More Short Film Ratings
The eighth installment of my Short Film Ratings blog posts this time includes; The Other Guys, Alien, Aliens, Witness, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Gravity, National Lampoon’s Animal House, Class Reunion and Vacation.
The Other Guys 3 /5
IMDb Rating: 6.6
Year Released: 2010
It was a film that had many funny moments and a lot of quote-worthy moments, but something held it back from being a very good comedy film. Out of the Will Ferrell comedy films (Step Brothers, Anchorman, Elf) that are popular and are watched time and time again by his legion of fans, The Other Guys is maybe on the borderline of being included in that first bracket of films as it is better than films like (Semi-Pro, Anchorman 2). However, time will tell if it achieves a cult status in the years to come, in my opinion it won’t reach those heights but will be watched by loyal Ferrell fans.
Alien 4 / 5
IMDb Rating: 8.5
Year Released: 1979
Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerrit, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm and Yaphet Kotto.
Aliens 4 / 5
IMDb Rating: 8.4
Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Paul Reiser, Lance Henrikson, William Hope and Bill Paxton.
The sequel won more Special Effects, Sound and Cinematography awards as well as winning 8 Saturn awards.
The Alien films have been a glaring hole in my film knowledge and I finally decided to sit down and watch the first two films in quick succession. Both were brilliant and I couldn’t decide which I liked more.
I don’t know whether to carry on watching the films in the series or the Alien Vs Predator films as they all seem to have mediocre ratings on IMDb, but if anyone thinks they are worthy of watching then let me know why in the comment section otherwise I might not watch them at all.
Witness 3.75 / 5
IMDb Rating: 7.5
Starring: Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis.
Harrison Ford has received his only Oscar nomination for his role in Witness.
After doing an Harrison Ford Tribute post a while ago I decided to watch Witness as I haven’t watched it for a long time. Witness is a bit of a love story and partly a thriller, but also a study of cultural collision, and contains a skilful performance by Ford, full of sensitivity, especially in the fragile romance his character engages in.
Though it isn’t the most popular Ford film nor his most remembered, Witness is a good film that will continue to go under the radar in comparison to his Indiana Jones and Star Wars films despite the fact that Ford exhibits more acting credentials in this film, which is why he has received his only ever Oscar nomination for this role.
IMDb Rating: 8.3
Starring: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin.
It features near the top-end of most film lists for best comedy films of all time. It inspired the 2005 Tony Award-winning musical Spamalot.
I have watched Monty Python films a few times when I was younger but I don’t think I appreciated them as much as I did now that I’m a bit older. It helped that I had studied Tennyson’s Idylls of the King, had an understanding of the legend of the grail as well as the sense of humour of Monty Python. Today’s audiences could struggle with Monty Python films if they lack a level of literacy, religious and historical awareness that is used by Python.
Gravity 3.75 / 5
IMDb Rating: 7.9
Starring: Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.
Winner of 7 Oscars, 6 BAFTAs and 7 Critics Choice Awards.
I was skeptical about watching Gravity due to the fact that the film is essentially Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in space, and for much of the film, only Bullock. Also, I was already questioning the film’s credentials due to the fact that it won 7 Oscars in a year containing 12 Years a Slave, Dallas Buyers Club and American Hustle (Though the 7 Oscars were in categories like Sound, Editing, Cinematography).
But my reservations were dashed as the film was visually, technically and cinematically brilliant. Though the story is fictional and there is some leeway concerning events that happen in the film to make it an exciting and suspenseful product, the accuracy according to many people associated to NASA, astrophysics and astronauts themselves said that the attention to detail was impeccable.
Though at times Bullock was a tad frustrating in her decision making and thinking, but some of that could be due to her character being new and nervous, combined with the extraordinary circumstances she found herself in. However, as the film progressed, Bullock’s character grows on you, although I would have preferred to see more of Clooney’s cheeky and funny Kowalski character who seemed to have more personality about him which would have made the film more entertaining and watchable. Nevertheless, Bullock’s character who is out of her depth while stranded in space makes for more of a story due to her inevitable struggle for survival.
IMDb Rating: 7.6
Starring: John Belushi, Tim Matheson, Peter Rieget, Thomas Hulce, Stephen Furst, Kevin Bacon, John Vernon and Donald Sutherland.
Is now a cult classic, appears on many Greatest Lists of All Time and the American Film Institute has inducted it into the National Film Registry.
I’m not sure if the National Lampoon films are only popular in America or if it a generational thing, but someone mentioned that I should watch them due to my love of American comedies and college films. I wasn’t disappointed in the case of Animal House. The film makes you laugh and makes you wish you were there too.
Very quotable, packed full of witty one-liners and great music, Animal House is a brilliant American College Comedy film.
National Lampoon’s Class Reunion 2 / 5
IMDb Rating 4.5
Starring: Gerrit Graham, Fred McCarren, Miriam Flynn, Stephen Furst, Shelley Smith, Michael Lerner and Chuck Berry.
Pales in comparison to Animal House. Tries it’s best to blend horror and comedy together but fails badly, and even the parody, wit and one-liners can not save the film from it’s destined fate as a poor film, made more noticeable by the success of Animal House.
National Lampoon’s Vacation 3.5 / 5
IMDb Rating: 7.4
Starring: Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Randy Quaid, Dana Barron and Christie Brinkley.
Regarded as the best National Lampoon Film, a cult classic and has recently been remade with Ed Helms starring and it was released on the 32nd anniversary of the original cult classic.
Vacation is much better than Class Reunion, and is considered everyone’s favourite National Lampoon film. It has even spawned a remake 32 years after the original cult classic. The film was packed full of one-liners, slapstick and witty jokes as the Griswold family make their car journey from Chicago to Walley World in Los Angeles. The long car ride there is full of everything that could possibly go wrong for Clark Griswold and his family with hilarious results.
I’ll definitely be watching more National Lampoon films after watching the first three films, in particular Chevy Chase’s Vacation films. I know my American followers/ bloggers will probably have seen National Lampoon films many times, so let me know which is your favourite.