Movie Project #18 and #19: Big (1988) and When Harry Met Sally… (1989)

Eric @ The Warning SignMovies13 Comments

50 Movies Project #4: Contemporary Edition

The 50 Movies Project is an annual tradition at The Warning Sign. Every year, I select 50 movies that I feel I must see in order to continue my progression as a film lover. This year I’m focusing on contemporary films (1980 to present day) that I somehow haven’t gotten around to seeing yet.

Big (1988)
Big [1988, dir. Penny Marshall]
Big is a movie that could have only happened in the ’80s. The idea of a young boy wishing to become a grown up — and succeeding — is so ridiculous that it simply shouldn’t work (or make for a good film, anyway). Never doubt Tom Hanks, though. His performance as a grown up child is magical.

Going into the film, all I knew of was the iconic scene where Hanks and Robert Loggia play a giant piano at FAO Schwarz. While that is certainly a great bit, what surprised me was how genuinely funny Big is through its entirety. The humor is generally light-hearted, even as it dabbles in areas that are hardly appropriate (i.e. Hanks, technically a 12-year-old, hooking up with an adult Elizabeth Perkins), and I found myself laughing quite a bit (especially during the first trip to New York). The film is also heartwarming, and it absolutely nails that feeling of what it’s like to be a kid. And let’s face it — anyone who is even remotely still a kid at heart would kill for Hanks’s toy-testing job. 8/10


When Harry Met Sally... [1988]
When Harry Met Sally… [1989, dir. Rob Reiner]
Why is it so difficult to make an intelligent romantic comedy these days? When Harry Met Sally… sure makes it look easy. Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan play two acquaintances who meet periodically over the years before finally forming a friendship when both are fresh off of breakups with their significant others. Harry (Crystal) doesn’t believe men and women can be friends without sex getting in the way. Sally disagrees, and this debate constantly lingers over them.

Nora Ephron’s sharp script is the biggest highlight, but Crystal and Ryan also happen to have some terrific chemistry. Crystal’s deadpan wit and Ryan’s bubbly personality play off each other wonderfully, and their gradually progressing relationship is entirely convincing. The film doesn’t rely on contrived tropes to tell the story — it all happens naturally. It’s just a good all-around film that both men and women can enjoy. 8/10

Eric @ The Warning SignMovie Project #18 and #19: Big (1988) and When Harry Met Sally… (1989)

Movie Project #17: The Iron Giant [1999]

Eric @ The Warning SignMovies17 Comments

50 Movies Project #4: Contemporary Edition

The 50 Movies Project is an annual tradition at The Warning Sign. Every year, I select 50 movies that I feel I must see in order to continue my progression as a film lover. This year I’m focusing on contemporary films (1980 to present day) that I somehow haven’t gotten around to seeing yet.

The Iron Giant [1999]

The Iron Giant [1999] 
Director: Brad Bird
Writers: Tim McCanlies (screenplay), Brad Bird (screen story), Ted Hughes (book)
Country: USA
Genre: Animation/Action/Adventure
Starring: Eli Marienthal, Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Aniston
Running Time: 87 minutes

I have a bit of a conflicted relationship with animated films. I have quite enjoyed nearly every Studio Ghibli release I have seen, but I could do without most of the modern Disney and/or Pixar films. I added The Iron Giant to my project this year to add a bit more variety, though I have to admit I went into my viewing with a bit of trepidation.

It turns out I needn’t worry at all. Not only is The Iron Giant one of the highlights of my project so far, it’s also one of the better animated films I have seen in some time.

Read More

Eric @ The Warning SignMovie Project #17: The Iron Giant [1999]

Blogathon: My Favorite Movie Titles

Eric @ The Warning SignFeatures, Movies6 Comments

favorite-movie-titles-blogathon

Brittani from Rambling Film has put together a blogathon that is a twist on the popular A-Z movie list meme. Instead of just picking your favorite movie for each letter of the alphabet (which I did a few years ago), you are supposed to pick your favorite movie title. I couldn’t resist getting in on this even though I am a day late (sorry!).

I opted to only stick with movies I have seen before. Here’s what I came up with:
Read More

Eric @ The Warning SignBlogathon: My Favorite Movie Titles

Godzilla (2014) Movie Review

Eric @ The Warning SignMovies10 Comments

Godzilla [2014]

Godzilla [2014] 
Director: Gareth Edwards
Writers: Max Borenstein (screenplay), Dave Callaham (story)
Genre: Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston, Ken Watanabe
Running Time: 123 minutes

Sixteen years.

