Reviews written by registered user

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372 reviews in total 
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Forty Guns (1957)
An unusually well-made western, 19 July 2017

One of the best westerns. Good script by Fuller adapting the Wyatt Earp tale with a female character added. That Barbara Stanwyck did the scene where she is dragged by the horse herself is amazing at age 49, when a stunt double opted out! Stanwyck is memorable throughout. Spectacular low angle cinematography by Joseph Biroc. The pre-titles opening sequence is unforgettable. Fuller's decision to shoot the film in b/w cinemascope is intriguing but laudable.

Ten (2002)
Kiarostami and a real life mother and son acting pair weave magic, 13 July 2017

Evidently, this was the film that gave the idea to director Jafar Panahi to make his film "Taxi" (2015). Kiarostami has made the better film of the two, discussing social issues in contemporary Iran, while Panahi's film deals with both social and political issues, with the latter being more predominant.

The child actor (Amin Maher) and the lead actress (Mania Akbari) are both commendable in their roles in "Ten". A trivia: in real life they are mother and son. Kiarostami has possibly worked further on his debut short film "The Bread and Alley" (1970) and picked up further clues on handling child actors in Iran from Amir Naderi ("The Runner," 1985).

Riveting first half, 9 July 2017

Riveting first half. Surrealist, indulgent, narcissistic second half. A lovely "dog-film" (first half).

It is possible that writer/director/actor Kambuzia Partovi contributed more to the first half.

Beautiful actress Maryam Moqadam gives a noteworthy performance.

Panahi has talent. But there is an element of disbelief that exudes from most of his interesting projects. (Dogs on the open beach in daylight at the end of the film, which contradicts earlier statements.)

Okja (2017)
2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Juvenile film with a strong anti-GMO message, 7 July 2017

An over-the-top film supporting the anti-GMO activists. The message against Monsanto is obvious. But how many in the audience will make the connection, especially in USA, where GMO foods are considered OK?

Tilda Swinton's "Cruella-like" role reminds one of Glenn Close in "101 Dalmations." Close was, of course, better. Swinton has a double role here, that Close never had.

Barring the message, the film is for a juvenile audience.

Harmonium (2016)
2 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Crime and punishment revisited, 29 June 2017

A very interesting original screenplay written by a director.

A new perspective of crime and punishment. A grey perspective. Definitely one of the most interesting films I have watched in 2017 though the direction is not outstanding. Deserving of the Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes.

Good performances and symbolism (Lady-Macbeth-like washing of hands, white bedsheets and ghost images).

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Unusually vapid work from the master filmmaker, 27 June 2017

I am an admirer of Terrence Malick to the extent that I consider him one of the finest filmmakers rubbing shoulders with Andrei Tarkovsky and Stanley Kubrick. He changed the way films were made by throwing the concept of a written script for actors to follow out of the window. He made mother nature a major actor. His earlier films dealt with philosophy, books, religion, science and even arcane pieces of music from faraway lands. 'Song to Song' is a surprising departure from all that. The subject is vapid. Sex and manipulation seem to be the only subjects of discussion, apart from absolutely gorgeous cinematography, which any film of Malick offers.

Malick used to pick up pieces of music with care and place it intelligently within a film. In "Song to song" he does pick up Kieslowski's famous composer Preisner's music but strangely plays bits of it again and again when the music does not add value to the visual, compared to Malick's very intelligent use of music in his past work. Are the editors to blame? Possibly.

Then there is a scene with a caterpillar which will remind cineastes of John Schlesinger's 1967 film "Far from the madding crowd." Malick had borrowed ideas from Tarkovsky in the past and now he seems to recall striking visuals of British cinema.

More amusing for me was that the main credits forgot to add Cate Blanchet's name while her name is indeed included in the longer list at the end.

For me, a Malick admirer, the film was without substance. And why is Malick not using blacks and hispanics in main roles but continually using them in roles that depict them in states of poverty and helplessness? Questions. Questions.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
A lovely film adaptation of an interesting novel, 22 June 2017

What a wonderful film! It is an adaptation of a Japanese novel by Michio Takeyema. The performances, camera-work and the music (of Akira Ifukube) under the direction of Kon Ichikawa are as delightful as the tale of the novel. Anti-war plus humanism plus a inward look at the Japanese psyche and nationalism from a Japanese perspective. It also provides a lovely peek at Myanmar when it was known as Burma. One of the best Japanese films ever made.

For those who might be reading the name of Akira Ifukube for the first time, he is one of the most respected Japanese composers who was initially influenced by the music of Igor Stravinsky but grew up on Japanese musical traditions. What he offers is always an unusual mix of European and Asian music, He contributed the music of the Godzilla monster films. The Ichikawa-Ifukube combination proved to be vital for this remarkable film of a very interesting novel.

Director Ichikawa remade the film in color three decades later in 1985.

Clean upright western, 19 June 2017

Clean all white western--no blacks, no native Americans! Even the characters admit that one's actions are never black or white, meaning there are a lot of grey actions in our lives. Joel McCrea's character wants to go to the House (read, heaven). Very religious script for a western. Now, did Altman take a leaf from this film's gold diggers' community sequence to make "McCabe and Mrs Miller"?

Great script and good performances, 17 June 2017

Wonderful original screenplay by Budd Schulzberg and good performances by the leads. Good film that explores the power of the media on the same lines as Billy Wilder's "Ace in the Hole" made 6 years prior to this work. Only difference was the two films dealt with different media.

The best Lynch film for me, 12 June 2017

The best work of Lynch for me. It is more credible because it is based on real people and actions.

Very good and intelligent use of helicopter and crane shots. Commendable performances by all. Hope it is widely seen.

Production designer Jack Fisk obviously picks good, credible cinema to work on. Actor Farnsworth ought to have won the Best Actor Oscar he was nominated for.

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