Movie Reviews (1951-2000)
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How to cut-and-paste a compilation of "best of" Hollywood golden age moments without really doing a single spoiler or ruining the experience when seeing the original film later on. Instead it feels like a homage to the past with heroes, heroines and villains thrown into one big canvas as most films tend to have the same build-up and climax. A nostalgic trip down memory lane with "friends" I haven't seen for ages.
Beautiful visuals can't hide the fact that the story is a poor man's version of "The Princess Bride" mixed with "The English Patient" but lacks the heart, wit and charm of the prior and the epicness and scope of the latter. The wrap-around story never engages and has a lackluster pay-off and the fantasy scenes are too fragmented and are the best thing but gets interrupted all the time. A "hit and miss" movie.
While the interracial homosexual love story was a first in British mainstream film I found it tame and the chemistry was lacking ( even if a young Day-Lewis was the love interest) I liked much better the relationship with the Pakistani family and the uncle (the cool Saeed Jaffrey) his sexy rebellous daughter and the alcholic father. I would rather have seen more of them - and the film lacks a satisfying ending
Somehow it is said this is a modern take on Mother Mary but since the birth ends in the "city of sin", Las Vegas, maybe this also could be seen as a whole new tale of a different Mary and the birth of Anti-Christ? In the end you can decide as this is in itself an unique take on an old tale with some good visual moments.
This is as close to a phenomenal Italian romantic soap opera that it is possible to get. Filled with gorgeous cinematography, beautiful decor and lovely upper class houses that fills the screen. It is both natural and frank but also bigger than life, especially in it's last scenes which plays out like a thriller with it's enigmatic almost mysterious ending.
This feels like an updated version of "All I Desire" done as "Brief Encounter". By going that route Sirk gives his own film a much better ending than what he attempted with his former film "All I Desire" and the chemistry with Stanwyck and MacMurray is strong due to their numerous earlier films together making it even more believable that he is tempted to leave his family to re-experience love long lost. Possibly my favorite Sirk film so far.
Mark Ruffalo can get away with even banging a lesbian Julianne Moore in this film - strange that the film didn't end with him taking the virginity of his own daughter while the son was giving a rating on it (THAT would at least have been a big shock) as this film ends up as a typical Hollywood "the family can overcome all odds" film and the small hints of originality is thrown out of the window.
An enormous hit-and-miss movie mainly due to an lazy script and typhical "rollercoaster" moments that give way for any good characterization. Johnny Depp also go through the motions, but fans could probably get a kick of seeing the origin of the Jack Sparrow and a better send-off for Orlando Bloom and Kira Knightley than in the original trilogy, but mostly this is a franchise that sails on autopilot.
Well, the casting director deserve a pay raise as there are few slashers that can get so many "genre favorites" together when the film has such a predictable script as this one. Strange too how they got tempted by the script, as they only have to spit out jokes and react to false scares and "unknowns" would have done just a good job.
Reality show "The Deadliest Catch" done right as it really show that the job can end in death. As a catastrophe movie this movie is realistic and actually show that not even the most famous Hollywood star can survive nature making this film everything but a "happy ending" film for the hamburger and pizza- movie generation.
At first glance another "Emmanuelle" copy that is hindered by it's fragmented storyline and a leading mannequin actress that participate in high-class near XXX scenes and oral sex before it surprises even the most critical eye with a supernatural avant-garde ending of epic porportions. Klaus Kinski's presence add to the fun of it all. One of the few erotic movies that surpass it's own genre.
After "Duel" but before "Christine" there was "The Car" - a fast-paced slasher murder car movie with porn-moustached James Brolin and a stash of other faces. It may not have that great acting nor the best effects but there is a guilty pleasure in seeing such a slick killer car that actually manage to kill off (almost) everyone on screen.
The only good thing I have to say about this movie is that it worked a couple of times for my 5-year-old when she wanted to relax and see a movie which made it possible for me to watch a better and more satisfying film on my laptop as I couldn't care about either the characters or the animation. Mass-produced shit to be honest.
