Reviews written by registered user
|7 reviews in total|
Come on guys! The only real issue here is how does this 2006 Special
Effects wonder(that's SEW!) stack up against the all time classic WWI
flying machine spectacular---Howard Hughes' Hell's Angels? I'd say
pretty well, especially when you consider that the Hell's Angels
dogfights were so cool that George Lucas supposedly redid them in Star
I had some questions about who built the planes for this film---the Hollywood legend is that Hughes managed to round up nearly all the "real thing" aircraft that could be found for "Angels"---but then when you've got $60,000,000 to mess around with quite a bit can be accomplished. You think the plot is weak---at least they didn't have Jean Harlow to contend with. Confidentially, I loved it.
The comment from the person who saw this as an 8 year old certainly
brought back memories for me.
I must have seen this film at least three times during the pre-TV days of Saturday morning special programs for children.
If you've ever sat in a theater packed with eight to twelve year olds all bawling their eyes out together, you know it is something you'll never forget.
I was able to find a VHS of the movie in later years and was astonished to find how charming the picture is on the adult level as well.
Kudos, hugs, and kisses to anyone still alive who helped put it together.
A bit preachy in the style of the day but a remarkable film. The opening is especially strong. Among the interesting touches, the movie lynch mob is made up mainly of college students wearing their school t-shirts. New York Model Adele Jergens didn't have much of a Hollywood career but she's right on the money in this one. Although the time frame is post WWII, the story is based on an actual lynching in San Jose, California, in 1933. Reporter Royce Brier of the San Francisco Chronicle won a Pulitzer for his account of the event.California Governor James Rolph Jr. was quoted as saying he would like to turn over all jail inmates serving sentences for kidnapping to the custody of "those fine patriotic San Jose citizens, who know how to handle such a situation."
The Polish commentator (see above) has it right. Some of the facts may be inaccurate but this is a superb film, visually and dramatically.Most important, the basic theme of a brilliant but eccentric and sometimes viciously cruel ruler who despite all of his shortcomings is determined to drag his country into a modern world is undoubtedly correct.Roosevelt and Churchill would have loved him. The Massie novel has been described as one of the most illuminating portraits ever of Russia as it really is.Too bad old Karl XII (actually it was a Swedish General namedLoewenhaupt) lost the battle of Poltava, but he did. And when Karlhimself fell victim to a stray battlefield bullet a few years later,one of his senior officers commented, "Gentlemen, the comedy is over."
I generally liked the film but noticed one interesting irony the film
makers apparently missed.
I saw the sound bite they used of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld saying that Al Jazeera repeats the same story "over and over and over again" at least five times on CNN Headline News the day he said it.
I'd guess that CNN used the Rumsfeld bite on every half hour newscast they did for at least a twelve hour cycle.
Frankly, I thought the film was considerably tamer than I had expected. I thought there could have been more of the rather embarrassing exchanges between journalists and public information officers that took place during the regular daily press briefings.
After having read the preceding reviews and of course
having seen the flick I just had to add this comment:
I take my movies seriously and I take my history
seriously---in general. I will easily admit that this film
is a bit weak on both scores. But everybody obviously had a wonderful time!
And sometimes that counts for something. I had not seen Miss Zeta-Jones before but I am certainly glad to have seen her now. I will admit that Mae West was probably closer to the real Catherine (complexionwise, haircolorwise, and probably even sexualproclivitywise) but it was an absolute pleasure to watch a woman who is imperious as well as beautiful play a part in which she is required to be both those things! I mean, she pulled it off! And she looked absolutely great doing it! I Can't wait to see her again. Well now, the historic issues. I am really sorry that Potemkin didn't get a chance to show Catherine a Potemkin village in this particular version, but other than that the history didn't really bother me all that much. The fact is, I kind of liked the plot, even if it does come from never never land. So put me down as a complete Philistine if you will, I can't help but admit that I enjoyed this thing thoroughly, misguided as I may be. And let me throw in one more kudo. Anyone who cut his teeth on "Gunsmoke" as Mr. Chomsky did, and winds up directing a Russian Czarina quoting Rousseau can't be all bad. I hope you like it too.
I was fascinated by the number of commentaries on this film and startled by
the overwhelming positive response. I'll admit I missed the Imax version (it
went by too fast in this town) and never saw it in a regular theater, so
when it showed up on my Dish TV pay per view I immediately plonked down my
$3.99. I'm sorry guys. I just didn't think it
came even close to the original, and here are some reasons why more or less
in order of importance.
(a) It's BLUE. Maybe it wasn't in the Imax version but what I saw was blue blue blue and it was so bad that I am amazed no one else commented on it, unless this is a Dish TV screw up of their own. Beethoven's Fifth was blue. Rhapsody in Blue was blue. The Pines of Rome was blue. In the world I come from (network news) blue means that someone screwed up. Should I get my tv set readjusted or what? You tell me.
(b) The choice of music was extremely uninspired. Carnival of the Animals has some interesting parts. The finale isn't one of them. Beethoven's Fifth? Like where would I ever hear that? Come on guys! Just compare that to the Pastoral Symphony in the original. They had trouble finding appropriate music to go with The Little Tin Soldier? The trouble persists.
(c) The star commentators did nothing for me. Nothing. I suspect that Quincy Jones doesn't even like Rhapsody in Blue. It did look like Hirschfield but I think I would have preferred it in black and white. The commentaries just meant more talk and less music. Why bother?
(d) And this is really what it's all about. I was seven years old when I saw the original Fantasia. Ever since then I've known what a Brontosaurus is and what a Pterodactyl is and what Tyrranosaurus Rex is. And I've known who Zeus is and who Apollo is and who Bacchus is, and I'll never see a centaur or a water nymph without thinking of Fantasia. There's just nothing in this new version to compare to that, for kids or adults, but hey! Thanks Disney guys for trying. And I hope it isn't another 60 years before you try again!