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Scarface (1983)

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Scarface (1983)


Al Pacino
Steven Bauer
Michelle Pfeiffer
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio

Directed by Brian De Palma

Here is a movie that sets the mood for other gangster films to follow. It is based on a 1932 version of the same name which was then based on a 1929 novel of the same name by Armitage Trail.

The director Brian De Palma (The Untouchables (1987) and Mission: Impossible (1996)) took a screenplay by Oliver Stone (Platoon(1986)), and created a masterpiece, which displayed for show characters that will be glued in your mind for years to come.
The director and writer gave us a movie which set the trend for others to follow. Running for close to three hours long they didn't even try to fill up the spaces with clichés, instead they placed short monologues by the loveable bad guy Tony Montana (Al Pacino) to further depict his mental state – and I can bet you, you will love his lines.

On initial release the movie was received with mixed feelings. Most of it was because of the excessive violence and frequent cursing (the word "FUCK" was used 226 times in this movie). Scarface is about criminals at work, every lead in the movie was on drugs and used them on screen, some even more than others.

The plot is about a Cuban refugee Tony Montana who arrives in Miami, and is sent to a refugee camp with his best friend Manny. From there Tony did a job that got him and Manny out of the camp and in the streets working for a small time drug lord named Frank.

Tony wanting to be in control of what happens and have the big life he always wanted, broke away from Frank and started his own thing.
That didn't go well with Frank and he tried to take Tony out, a mistake that led to Tony taking full control of the drug business Frank once ran and taking it to heights that Frank never imagined.

All this and taking Franks girl to be his wife, didn't make Tony's rise to the top smooth. His need to always be in control and his over possessive love for his sister ended up being the end of him.

Scarface is now a classic, the American Film Institute rates it as the tenth best in the gangster film genre. The line "Say hello to my little friend!" by Montana placed 61st place on AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes list, and Tony Montana was nominated as a villain on AFI's list of 100 Heroes & Villains.

Here is a classic movie you should have in your archive.

She’s All That (1999)

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She’s All That (1999)


Freddie Prinze, Jr.
Rachael Leigh Cook
Matthew Lillard
Paul Walker
Jodi Lyn O'Keefe
Kevin Pollak
Usher Raymond
Kimberly "Lil' Kim" Jones
Anna Paquin

Directed by Robert Iscove

There is no way you could have survived the 90s without seeing She’s All That. The movie is in its own rights the classic teen movie of the 90s. After She’s All That every other teen movie lined up to be just like, but they never really reached there, even 10 Things I Hate About You (1999) with Julia Stile and The late Ledger wished to be this good.

What does She’s All That boast of?

A Charming cast. The cast of the movie is what made this movie the hit it was in the 90s. The reality though about this movie is the high level of predictability it had, takes away all the fun of surprise.

She’s All That is about Prom. The most popular boy in school Zach (Freddie Prince Jr.) and the most popular girl Taylor (Jodi Lyn O'Keefe) are sure to come out as prom king and queen this year if everything plays right, adding to the mix they are dating.

The movie kicks off with a shake off, Taylor dumps Zach for a reality TV star and Zach makes a bet with his friend that he can take any girl in the school and turn her into the prom queen, defeating Taylor.

The girl selected for him to carry out the experiment on was Laney (Rachael Leigh Cook), the bet was going on well until Zach falls for Laney and is finding it hard to carry on lying to her.

Enough said about the movie, the cast for me had the movie by the neck and took it to the cleaners. Here I got introduced to future stars like Freddie Prince Jr., Dule Hill, The late Paul Walker, Rachael Leigh Cook and Gabriel Union.

The directing though can be arrested for being too plain, simple and predictable to the core. Notwithstanding though, if the director or the writers had changed the way the movie went, I wonder if this movie will still come out as a 90s classic.

Spoiler Alert
Although the first time I was watching it I thought Laney would win Prom Queen, but the writers decided to throw a monkey wrench in the works, by adding a twist right there.

In the end, I really enjoyed seeing this movie again, a feel good movie to the bone.

Look out for, Takbir Bashir an underground rapper for Styles of Beyond, rapping a She’s All That song in the mid of the movie. Look out also for Sarah Michelle Gellar she plays a Girl in Cafeteria whom Laney's brother Simon (Kieran Culkin) offered pepper.

I will be keeping a copy of this movie in my archive.

The Parent Trap (1998)

The Parent Trap (1998)


Lindsay Lohan
Dennis Quaid
Natasha Richardson

Directed by Nancy Meyers

The Parent Trap is a joyful film and one of my guilt pleasure because of the cuteness of Lindsay Lohan in the movie. Her presence in this film will be felt all thorough, as she owned every scene with her in it. Lindsay Lohan was the soul of the movie, and this performance with the one of Freaky Friday (2003) where her best and most memorable.
Her portrayal of two different characters is one to be cheered. I recall seeing this movie way back in 1998 I could arguable say then, I was watching two different people all because Lindsay Lohan was amazing. That said, she is no Hayley Mills, who did the same thing in the 1961 version. She in her paying of dual roles set a standard and placed the bar way to high for this amazing performance by Lohan to reach.

The movie is all fun with references made in songs and speech to the 1961 Disney's original version. The late Natasha Richardson was great in this movie as the girl’s mother, and I will be looking back at this movie in remembrance of her.
This 1996 Romcom was directed by Nancy Meyers who also produced and wrote one of my favorite comedies Father of the Bride (1991) and its sequel in 1995.

The movie follows the story of a couple Nick (Dennis Quaid) and Elizabeth (Natasha Richardson) who decided to divorce after having twin girls. The arrangement they had was each party will keep one girl as they go their separate ways, Nick to California, USA and Elizabeth to London, England.

Ironically and unknown to both parent, they send their daughters to the same all girls camp, where the girls Annie and Hallie (Lindsay Lohan) met. The girls spent enough time with each other and discovered that they are sisters and decided to switch places, and do what they can to get their family back together.

Shot in both London and San Francisco with a budget of $15.5 million, the movie was a financial success making over $92 million in the box office. The film won Lohan a Young Artist Award for best performance in a feature film.

Here is a fun fact Joanna Barnes who plays Meredith Blake's mother, played the role of Vicki Robinson who is the Meredith of the 1961 original. The movie also made references to 101 Dalmatians (1961 animation) calling Meredith Cruella de Vil.

Here is the second Walt Disney adaptation of Erich Kästner's German novel Lottie and Lisa (Das doppelte Lottchen). The movie is very similar to its predecessor, but the actors found a way to make it their own. This movie is more than 80% similar to its predecessor whose screenplay was written by David Swift.

Here is a movie to see and enjoy with your family.