Well the voice acting is top class, but this "Sherlock Holmes" tie-in product with added slapstick fun from Tom, Jerry and other Warner Bros. characters is completely unnecessary and lacks the pace, craziness and fast intensity of the shorts and the main characters feel most of the time as supporting characters in their own film. Only for the most undiscriminating fan of Tom, Jerry or Sherlock Holmes.
...or a tragedy in all acts if one could call a film anything else. The powerful ending about how a father loses his daughter and all his attempts of guiding and giving her a better life gets an added touch of despair and sadness after we get treated to the "epilogue" in the start of the film and that all the father's fears seem to have become reality. Probably helps if you have read the original Conrad story though. A very sad film.
Not an essential "making of" movie but a fun collection of theories and "crazed" conspiracy theories that surround "The Shining". Fun watch especially for those who have seen the film numerous times but not seen the small details that feed the brain of those who are looking for them. Would have been fun to have seen the faces of the people commenting on the film though - maybe we wouldn't have taken it serious then?
Third time is the charm as this new "Spider-Man" connects directly with Disney's Marvel movies making it both funnier and more charming than any of the earlier attempts. The best thing though is that the hero is finally a wise-cracking teenager with teenage problems. Keaton also do a good new "Birdman" character, but rest of the young cast don't impress much as I don't like so much their "updated" personalities but Aunt May impresses as she is played by still sexy and feisty Marisa Tomei.
Propaganda has never been this epic-looking as with this cinerama movie. It demands a huge screen though to appreciate the nature and great dancing Numbers but the film look spliced together from different sourches helped with narration from bing crosby and the unattractive whale slaughtering scenes is hard to watch. Funnier then is seeing Russians acting as cowboys in order to make us feel they are just like the U.S
Labeled as a superhero movie, the film feels honestly closer to a quirky and whimsy Guillermo del Toro movie stripped of it's make-up effects and the fact that it's about a man who grows strong in the water. Sadly, the film lacks any true substance and had it not been that my current love affair, Vimala Pons, has the female leading role I would have been harsher with it.
When a "scare propaganda" has too much "good intention" in saving the souls that watch their film that it ends up as a comedy. From the 1st frame of the crazed preacher to the manic madhouse depiction of hell - this is a film that was never intended outside it's own "sect circle" but luckily the world got to see how a sect leader really thinks. Among the top contenders as worst film ever.
Illustrates Brian dePalma's entire thriller career in one film as the film hits-and-misses just like dePalma's directorial output - this film has a schizophrenic script and visual beauty. It do have one tense finale at a motel but is also filled with false scares, hallucinations, dreams and lacks logic. It also forces you to accept John Lithgow's triple character performance that may feel a little off and "stagey".
Well it is because of this kind of film I'm an avid cinephile so that I can see something strange, banned, obscure and foreign from a country I have no insight and where people in power want to ban the film due to it's political content or because of it's imagery. This excellent comment on dictators and especially one certain former Soviet one is fascinating from beginning to end with great moments of black humor.
Is it only me who got the feeling that I was watching a vampire film made by the unknown love product of David Lynch when he had a brief fling with an Iranian woman during the 1980s? And his talent somehow sprung out of this woman but that she was stuck with his early black/white visions and strange ideas. Hell, there is even similiarties to the film "Nadja" in here too a film he acted in too. Slow, atmospheric film.
Even if I saw the wonderful remake first (due to how much easier it is accessible) the original deserves even more praise as it was this fillm that gave us the engaging twist and the shock twist ending first. Absorbing characters and the usual fast-paced frentic editing that we are used to see when Hong Kong's finest films are on the screen. The Hollywood adaptaion have better dialogue but the action is tougher here.
What happens when obsession goes even further than an obsession. A bleak and dark tragedy with a character that stops at nothing to become the real life Chilean Tony Manero.
