Twenty Batman: The Animated Series Episodes” has the most views of any article I’ve written. I’m glad because Batman: The Animated Series is awesome.

d. Most controversial piece: Probably my review for The Dark Knight Rises. I wrote a mostly negative review and ended up giving the film a C, which I stand by. Everyone in the comments was very respectful, but there were a lot of varying opinions being given. Usually the comments sections of my posts are unanimous agreement or disagreement, for the most part. The Dark Knight Rises is my only post that really changed that.

e. Surprisingly successful piece: My review for Big Miracle. This review has tons of views. People love their whales I guess.

 

f. Most underrated piece: My review of the entire Dirty Harry series received very little views and comments I guess, but that’s fine. I don’t really saying any of my works are underrated though, just feels weird.

g. Most pride-worthy piece: I’m really fond of my comparison of Rosemary’s Baby and Alien, the tie biding them being their both pregnancy horror films. I think that was a fun and clever idea and I think I did a solid job comparing the two. People in the comments seemed to enjoy it too.

3. Pass this award on to se7en bloggers.

Ian-Ian’s Lists, Bits, and Reels

Fogs-Fog’s Movie Reviews

Tim-Tim’s Film Reviews

Chris-Terry Malloy’s Pigeon Coop

Alyson-The Best Picture Project

Terrence-The Focused Filmographer

Dracula-The Movie Vampire

And if any of you have already received this, feel free to pass it on to a blog you deem worthy. I’d like to thank Paula one more time for giving me the opportunity to do this.

PG Cooper: Mission Accomplished

Posted: September 1, 2012 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in Commentary

On July 1st of 2012, I set the challenging goal of delivering new content on this website every day for the summer. I doubted such a goal would be possible, but I set it anyway. Today I can say with pride that such a goal was accomplished. Between movie battles, blogathons, retrospectives, movie of the months, remake comparisons, time-capsule reviews, poems, director talks, and the contemporary reviews expected from a movie review blog, PG Cooper’s Movie Reviews always had daily content.

I owe this victory to an impressive writing team that made having daily content an easy goal. MC Wishchitz made an impressive and unexpected return while site co-runner HT Schuyler continued to put out quality material. We were also joined by three new writers; JJ Silf, theameircan86, and moviebuff801, all of which have already made impressive contributions to the site and remain excellent additions.

But enough patting ourselves on the back, I have some updates and news. First and foremost, my friend Ian has started an awesome series called “Film Through The Ages”, where a group of writers are each given a year and are asked to select the best film of said year. I was lucky enough to be asked to participate and if my luck holds out hopefully I can return to the series. Anyway, it’s a great post and there are a lot of excellent films being discussed, I highly recommend checking it out.

What can you expect from PG Cooper’s Movie Reviews in the future? Well for one, the daily content will eventually stop. I have enough reserve posts and other articles lying around to continue it for a few more days, but the site will soon return to a more weekly schedule. As far as specific content, all the usual content you’ve come to expect will be returning in full force. Moviebuff has a time capsule review waiting in the wings as I speak, and everyone has time capsule reviews planned. In addition to the usual, I will be participating in the 7 X 7 award thanks to Paula of Paula’s Cinema Club.

Before I close off, I want to say thank you to one more group of people; you. That’s right, you, our readers. Whether you’re a fellow blogger or just a fan, we greatly appreciate your support. This summer has seen a steady amount of views throughout as well as interaction in the comments section. Thank you for encouraging and supporting our work, we hope you continue to do so!

PG Cooper: Movie Questionnaire Blogathon

Posted: August 20, 2012 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in Commentary

Cinemaniac Reviews as started an interesting blogathon where he’s asking his fellow bloggers to fill out a questionnaire based on movies. It’s pretty fun I imagine will lead to some really versatile actors. The read more, click here.

1. What’s your favorite movie?

Taxi Driver

2. Least favorite movie?

Jack and Jill

3. Name one movie you loved upon initial viewing but eventually grew to hate (or vice-versa).

Batman and Robin (I was a little kid once, okay!)

4. Name your biggest “guilty pleasure” film.
I only get one? Heavy Metal.

5. Favorite quote from a favorite actor/actress (must be a line from a movie)?
“I look at people and I see nothing worth liking.” -Daniel Day-Lewis as Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood

6. Favorite quote from a favorite actor/actress (must NOT be a line from a movie)?
“I just can’t fake acting. I know movies are an illusion, and maybe the first rule is to fake it, but not for me. I’m too curious. I want to deal with all of the facts of the character, thin or fat.”- Robert De Niro

7. Three favorite movie scenes?

“You never got me down, Ray.”-Raging Bull

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe…”-Blade Runner

“Meet me in Montauk”-Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

8. Four films that should NOT have won Best Picture?

Driving Miss Daisy, Gone With The Wind, The King’s Speech, and Slumdog Millionaire

9. Top five of the year (currently)?

Moonrise Kingdom, Prometheus, The Avengers, The Raid, and Chronicle

10. Bottom three of the year (currently)?

Big Miracle, That’s My Boy, and Wrath of the Titans

11. What film gets your vote for the worst or most pointless remake?
I haven’t seen the remake of The Manchurian Candidate, but the original is not only a masterpiece, but a movie that holds up well. I fail to see what a remake would add.

12. Is there any film you think is actually desperate for a remake?

Nothing comes to mind.

13. Name your three favorite film heroes.

James Bond from From Russia With Love, Indiana Jones from Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Batman from The Dark Knight.

14. Name your three favorite film villains.
Hannibal Lecter from The Silence of the Lambs, Norman Stansfield from Leon: The Professional, and The Joker from The Dark Knight.

15. Best sequel?
A lot of great options, but I’m going with Terminator 2: Judgement Day.

16. Worst sequel?

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. May it rot in Hell.

17. Best trilogy?
Going to go with the Lord of the Rings trilogy. All three films are incredible.

18. Worst trilogy?
The Diary of a Wimpy Kid trilogy. I haven’t seen the third one though.

19. What’s your favorite word to use in a movie review (if your film blog does not feature reviews, substitute “review” with “-related post”?)
Nothing really springs to mind.

20. Anything else?

If this is your first time visiting PG Cooper’s Movie Reviews, stick around for a bit. With a total of six writers, we have reviews, lists, comparisons, battles, retrospectives, poems, commentaries, awards, and other things. I also want to note that even though a lot of these questions asked about my “favourites”, many of my answers are not my set in stone favourites. Just the top choices that came to mind.

Thanks to the Cinemaniac for giving me this opportunity.