Reviews written by registered user
gracchi

Send an IMDb private message to this author or view their message board profile.

7 reviews in total 
Index | Alphabetical | Chronological | Useful

8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Radio's Golden Age, 21 October 2007
8/10

I liked this bit of film noir. The story is a bit confusing and it lacks a solid foundation for introducing and developing characters. Unlike most films, this film might have been over edited. Another 10-15 minutes of character development might have helped.

Now having said all that, what I truly liked about this film is that it is set during the golden age of radio. Its nice to have a contemporary view of this now lost and long forgotten world. We get to see a production of an "old time radio" program. We see how sound was recorded before taping became practical. Claude Rains' character is a narrator of a spooky, murder mystery radio show very much along the lines of popular radio programs such as "The Whistler" or "Suspense" or "Lights Out." Rains was perfectly cast in this role. His "radio voice" hearkens back to the day when "the Man in Black" or "the Whistler" kept millions of Americans entranced by the glowing dial in their darkened den or bedroom.

14 out of 27 people found the following review useful:
Dull and Dumber, 4 August 2002
1/10

To see such talent (Paul Newman, Tom Hanks, Stanley Tucci and Jude Law) wasted on this pathetically scripted and edited movie, makes one very sad. Jude Law seems to be the only actor awake in this movie, but his superb acting can not make this Edsel of a film go anywhere. For those who have commented as to whether this is the "perfect film", I can only say "you don't get out much." The Editor used a hatchet and pasted the film back together with bubble gum. If this movie aspired to be an epic then it needed an additional hour and a half of character development so that we care about the relationship between Hanks and Newman's characters. The 15 minutes of the film which culminated into the tommy gun spaying in the raining streets scene, is one of the worse examples of film editing in decades. Paul Newman, Tom Hanks and Stanley Tucci just sleep walk thought this film.

And the writing - what writing? If you can afford big name stars please leave enough money in the budget to pay for a good script writer that understands that unless he's writing for Terrance Malik, he might need to include a plot! I hated this movie, its underdeveloped characters, its plotless and trudging story line. But by reading the reviews and commentaries submitted, I can see that the cotton candy fluff crowd loves this movie (just like they did for that dreadful "Pearl Harbor"). I have not seen a movie this dull since "The Thin Red Line". If your IQ is over 100, don't waste money on this dud.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
buy new dvd release, 9 July 2002
10/10

I like Citizen Kane. There are many comments made in this section by people who "just don't get it". Well I sympathize and even understand where they are coming from but ... consider: This was the FIRST attempt of a 25 year old man who up til this time was famous for radio ("War of the Worlds", Mercury Theater, Campbell Playhouse and The Shadow) and also for NY stage productions. He came to Hollywood and he was given absolute control over a picture (unheard of since the end the silent movie era). He brought with him from New York a group of radio and NY stage actors with NO prior film experience. He also brought to Hollywood the innovations of broadcast radio. He allowed experienced but stifled Hollywood camera experts (Toland) to be creative. He did the same with lighting (but he had some of his on thoughts from the stage as to this).

If you buy the DVD version you may hear the very insightful comments of Roger Ebert as to this movie. In my opinion, Mr. Ebert's commentary will help those of you that "just don't get it" and will still be very insightful to the rest of us as well. Peter Bogdanovich (besides being a director in his own right, wrote a biography on Orson Wells: "This is Orson Welles" - available at Amazon.com) also does a commentary, but it is not as insightful as Ebert's. Listen to Ebert's commentary but read Bogdanovich's book. This is NOT the best movie ever made, BUT it is the best first attempt at film making ever and by far the most innovative film ever. Wells was a genius who tragically peaked too early in life. After seeing this movie watch The Third Man, an even better film.

10 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
90 minute meeting that changed the world, 19 May 2002

This movie is a fascinating 'fly on the wall' look at the infamous Wannsee Conference held on 20 Jan 1942. As they snack on food and sip on fine French Wines, the 'paper pushers', 'yes men', 'intellectuals' and 'hatchet men' of the Third Reich debate the fate of 11 million people.