At the height of the "X-Files" craze in the middle of the fifth and sixth season came this film that goes so deep into the conspiracy mythology of the series that it is sadly totally unaccessible for non-fans. Great production values and an acting duo that could do their roles in sleep is the main reason for seeing this film. The best scene is at the beginning though with the defusing of a bomb.
Uncompromising in it's vision of a young woman coming of age living in poverty hating her life, her surroundings and the fact that her mother is bringing back the most delicious hunks. It is only by tasting the bitter fruit herself that she discover that the only meaning of life is surviving and surviving being 16. The child in peril scene at the end is more horrific than any horror I have seen the last two decades.
No one can take away the film's landmark status, but the truth is that Woody is an annoying, selfish cowboy toy at the start that I had very hard to care for him and the bickering between Hanks and Allen gets tiresome to listen on after a while. Better was the supporting voice cast and the initial idea that toys come alive when kids sleep or are not there will never lose it's magic even if it is an old one.
Jean Gabin and Marcel Carne was a perfect fit for telling tragic lovestories. None of their films together was as important nor as beautifully shot as this one. Michele Morgan is absolutely breathtaking in every single frame of this film. Need to see it again though to see if I actually should have given it FIVE stars.
A french love tragedy in flashback. It is among the strongest melodramas from this period but the ending could probably have been even more emotionally devastating with a little more dialogue and an epilogue at the end. Still, this is a pretty bleak and sad story that have a lasting impact.
The first hour is the most definitive and best boxing movie of all time with great chemistry between the old manager and former champion and the talentful young diamond who has only one choice in life: to win so he can become something. Then a melodramatic romance story derails the movie and it's course and the movie just ain't that interesting. It's Jean Gabin's returning presence that makes this film end positive.
Bette Midler play a Janis Joplin-like character singing, abusing alcohol, drugs and swearing a lot. It was surprised by her devastating performance here since I have seen her toned down, Disney/Vegas/Broadway "safe"-performances for decades. Worth seeing this movie for her devastating, surprising performance and the excellent cinematography that could make one think one was seeing a rock-concert for most of the time.
Well it gets much right as it comes close to what comic book movies should aspire to be: colorful, vast, epic with fun comedic moments and big intense battles. It will not change anyone who hate the genre, but do give an adrenaline injection to devoted fans. Sadly, most of the scenes at As(s)gard (including the ending) drag down the pace and are too serious for it's own good.
You can say that it was a film to introduce new toys to the kids, but I say that what kid in his/her right mind would want to buy new toys after getting treated to the genocide of their favorite robots and see them getting ripped apart or blown up on the screen. The shock made even the most unsensitive kid aware of that there was consequences to war and death was permanent. A shocking mindfuck from beginning to end, especially the three-headed skeleton-faced villain was creepy as hell.
The book did have a subtitle "her last love" which would have been a lot better as I can then treat this movie as a romantic date-movie and not as biographic film. The film would have been better had it told how the Royal Family actually threw Diana to the vultures ("journalists") and her search for protection after her divorce from Charles, but they are completely absent from this. Okay film for showing Diana as a "normal" person.
The 50th Disney animated feature is an old-fashioned "I hate-and-love him/her" story with a frying pan. It is cute and charming but it is the scene-stealing blood-sniffing horse, Maximus, and (as usual) impressive visual moments that is best with the film. The songs are among the more forgettable in Disney history though. As in all fairytales the ending is predictable so it is the journey there that is fun to watch.
The most horrific and terrible persons are the ones closest to you. The feud between Davis and Crawford behind-the-scenes have become legend but the "hate" is phenomenal even on screen - and let's not forget Victor Buono as the most patethic unemployed, sleazy "mummy boy" who can't even become the hero of the day when the chance arrives to him. Gorgeously shot and a cruel ending that leaves a lasting impact.
A slow-moving "gangsters hijack a hotel" thriller, but it is marvellously acted and has some excellent dialogue that make any scene worth an investment. Even better is the phenomenal cinematography by Karl Freund that gives the film an extra dimension. The scenes of Edward G. Robinson sexually harassing Lauren Bacall with words (not heard) are worth the price of admission alone.
