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Found 19 results

  1. And so I did, tonight for the third time. When I saw "Barton Fink" in the theater, I swore it was one of the greatest films I'd ever seen, but I didn't have the first idea *why* it was. Tonight, I still think it is, and only now do I fully realize just how much of this film I don't understand. As I type this, I'm partially finished with this piece, an important analysis of "Barton Fink" - "'Writers Come and Go': The Greatness of Barton Fink" by Eric S. Piotrowski on medium.com
  2. If you liked "A Fish Called Wanda" and "In Bruges," you'll like aspects of "Brazil." Terry Gilliam directed this 34-year-old, wants-to-be-classic film about a totalitarian state "sometime in the 19th century." "Brazil" is a strange mixture of "Modern Times," "Metropolis," and "1984," all seasoned with the comedic absurdity of Monty Python. At first, without taking itself *too* seriously, it comes across as an extremely powerful, disturbing, effective satire against the oppressive state. Then this film ultimately collapses under its own weight: Rambling and lost, it becomes tedi
  3. "Straw Dogs" is a divisive film that, well, stars Dustin Hoffman and Susan George (it's unlikely that you can name a second film that Susan George was in), but regarding the film, *** SPOILERS FOLLOW *** suffice it to say that Director Sam Peckinpah's nickname was "Bloody Sam." A very typical early-70s filming of a gorgeous, cinematic, English landscape, the inevitable denouement being something you can see coming, but not necessarily something you want to see happening. Note Peckinpah's rapid-fire cuts coming into being once the cat is found. *** END SPOILERS *** "St
  4. When I was young, I saw a film titled, "Man in the Wilderness" (1971), which I still remember. "The Revenant" is based upon the same story (also titled "The Revenant," but written nearly 30-years after "Man in the Wilderness" was filmed). Of the two, the latter is *way* more spectacular, and - from what I remember - just plain better: a lot, lot, lot better. Leonard DiCaprio's performance won him an Academy Award for Best Actor, and from the other performances I've seen in 2015, it is fully deserved. Both DiCaprio and Supporting Actor Tom Hardy give two of the greatest performances I've
  5. I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to history outside of China, U.S.A. and Europe. For example, I knew nothing about how India and Pakistan came about, and how much pain and suffering came with the birth of these nations. I probably would've never have known but for The Viceroy's House, which is not a documentary, but a historical fiction wrapped around a love story. All I can say is it poignantly portrays the difficulty with dividing a subcontinent and its people between two countries. Sadly, it's another case of the same people divided by religion. I give it two thumbs up (not for ac
  6. One of the cool things about retro-watching classic Hollywood films are the secondary screens listing the secondary actors and actresses. For example, take "All About Eve" (1950): And I have to give yet-another shout-out to Edith Head, who has won more Academy Awards (8) than any woman in history (Walt Disney has her beat with 22, which could be a difficult number to surpass): : I know two things about "All About Eve" going into the film: 1) It's one of the most famous movies ever made, and 2) I know nothing else about it. That is a *good* combination - I know it has Bette
  7. Having recently re-watched "The Candidate," Robert Redford's 1972 political satire about California politics, I decided to watch its "companion piece from the next generation," Warren Beatty's "Bulworth" from 1998. Thirty minutes into the film, it seems like a strange, love-child of "The Candidate" and "Network" (remember Howard Beale (Peter Finch) losing it, and screaming, "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!"). That said,"Bulworth" is going to have to get better for me to like it as much as either of those two films. I'm not going to write up a long review
  8. Like the 1939 Jimmy Stewart classic, "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," Washington, DC residents can revel in the scenery of "The Day the Earth Stood Still," as virtually the entire film takes place inside the city, and you'll see numerous places you recognize, filmed 66-years ago (make sure you don't watch the 2008 remake, which is supposed to be pretty awful). Except it wasn't exactly "Mr. Smith" who came to Washington in this film - not by a long-shot. *** SPOILER ALERT *** A spaceship, circling the earth at 4,000 mph, plops down in the middle of the mall in DC, and out strides
