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An interesting idea that spins its wheels.
The obvious question was why but as I heard Bernard Herrmann's calculated score over an identical opening credits I found myself a little more than curious. Unfortunately Van Sant and his players never seem quite sure which way they want to go. Overall it is shot for shot. The actors seem to be attempting similar chops as well but then they(Director and actors) all swerve in a different direction from time to time and since there's nowhere to go with a new vision or idea it feels wooden and insincere. The majority of the blame falls on Vince Vaughn who appears to be in his first school play. Whereas Perkins won our sympathy and persuaded our priorities with his understated and boyish Norman-Vaughn goes the "hey I'm a Loony!"direction. Anne Heche is warm and acceptable as Marion but unfortunately, as we all know, she leaves the gig early. Gus Van Sant spins his wheels never seeming sure if he should play it straight or throw it all out for something else; clearly it would have at least been more interesting to see a new spin.. but once again-WHY REMAKE A FILM THAT CLEARLY STANDS UP TODAY? A real shame.
Out of the Past (1947)
Definitive film noir delivers the goods and then some.
Film noir, like any genre, has a few defining moments in its history. Without a doubt Jacques Tourneur's vivid film sits somewhere at the top. All the noir elements are here: the femme fatale, doomed leading man, double-crosses, top notch dialogue, and style to burn. What makes OUT OF THE PAST special is that to Tourneur's advantage, the film was cast with actors whose performance and appearance raise the characters to a mythic level similar to some of John Ford's films. Successfull on every level, OUT OF THE PAST delivers the goods and then some.
Hammer's 5th Frankenstein film is proof positive of the fine work of Cushing/Fisher.
Peter Cushing will always be THE final word on the role of Baron Frankenstein. Cunning, arrogant, relentless and above all else,charming. It could also be said that Terence Fisher is the final word on not only directing Hammer's Frankenstein series but Hammer films in general. This is not a new theory by any stretch regarding Fisher. His was the style by which all who played for Hammer's team would in some way emulate. It is no surprise, therefore, that FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED would be so good. Both actor and director had become pretty familiar with this material but rather than go through the motions something high above the expectation mark occurs. A good script certainly helps and indeed this time around there is. It is the relished performance of Peter Cushing and the carefully executed direction of Fisher which gives this film it's tasty Gothic flavor. Never seen a Hammer film? Here's your chance to sink your teeth into a good one.
Point Blank (1967)
Raw, Lyrical, and Bullets
Point Blank kind of came and went in theaters but I can't imagine anyone who saw it in 1967 left forgetting John Boorman's tough and beautiful film. A simple story told in a very stylish and, at times, surreal manner. Though the storyline is a variation on "revenge" themes, it is Boorman's images that open it up and find pay-dirt. Images of Lee Marvin emptying his pistol in slow motion, the sound of footsteps over a string of pictures that curdle the mind, and the seemingly limitless use of rawness perfectly realized in the action and performance by Marvin and,interestingly, Angie Dickinson. There is a wonderful conflict between the primal Marvin and the Corporate Crime world which he cannot understand. Marvin knows survival of the fittest- not the richest. It's hypnotic and aggressive. Boorman balances perfectly on the line between the two.