Nils Gaup almost remakes his sami epic "Pathfinder" to a Norwegian historic setting and the fast-paced action scenes is the movie's weakest part as in-between the scenes there is a vaster, more dramatic story that don't give enough meat or background to any character except the main hero (who sadly) is the weakest and cliche-filled one in the film. Gorgeous scenery and skiing scenes though.
Depardieu's accent almost capsizes the film as it at first is hard to get all his words, but if one can get through this I have to admit this is a gorgeous looking production of a type we seldom (if ever) will get to see again. The scope of the film is enormous and Vangelis' music epic. There are some historic changes but what to except for a movie made to celebrate "the discovery" of the new world 500 years later.
Another nostalgic trip to the old well of Hollywood tales, but at least the story makes sense as the forgotten son of legend Apollo Creed tries to break out of his father's shadow with his old rival Rocky training him and finding peace with his past and lost friends. The boxing scenes are tense and continue the trend of delivering hard-hitting punches but it is the film's quieter moments that actually make this watchable.
"The Empire, your parents, the Resistance, the Sith, the Jedi... let the past die. Kill it, if you have to. That's the only way to become what you are meant to be." - I guess these words was in the back of the director's mind as he tries to carve out a new direction and road to the franchise without getting trapped in the old ways and killing off beloved characters. It is bold to do so when the new heroes are so forgettable compared to the established legends.
Vincent was good at hating witches as he here do a much sleazier version of his "Witchfinder General" character but still spitting out hateful dialogue as if he was doing a Shakespeare play. Director Gordon Hessler knows he has a lously script so he sprinkles the film with attractive women with clothes that are so loose that their tits fall out making one think he attempted to make a British Jesus Franco movie which is not a bad thing by the way.
Charming old-fashioned comedy of a type that today is impossible to copy. The cinematography is surprisingly timeless and the slapstick echoes the old comedians of the past. Some stuff is predictable though, but the middle story is surprisingly charming and awakens the romantic in me.
The basic idea is very good as this was an attempt of a homage to Vincent Price's horror career at AIP with some "old scenes" spliced in, but sadly the script can't pull it off as the culprit is no surprise from the get-go making the film more boring as we get to the end. Visually the movie is not that bad trying to be a British giallo (without too much of the gore for censorship reasons) and Price/Cushing are fun. Sadly, Christopher Lee didn't do Robert Quarry's role and I would have upped this one star.
With alternate takes and unique behind-the-scenes moments, Pere Portabella, gives us a different version of Jesus Franco's "Count Dracula" as if it was filmed in a different time as a silent movie epic. Beautiful and atmospheric this 16mm surprise is not only a fascinating comparison piece but ends up as the better film making me wonder how "Count Dracula" would have ended up if the two directors had joined forces.
Why Christopher Lee is a legend. He dared to do what other established actors never do: appearing in underground films being a guerilla and advocate for different type of genres, directors and making people interested in other stuff than English-speaking films. In this film he got to do what he loved best: read poetry, sing and put jewellery on a nude woman's body. Soundtrack could have been less annoying though.
As an atmospheric movie of Portugese village life, festival music and documenting the looks and behavior of village people and a couple in forbidden love this film works enormously. The in-joke of a group of film people trying to make a movie but "fails" though has it's problems and other films have done that angle better, funnier and more intriguing than this one.
I think critics has been harsh with this one as there is actually a pretty decent idea that is written more complicated and makes less sense than it really needed to be. The fun of this film is seeing how the movie tries to replicate the original before it changes the game and becomes it's own machine creating a kind-of new "parallel reality". My biggest hate with the film is that it should have had more traditional action than the CGI overkill and that it is rated PG-13. The cast is not bad but Jai doesn't register at all on the emotional scale and the actor that play John Connor is charmless as a troll.
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