Saturday, June 20, 2015


JAWS was the first film to ever terrify me! It also might be the first movie to ever give me nightmares! So for years I considered JAWS a horror movie. And with being so scared I would mix up the sequels with the original film.

One of the best films ever made turns 40 today. Released on June 20th 1975, twenty-one months before I was born, JAWS and it's popularity would have a big impact on my childhood. For the longest time the film scared me to death. It got so ridiculous that my dad would call me into the living room if the movie was playing on television or HBO. I think he got a kick out of scaring me!

It wasn't until I was a teenager that I conquered my fear and watched JAWS in it's entirety. I had seen the movie before but only in bits and pieces. And in seeing those bits and pieces, not to mention parts of the sequels on HBO thinking they were the original, made seeing the original in one sitting much more important.

The rest is history. I was hooked! The film still scared me, but at the same time I conquered that fear. Much like Brody and his fear of the water.

So usually this is when I write what the movie is about but seeing that JAWS is 40 years old and still a classic, I'm sure it's fine if I skip it.

What can I saw about JAWS that hasn't already been praised about by millions? The answer is nothing. But in honor of 40 years, I'll share what I love about the film!

No matter how many times I see the film, the tension is still the same for me. Every time.

I'm sure if you watch and examine you'll find faults (because no movie is perfect), but I consider JAWS a perfect film.

I love the fact that I got to see a 35mm film print of JAWS in a theater before studios stopped doing that by forcing theaters to convert digitally.

And lastly, my favorite scene is JAWS has to been when Brody, Hooper, and Quint are in the Orca getting drunk and singing.

If you wanna celebrate, select theaters are showing JAWS this month! Check your local listings/theaters.

Happy 40th anniversary JAWS,

Thursday, June 11, 2015


It was around the release of the VHS of STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE where fans were becoming extremely vocal about how much they hated the film. I am sure there were some that hated it from day one, fine whatever.

When STAR WARS EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES came out I was still a big defender of the prequels and thought all the haters just didn't “get” George Lucas. Red Letter Media sure showed me the errors of my ways. And in their criticism I was able to find my own faults with the 3 films. But before that I used to get drunk on high definition, Jedi with lightsabers, Yoda with lightsabers, and not-Boba Fett!

There was a time that this second installment was my favorite of the prequel trilogy. I loved how some of it “echoed” certain scenes from the original trilogy. One I was particularly fond of was how the battle in the droid factory was reminiscent of Luke and Leia on the Death Star bridge in STAR WARS. But looking back on it now I don't care for it as much. It's too noisy of a scene, meaning there is an overabundance of CGI. And that's the main issue I have with STAR WARS EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES. Everything looks fake.

Ever since the climactic fight scene at the end of MAN OF STEEL, I've been critical of CGI overabundance.

Say what you will about STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE but at least that movie had some practical effects and still retains a warmth to the finished product. I recently demoed the blu-ray on a Ultra HD 4k television. Once we got the settings how we wanted them, the movie looked it's best since the theater.

So the more that I watch STAR WARS EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES it suffers the same fate as it's predecessor, the film is boring. There is an action scene involving a impressive chase on the busy city planet of Coruscant. It begins in the air with flying cars and ends with a game of cat and mouse in a sports cantina. It's one of the most impressive scenes in the film. And once it's over the movie drags big time.

Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala hide out on Naboo while Obi-Wan Kenobi travels to the outer rim in search of the bounty hunter hired to assassinate Padme. During this time we are subjected to some of the blandest romantic dialogue between two characters since TITANIC . Anakin and Padme getting to know each other better is pure momentum killer.

Meanwhile, Obi-Wan finds a clone army at the Republics disposal to fight against the Separatists. This leads him to Boba Fett, sorry, Boba Fett's dad. They fight. Which is actually pretty cool. But the Fett father and son get away. Kenobi follows them to a planet that the Separatists have been hiding out on preparing their droid army. He gets captured and it's up to Anakin, Padme, R2-D2, and C3-PO ( for some reason) to save the Jedi Knight. As I mentioned before, I liked this scene very much but the whole thing feels very cartoon-ish to me now.

Looking at it now, STAR WARS EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES as a whole is a flawed film. It does have it moments of coolness and George Lucas can be a good visual storyteller, except for all those lightsabers.

In conclusion, I consider STAR WARS EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES the worst of the prequel trilogy. The negatives outweigh the positives. The film is also the biggest reminder that the prequels were uninteresting and pointless. Do we really need to see Boba Fett as a child or see his origin? No. Is Yoda with a lightsaber cool? At first yes, but when you really think about it, the answer is no. Are Jedi and the Force cool and mysterious? Not anymore, not after this movie!

I think you get my point.