That’s how long it has taken for another American attempt at a Godzilla film after Roland Emmerich’s critically-maligned 1998 blockbuster. With up-and-coming director Gareth Edwards (Monsters, and soon-to-be director of Star Wars), a star-studded international cast and a massive budget, all of the pieces appeared to be in place for a proper reboot. Yet while impressive in spots, Edwards’s Godzilla unfortunately manages to be underwhelming overall.

Read More

Eric @ The Warning SignGodzilla (2014) Movie Review

Movie Project #16: Unbreakable [2000]

Eric @ The Warning SignMovies24 Comments

50 Movies Project #4: Contemporary Edition

The 50 Movies Project is an annual tradition at The Warning Sign. Every year, I select 50 movies that I feel I must see in order to continue my progression as a film lover. This year I’m focusing on contemporary films (1980 to present day) that I somehow haven’t gotten around to seeing yet.

Unbreakable [2000]

Unbreakable [2000] 
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Writer: M. Night Shyamalan
Country: USA
Genre: Drama/Mystery/Sci-Fi
Starring: Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Robin Wright, Spencer Treat Clark
Running Time: 106 minutes

Riding the wave of success from the massive box office hit, The Sixth Sense, M. Night Shyamalan immediately followed with Unbreakable, a superhero origin film that has become quite a cult favorite since. Many would argue that this is his best film, though that’s hardly a bold position given his recent output.

Read More

Eric @ The Warning SignMovie Project #16: Unbreakable [2000]

Blue Ruin [2013] Movie Review

Eric @ The Warning SignMovies2 Comments

Blue Ruin [2013]

Blue Ruin [2013] 
Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Writer: Jeremy Saulnier
Genre: Thriller
Starring: Macon Blair, Devin Ratray, Amy Hargreaves
Running Time: 90 minutes

Blue Ruin is a revenge thriller that is anything but conventional, and the same goes for its central character, Dwight (Macon Blair).

Read More

Eric @ The Warning SignBlue Ruin [2013] Movie Review

My Criterion Top 10

Eric @ The Warning SignMovies1 Comment

My Criterion Top 10

For the last couple weeks, John LaRue, curator of The Droid You’re Looking For — one of the funniest movie blogs on the internet — has been posting top ten lists from other movie lovers which feature their favorite Criterion releases. I was invited to take part, and after much deliberation I was able to whittle my list down to ten films (plus a handful of honorable mentions). You can check out my full list by clicking the banner above.

Eric @ The Warning SignMy Criterion Top 10

Movie Project #15: Who Framed Roger Rabbit [1988]

Eric @ The Warning SignMovies8 Comments

50 Movies Project #4: Contemporary Edition

The 50 Movies Project is an annual tradition at The Warning Sign. Every year, I select 50 movies that I feel I must see in order to continue my progression as a film lover. This year I’m focusing on contemporary films (1980 to present day) that I somehow haven’t gotten around to seeing yet.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit [1988]

Who Framed Roger Rabbit [1988] 
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Writers: Gary K. Wolf (novel “Who Censored Roger Rabbit?”), Jeffrey Price & Peter S. Seaman (screenplay)
Country: USA
Genre: Animation/Comedy/Crime
Starring: Bob Hoskins, Christopher Lloyd, Joanna Cassidy
Running Time: 104 minutes

Who Framed Roger Rabbit brought back a flood of memories for me, which is funny because I wasn’t 100% sure I had even watched the entire film growing up. Yet there I was remembering everything from the opening cartoon sequence to recognizing random moments and bits of dialogue here and there afterward.

An even better surprise was discovering just how well this 80s flick holds up today.

Read More

Eric @ The Warning SignMovie Project #15: Who Framed Roger Rabbit [1988]

Locke [2013] Movie Review

Eric @ The Warning SignMovies6 Comments

Locke [2013]

Locke [2013] 
Director: Steven Knight
Writer: Steven Knight
Genre: Drama/Thriller
Starring: Tom Hardy, Olivia Colman, Ruth Wilson
Running Time: 85 minutes

Locke may be the greatest 85-minute vehicle advertisement ever made.

The entire film takes place inside the cozy confines of a BMW X5 SUV, and it proves to be the only source of comfort for Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) as his life begins to unravel over the course of a drive from Birmingham to London.

Read More

Eric @ The Warning SignLocke [2013] Movie Review