Best Make-Up

[8.0] It may be tempting to dismiss Planet of the Apes as high camp, but there’s provocative science-fiction under those monkey masks. Charlton Heston plays an American astronaut who’s on his way back to Earth when he crashlands on a strange, desolate planet where apes rule and humans are primitive beasts of burden. Heston is captured, tortured, and humiliated by the apes. He finds sympathy …

[5.0] Visually striking but emotionally hollow, Warren Beatty’s film version of Chester Gould’s comic creation is an underwhelming would-be blockbuster. The only character you can get invested in is Madonna’s Breathless Mahoney. Everyone else, including our strong-jawed hero, is as two-dimensional as the comic strip they came from. It’s kinda fun to spot well-known actors in cameos throughout the movie — keep your eyes peeled …

[7.0] Matthew McConaughey stars as Ron Woodruff in this true story about a womanizing electrician whose given thirty days to live after doctors discover he carries HIV. The year was 1985 and the American government was loathe to take HIV/AIDS very seriously at the time, with most people believing it was only a ‘gay disease.’ Indeed, Woodruff loses many of his old buddies when they …

[6.0] Just as Robert Zemeckis had to make Forrest Gump and Tim Burton had to make Big Fish, so did David Fincher have to make The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. All three directors are known for their visual and/or technical prowess, and all three felt the need to wring a tear-jerker out of their filmographies, maybe just to prove they could? Benjamin Button is …

[9.0] Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy masterpiece is a volatile blend of whimsy and horror that dares to explore the depths of human evil through the eyes of an innocent child. The film is brutal, heartbreaking, and gorgeous. Del Toro’s unique style is on full display here, in the conceptual design, the fluid camera work, and in the delicate performances. Young Ivana Baquero gives a solid …

[10] Peter Jackson (Dead Alive, The Frighteners) embraces the Herculean task of bringing Tolkien’s supreme fantasy to the silver screen, and hits a home run. The Fellowship of the Ring gets the trilogy off to a strong start, as Frodo Baggins and his companions set off to destroy the One Ring.  Jackson is faithful to the source material while masterfully balancing action, horror, heart, and …

[9.5] I doubt Tim Burton will ever make a finer film. Armed with a powerhouse screenplay by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (The People vs Larry Flynt), Burton turns the biography of Hollywood’s most infamously bad director into a poignant and hilarious film about never giving up… no matter how much you might suck. The film is admittedly white-washed, concentrating and embellishing upon Ed Wood’s …

[9.0] This is one of those rare sequels that is arguably better than its predecessor. It may not be as raw and moody as The Terminator, but Terminator 2 is a kick-ass action movie — one of the best ever made, frankly. I love how the trio of primary characters become a surrogate family. It’s also interesting to see the Terminator become a protector while …

[9.0] David Cronenberg’s remake of The Fly is still the most fowl and disgusting film I have ever seen. It just about makes me barf every time I see it, and I love that. Jeff Goldblum plays an inventor who creates teleportation pods. After he uses himself as a test subject, strange things start happening to old Jeffy. Course hairs grow out of a wound …

[9.5] Straight biographies rarely make great film, but by filtering the subject through another man’s envy, director Milos Forman (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) delivers one of the best bio-films I’ve ever seen. This isn’t a film about a composer and his music (how boring would that be?) — it’s a film about an insanely jealous contemporary named Salieri. Salieri, played brilliantly by F. …

1 2