  9. I got the notion to start re-watching "The Hustler" today because I saw a couple excerpts from "The Color of Money," the supposed "sequel" and absolute disappointment to The Hustler - the two movies shouldn't be mentioned in the same review because The Hustler is a classic; The Color of Money is lame - I remember a friend of mine saying - when it was out in the theaters in 1986, "This could have been so good, and it was such a disappointment," and I could not agree more. Tom Cruise was an embarrassment in his role, and Paul Newman played a weak character, running on fumes, when he should have
  10. *** SPOILERS FOLLOW *** The only thing I'd ever seen about "Chariots of Fire" is the opening song, the run along the beach (both of which take place at the very beginning of the film), and parodies thereof - it was hard not to be roused by the classic combination, worn out though it may be. I didn't realize the film took place in 1924; I thought it was a World War II movie - I know virtually nothing about it, so I'm looking forward to it very much. Okay, 25-minutes in, I'm a "wee bit" worried that this is going to be a "message movie" (the message of brotherhood), but I'm bankin
  11. No, I didn't just watch this film; I watched it when it came out in 2006 - this is around the time when Sacha Baron Cohen was a household word ... I wonder how often you've heard his name recently. I'm one of the least "politically correct" people you know - in fact, I despise political correctness. On the other hand, I despise stupidity and meanness even more, and this was about the stupidest, meanest film I have ever seen, post-1954. First of all, do people realize that Kazakhstan is approximately the size of what we think of as Europe? This isn't including the ex-Soviet countries,
  12. Earlier this year, I watched the 1927 silent film "The Lodger," which is widely considered the first "real" Alffed Hitchcock film (after he found his mojo), as well as the first filming of The Lodger, which was remade, in various guises, no less than four times, this being the third of five that I know of. Although this is a remake, Hitchcock had nothing to do with this: It was produced by Robert Bassler and directed by John Brahm, For those who don't know, Jack the Ripper was active in London during 1888 in Whitechapel, a district in the East End of London, in the borough of Tower H
  13. A very amusing piece of trivia occurs during the opening credits of "Peyton Place," the 1957 film of Grace Metalious' 1956 novel. As I was reading the credits, towards the end, up came: "CinemaScope Lenses by ... Bausch & Lomb" - I kid you not. It's probably a little less funny when you realize that Bausch & Lomb was founded over one-hundred years before that, in 1853! I doubt they were making contact lenses back then, but this is a prime example of a company adapting and surviving. I guess most people have heard of "Peyton Place," but very few people know what it is, other than "
  14. Believe it or not, "The Seven Year Itch" is the first film I've ever seen with Marilyn Monroe in it. I see in the opening credits that they'll be using Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto #2 - this could be fun, painful, or anything in-between. *** SPOILERS FOLLOW *** Speaking of painful, there's the beginning, where the "Manhattan Indians" send their wives and children away to escape the summer heat: RIchard Sherman (Tom Ewell), the middle-aged man left in Manhattan while his wife and son go up to Maine to escape the summer heat, plays his role with comic aplomb. He's got "that face"
  15. I thought I'd seen "Brubaker," and perhaps I did, because there are individual scenes I clearly remember. However, in seeing this movie again today, I thought it was much more boring than it should have been - it's a good story on paper, but actually watching it just wasn't very fun. Brubaker isn't a "bad" movie; but given its star power, and the fact that it took itself so deadly seriously, it should have been better. One thing I learned is about the Trusty System, which, yay, educated me and made me a better person. Yippee, get me a beer. This is beautiful cinematography
  16. I would normally never watch a film such as "The Martian," (an implausible Hollywood blockbuster about a crazy thing), but a trusted friend saw it, and told me I might like it more than I'd think (actually, the exact words were, "The Martian was not a great film. But my expectations were very low, and it surpassed them. It was amusing escapism on a day when I really needed some"), so given that I like to remain at least somewhat in touch with popular culture, why not? Plus, I've liked Matt Damon ever since "Good Will Hunting," - an underachieving film that has an interesting premise, sort of l
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