Watched this on the strength of jaytoast's recommendation and absolutely loved it. I immediately bought a copy, which I wound up giving to my father, then purchased another one off Amazon... and gave it to my brother. It's the kind of film that so good that you make sure your loved ones see it too.
While it's generally appreciated by those that have seen it, After Hours gets largely forgotten by casual movie fans and Scorsese-freaks alike. It seems like a lot of people just don't know what to make of this one, and it receives general, unfocused approval simply because it's a Scorsese movie so it must be good, right?
Truthfully, After Hours is about as good as black comedy gets, one of the best cult-films of the 80's, and probably the best nightmare-of-a-night ever told on film.
''Say Anything'' depends above all on the human qualities of its actors. Cusack and Skye must have been cast for their clear-eyed frankness, for their ability to embody the burning intensity of young idealism. A movie like this is possible because its maker believes in the young characters, and in doing the right thing, and in staying true to oneself. The sad teenage comedies of recent years are apparently made by filmmakers who have little respect for themselves or their characters, and sneer because they dare not dream. -- Roger Ebert, from his Great Movies essay
Well said Mr. Ebert. And that has much to do with how this movie makes me so happy.
Rather than having that one big moment that makes the whole audience sob uncontrollably, the entire premise of this film is heart-wrenchingly sad. Luckily it's also thoughtful and sweet, and filled with strong performances.
I was first inspired by the remarkable friendship between Samwise and Frodo when I read the book. And if people could stop making immature "gay-jokes" for a second I think they'd find a pretty damn incredible portrait of friendship in the movie too.
Nineteen eighty-seven's Good Morning, Vietnam was a turning point for Robin Williams, garnering the comic his first Academy Award nomination and leveraging him into the first rank of American film stars. As directed by Barry Levinson, Williams imbues the "true life" story of Armed Forces Radio rebel Adrian Cronauer with his patented machine-gun comic banter, undercut by dollops of now equally familiar tragi-comic bathos. But contrary to the tired hit parade we've come to expect from period soundtracks, the '60s music Williams's character spins here is often a refreshing surprise, drawing from trashy garage-band chic ("Liar Liar" by the Castaways), underexposed British Invasion hits (the Searchers' "Sugar and Spice," "Game of Love" by Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders), and relatively obscure American chart hits ("Five O'Clock World" by the Vogues, the Rivieras' "Warm California Sun"), all of it gratuitously punctuated by Williams's manic DJ rantings. The inspired revival of Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World" also became one of the 1980s' most unlikely hits. --Jerry McCulley
Other highlights not mentioned above, or in certain cases appearing in the film only include "Nowhere to Run" by Martha and the Vandellas, "It's Alright" by Adam Faith, and a few rockin-good tunes from the Beach Boys. A brilliant collection that strengthens the film in ways rarely seen.
Not in fact my favorite classic movie, as I'm saving that title for the end of the list. But this fantastic french gem doesn't get talked about much here on listal, and is certainly one of my very favorites of the era. It's magical, inventive, lyrical, and mesmerizing. The set-pieces are among the most impressive of its time and even the camera work at times is a wonder to behold.
I used to think the earth was flat, that the sun revolved around the earth, and that religious fundamentalism wasn't an absolutely terrifying and dangerous social force. Now I can see that these are all terribly out-dated ideas.
Hah, but seriously this documentary is a real dose of scary when it comes to the way some people think. Even if it's far from the best doc out there.
Could've been the best sci-fi/horror film to hit theaters in years. The trailers were promising and when was the last time Adrien Brody picked up a bad script? Well the marketing team fooled me, and someone duped Brody too. Or he was blackmailed. Simply put, Splice is one of those cloning/genetic engineering pics that rely more on topical, cutting-edge science-y gene-O babble than thoughtful writing. Video store shelves have been infected with a rash of such films lately and Splice is the most recent reminder that the malady doesn't look to be retreating anytime soon.
Brody's character is dull, dull, dull. The strongest point of interest surrounding Clive occurs as we the audience wonder what ironic, edgy t-shirt he'll wear next. He lacks any intensity, courage or mystery required to carry the audience through a film. Opposite we have Elsa (Clive's girlfriend? Fiancee? Wife? Lab-partner, anyway). Elsa is the stupidest person with an advanced degree in micro-biology you've ever met. Really. Just a big ball of dumb, delusional naivety dressed up in a mother complex. Her actions and decisions (along with Clive's spineless, reluctant, "I guess I'll just humor her; how bad could things really get, ha-ha" response) are utterly unbelievable, effectively rendering most of the plot equally absurd. Usually when I suspend my disbelief I do so assuming that I will get something in return, namely scares or thrills. Splice doesn't even attempt to hold up its end of the bargain. Instead I'm offered a ridiculous, pretentious story about a couple and a Girl-nimal attempting to play house.
In what feels like a last-ditch effort (and I'm trying not to give anything away) the director abandons any credibility left and goes for DARING. (As in, "but he's a man and she's a...uh-oh"). I almost admired this plot-turn til the after-math shows up in all it's underwhelming mediocrity. Splice's only brilliance lies in its ability to acutely demonstrate why NOT to rely on stunning visuals alone.
-- Xanadon't (that's me) right after watching this piece of garbage
If you haven't seen it, it's tricky to explain. Timothy Hutton's character, Willie Conway, has at the age of 29(?) just moved back home because, well he just didn't know what else to do. He's a good guy, but can't quite get his life on track, and can't really become the "grown-up" he's supposed to be. He has left (another-- we assume) long-term relationship mostly because it was coming to a time where there were only two things left to do: get married or leave. He once again surrounds himself with his old friends who are also either stuck in a strange, perpetual state of adolescence, or whose lives are just a mess.