There is another movie that also looks at this same 90 min. meeting called 'Conspiracy' - which is available on DVD & VHS through Amazon.com. Although the 'WannseeKonferenz' is the better movie (and 'Conspiracy' sometimes comes across as a flashy imitation), I strongly urge everyone to watch both movies. Both movies have the same people attending the conference, but how each attendee is portrayed at the conference is strikingly different. Most of the attendees in 'Conspiracy' (except for Dr. Klopfer) are viewed as flawed intellectuals, but full of grace, charm and manners (which makes a nice stark comparison with what they are discussing). Almost all of the attendees in 'The Wannsee Conference' (except for the female secretary) are shown as crude, corrupt pigs that differ with each other only as to how to divide their 'power'. In particular after watching both versions, I am most curious as to the 'real' Major Lange. The crude drunken Major Lange of 'The Wannsee Conference' seems more likely to be butchering 1000's of Jews at Riga than the soft spoken, charming, well mannered Major Lange of 'Conspiracy'.

Conspiracy (2001) (TV)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
90 minute meeting that changed the world, 19 May 2002
10/10

This movie is a fascinating 'fly on the wall' look at the infamous Wannsee Conference held on 20 Jan 1942. As they snack on food and sip on fine French Wines, the 'paper pushers', 'yes men', 'intellectuals' and 'hatchet men' of the Third Reich debate the fate of 11 million people. There is another movie that also looks at this same 90 min. meeting called Wannseekonferenz (The Wannsee Conference) - which is available on VHS through Amazon.com. I strongly urge everyone to watch both movies. Both movies have the same people attending the conference, but how each attendee is portrayed at the conference is strikingly different. Most of the attendees in 'Conspiracy' (except for Dr. Klopfer) are viewed as flawed intellectuals, but full of grace, charm and manners (which makes a nice stark comparison with what they are discussing). Almost all of the attendees in 'The Wannsee Conference' (except for the female secretary) are shown as crude, corrupt pigs that differ with each other only as to how to divide their 'power'. In particular after watching both versions, I am most curious as to the 'real' Major Lange. The crude drunken Major Lange of 'The Wannsee Conference' seems more likely to be butchering 1000's of Jews at Riga than the soft spoken, charming, well mannered Major Lange of 'Conspiracy'.

38 out of 76 people found the following review useful:
A movie that makes you re-think black listing, 18 August 2001
1/10

This movie is pure red propaganda. I sure hope Joseph Davies was not as naive and stupid as this movie portrays. Obviously it was important in 1943 to make movies with an anti-fascist slant, but that does not excuse this piece of left wing propaganda that glosses over the great soviet show trials of 1937-1938 (and Stalin's purges). To show Uncle Joe himself as a great humanitarian who just wanted peace - how pathetic. Since the USSR was a vital ally at the time this movie was made, maybe it would have been best not to have made this movie at all if we were afraid to offend the Soviets with the TRUTH. This movie ranks right up there with 'Battleship Potemkin' and 'Triumph of the Will' as big production propaganda (but it is not as well made). I am a little curious as to the future careers of people involved in this movie (were any of them black listed in the 1950's?). After seeing this film, it makes you think twice about the Hollywood black list in the 1950's. Perhaps a necessary evil during the cold war against leftist who could make Marxist-Stalinist crud like this movie. If you want to counter-act this left wing movie, I recommend 'The Green Berets' - a horrible piece of American right-wing propaganda.

7 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
hated it, 15 March 1999
1/10

This movie was pretentous drivel. 3 hours of a mix of National Geographic with sureal "action" that is reminiscent of a perfume or jeans ad. Plot is non existent. Fortune Cookie quality Zen philosophy voice overs will irritate many viewers very much like Chinese water torture. A beautiful nature film documentory could be made from the footage shot; and if it was cut down to about one hour, I would watch it. I can see how if you have never contemplated basic philosophical thoughts before (or if you find lyrics in pop music as "deep"), that this movie could appeal to you. Besides Nick Noltes' role, it seems that the other actors are more like props than charactors (for some reason I found that disturbing). If you find plot, dialogue, focus and brevity as "musts" in a film, then don't see this trite piece of "stream of consciousness." Rivers of platitudes cascading over beautiful nature scenes do not a film make. I would hope that if I would make a movie only every 20 years or so that I could find focus and plot. This is surreal modern art goes to the movies for a mind numbing 3hrs - dreadful. "Apocalypse Now" achieved what this movie only muddles around about. The horror, the horror.