Reviews written by registered user
|79 reviews in total|
In this little-known Van Dyke picture, the brilliant cinematography and acting cancel out the shallow plot and seemingly endless 'docu-footage' of the island. What it all adds up to is a very interesting, beautifully shot representation of an exotic place, with a bit of heavy-handed message to make it a story rather than a documentary. There is one exception to this, though, and it is a stunning one: the scene in which the 'white god' teaches the girl to whistle. It is surprisingly intimate, and acted wonderfully well. I recommend this one to fans of early cinematography.
While there may be holes in this morality tale, the combination of Robert Richardson's brilliant cinematography and Max Von Sydow's excellent acting serve as the backbone for a beautifully effective film. It is at times slow moving, and unfortunately Ethan Hawke's character is slightly underdeveloped, yet the film as a whole comes together in the final half an hour, and the result is worth the wait.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In the great tradition of Alfred Hitchcock, this thriller is mysterious and suspenseful right to the end. The acting is outstanding throughout, especially Damon, Hoffman and Paltrow. I won't talk too much about it (I HATE spoilers) but I highly recommend it as one of the top three movies of this year.
What a disappointment. Oliver Stone, Al Pacino and football. What a great movie THAT should be. "Should be" doesn't mean "IS", however. Unfortunately, Stone's flashy (and yes, impressive) shots of the the game are not enough to solidify this unfocused movie. The movie is wrought with too many music-videos and shallow characters to whom we cannot relate. If Stone wanted to make "Rudy part II" he should have concentrated more on the characters, and if he was looking for "MTV does the NFL" he shouldn't have wasted our time even introducing half of the characters. But he ends up in the middle here, with a mish-mash of football-music-videos and underdeveloped characters who have mysterious and quick attitude changes just in time to win a playoff game. The greatest let-down is that the great rebel Oliver Stone sells out and gives us a Rudy ending, without making us care for anyone like we cared about Rudy. Of course we have lots of sentimentality about the past, sure. You want to talk about the past, Mr. Stone? Remember Platoon and JFK? I do.
"The Green Mile" is one of those movies that has an excellent story, gorgeous cinematography, solid acting, and that's all. While there is nothing particularly wrong about the film, neither is there anything outstanding. Perhaps at times it extends too far into comedy, others too far into violence, but it keeps a fair balance most of the time. Although the concept is intriguing, it seems that it is underdeveloped somehow. Yes, the events in the story are all there, but the "moral" explained at the end does not come across during the action the way I expect the director intended. Michael Clarke Duncan and Tom Hanks give fine performances.
"Intolerance" is D.W. Griffith's masterpiece, and one of the greatest films ever made. It is a film of enormous breadth, daring, and imagination, and the result is one of the most poignant adventures stories ever to be told in cinema. The sets are awe inspiring, the acting first-rate, and the stories that intertwine are impressive each in their own right, and magnificent when combined. It is hard to imagine a film which combines such a wide expansive of time, elaborate sets, stunning cinematography, a direct and important message, and lasting dramatic tension. Yet this is exactly what "Intolerance" does.
Although "The High Sign" is a short film and not very well known, in many ways it is one of Keaton's best. It is non-stop entertainment, especially because the plot is very nearly irrelevant and the gags are so constant. What makes this so special in the development of movie comedy are the shooting gallery scene and the trapdoor house. These are examples of quintessential American slapstick, and they have been copied hundreds of time since 1921. There is also one small special effect in the midst of all the comedy that really caught my eye: Someone spikes Keaton's drink with either alcohol/poison (we are not told) and Keaton sips it. He can tell it is spiked, and looks into the cup, and we see in the drink the image of the rear of a horse kicking it's hind legs. This obvious allusion to the 'drink with a kick' is not only funny, but it is the essence of cinema: show not tell. I highly recommend this one for anyone looking for a short, innovative, hilarious comedy.
Like Ang Lee's previous film, 'Sense and Sensibility', this film has a sense of completeness which makes the story seem more real and so all the more poignant. The ensemble cast is wonderful, which is especially impressive because of the number of child actors involved. There are many similarities between this one and this year's 'American Beauty', but I believe 'The Ice Storm' is a better film. There is a better sense of real people in this film, whereas in 'American Beauty' it bordered on caricature, thus distancing the audience just a little more. The last half and hour of 'The Ice Storm' is heart-wrenching, pulling off an effective ending while avoiding any false notes. It deserved Oscar nominations for directing, screenplay and cinematography.
This is one of Billy Wilder's most entertaining and easily watchable films. His direction is unintrusive but carefully guided, and again he drags forth masterful performances from his actors. Charles Laughton is brilliant, and if it hadn't been for The Bridge on the River Kwai, he and Wilder would have won Oscars for their work.
What a sad day it is when the Capulets destroy gas stations and Romeo smokes cigarettes. This new version, in a poor imitation of the 'MTV cross-cutting' style, makes a terrible mess of Shakespeare's classic. The direction is a joke, the editing is ridiculous, and the actors are vacant of any comprehension of the characters. In other words, this is pure trash. See Zeffirelli's 1968 version instead.
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