Willie is a romantic and an idealist at heart, a dreamer who refuses to face the responsibilities of reality. Rather than address his own sources of developmental paralysis he channels his mental and emotional energy toward things outside himself. So he's not a bad guy, in fact he's a very decent human-being and has potential to become something far greater than the current version of himself, but for much of the film he's unable to begin to occupy that life.
Hah, I suppose this doesn't paint myself in a very attractive light but I'd be lying if I didn't admit to seeing much of myself in this character.
It's like the most impressive and moving piece of mixed-media artwork you've ever seen, but in movie form.
With My Winnipeg, Guy Maddin offers audiences an intensely personal, poetic, and passionate film. The mood of this work wavers from bitterness, nolstagia, regret, blissfulness, and estrangement, but in the end evokes more feelings of LOVE--the real kind, at times murky and complex, at others luminous and simple--than the last 10 films I've watched combined. For in the end, that's what My Winnipeg is- a true labor of love from a serious artist. Viewers will recognize hints of German expressionism, French surrealism, Citizen Kane-esque shots, an entire history of film technique that Maddin employs as he tries to unravel the fibers of his soul, the heart-strings that bind him to his beloved town in a knotty, tangled mess. This is a film that investigates cause and effect, nature and nurture, the truths and untruths we carry with us, how they've shaped us and we them. Please do not take all this to mean that this is one of THOSE CEREBRAL ARTHOUSE FLICKS, the kind most people only pretend to truly enjoy. Instead view this film as an invitation to revisit your own life story, your own geographical and spiritual landscape. Because as Maddin tells us, "the truth is relative".
Surreal, mysterious, thrilling, bizarre, and wonderful. What an intense, mind-bending cinematic experience and what a luxury to have the marvelous Naomi Watts as our bright-eyed turned mystified guide through it all.
Straight up "action" movies may be my least-favorite genre of film. A favorite SciFi-action, action-comedy, comicbook-inspired action or something a bit more specific like that would've been much easier to come up with. But action-action has never really been my thing. I guess the original Die Hard came to mind right away, but I'm gonna go with Heat anyway.
Besides it's sheer star power, one of the things that set this film apart for me is director Michael Mann's attention to setting or location. He's great at bringing a real city like L.A. to life, and the sense of place the viewer has amidst all the gun-fire and broken glass is really extraordinary.
I've watched a lot of documentaries that deal with subjects I have far more personal interest in. But none of them moved me like this. There's an undeniable power to fascinate going on here that I'm not sure how to describe, but if you watch this film you'll know just what I mean.
Now normally a writers credit page that looked like this would indicate a confused, ungodly mess of a movie. And Once Upon a Time in America is no exception.
The fact that this was director Sergio Leone's last film probably has much to do with the inexplicable praise for this movie. The impressive cast probably accounts for much of the rest. But if anyone would ever bother to separate the art from the artists they'd discover that this movie really isn't very good.
Just about everyone I've talked to had serious problems with this movie... I just don't understand it. I will say that this movie is almost guilty of being too in love with itself, but beyond that I thought there was very little to dislike. It's funny, eccentric, clever, and a refreshing break from the tired predictability Hollywood often feeds us. Plus I'm a sucker for brother stories.
I'm not gonna pine over the myriad great films that were released in theaters before I was even born and that I haven't been fortunate enough to see on the big screen for a special screening since. Instead I'll use this space to kick myself for a far more recent missed opportunity, and a total lack of judgement.
Had I only not been so busy being a cynical movie-snob asshole making fun of what I considered "A desperate major-studio attempt to rake in on a dead franchise" I could've had the pleasure of watching this funny, exciting, action-packed visual virtuoso fun-ride on a big-ass screen with dolby digital surround! Sheesh I can be an idiot.
Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and Goodfellas all rank extremely close (and are all "better" and more "important" contributions to cinema) but while I'm sitting down watching it, I find I truly enjoy Casino more than all the rest.
Or maybe it's just that to me the only thing better than a two-hour Martin Scorsese film is a three-hour Scorsese film!
In my mind this will always be Hitchcock's greatest work and for years has remained my favorite movie of all time. As a film it is nearly flawless and it entertains and captivates from start to finish.
One of Hitch's last black and white features, this one is as timeless as it was innovative. Admire for instance the crane shot that begins as an overhead view of mingling party-goers, then swoops down from above the balcony, and finally ends in a close up of a small key inside Alicia's (Bergman) clutched hand. Or the clever way Hitch shoots the extended kiss that broke all the rules in Hollywood at the time, without actually breaking them. These are things that had never been done before.
Aside from style, this film is teeming with substance. Notorious is of an extremely rare breed in that it is an exceptional thriller, romance, drama, and espionage film all at once. Unbelievably, it also employs some of the most razor-sharp comedy in the Hitchcock library. Carey Grant gives the most hard-edged, while at the same time, most vulnerable performances of his career. And there's nothing not to admire about the lovely Ingrid Bergman as she plays the hard-drinking, fun-loving socialite with a dubious (one might say notorious) romantic reputation. Despite her history, her character emerges as a woman of profound courage, integrity, and warmth. She's THE quintessential "hooker with a heart of gold." And perhaps the most complex of all the characters is the "villian", Sebastion (Claude Raines). His allegiances and actions paint him the villian, but his emotional motives and stakes in the story are genuine, and invite empathy. A truly rich character, closely informed by his tyrannical mother. (what is it with Hitch and moms?) This story will entice you, anger you, thrill you, break your heart, and piece it back together. In short, it will move you like few films can.
--from Xanadon't's (that's me) review
Inspired by: So many of the thoughtful listal users around here.