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Murder on the Orient Express (2017)
Where else would you want to kill somébody?
Diane and I viewed this beauty of a film this afternoon, and we both thoroughly enjoyed a magical cinema event: I use these words because the movie takes you out of your own reality and places you in another world that is not macabre or dangerous but filled with beautiful people, costumes and settings.
Perhaps the reader can tell that I love being removed from the mundanity of our ordinary existence. This beautifully constructed film filled with marvellous actors who are dressed in gorgeous timely costumes and set to work in spectacular train compartments and asked to use a perfect script will leave many cinema-goers anticipating more.
If I were much younger, I would not hunger for the movies from the Directors Period in the 70s and 80s when they were allowed to make Great Movies rather than only the money-men. In any event, see this film for its sublime attractions painted by Kenneth Branagh.
American Made (2017)
Hollywood finally gets it right
When Hollywood gets it right and stops making movies for children they can actually make a beauty like this one. My wife and I just returned from such an accomplished film some minutes ago: American Made.
We have seen Tom Cruise in a number of his previous films (not necessarily by choice) and both of us kind of cringed at his screen presence. He delivered his lines well enough, but we did not see him as a genuine character; he seemed always to be playing his roles rather than living them. The exception was the movie we attended this afternoon; Cruise "stepped into the role", he became Barry Seal and us, the audience lived his demise with him from airline pilot to cocaine courier to arms smuggler for the American government.
This movie could not have been made while Ron Reagan was alive and the other principles like Ollie North sat in positions of decision-making power close to the Oval Office. This movie was about Barry Seal, Drug Smuggler and tangentially about the evil and stupidity that lurked in the minds of people that ran the American government and caused the deaths of many thousands of people in Central America.
This is a brave and thoughtful film that all lovers of America should see; besides its political strength see it because of it is a high film making aptitude.
Sober, thoughtful and introspective for all in its audience
Diane and I just returned from a delightful, unHollyhood but strangely moving film about love, not having it but grappling to snare it again; grappling is the significant word here.
The plot is relatively straightforward: wealthy Americans in Paris; marriage souring and maid makes contact with a rich associate. Seems to be a rickety plot to string a movie script on but in the hands of a superb writer the result is a film to remember.
It is an adult movie that spins itself around a relatively minuscule plot, but the quality of the thread and the talent of the tailor accounts for the particularly excellent script.
The Big Sick (2017)
The clash of cultures often leaves many casualties.
I thought the film had taken a little screen time before it moved along. I was afraid that this movie was going nowhere but I was certainly wrong. Once the Director had established the background and fleshed out the characters at this point the movie took off.
The film's structure encompassed the sudden and traumatic illness of the Anglo woman and her Pakistani boy friend with her family; the problem of him being a young Pakistani man had many rendering moments. Beyond the obvious tensions that could be felt even by a withdrawn audience here in Perth, Western Australia these relationships difficulties are certainly not unknown.
The substance of the movie was this trauma between the sexes and it does, indeed, provide a suitable structure for an absorbing film. The significant subplot of the film, in my opinion, further bolstered the excellent writing of this tremendous film.
The movie is far better than its negative comments
Diane and I just viewed this marvellous film from Kyrgyzstan and although it was simple by Hollywood standards it was infinitely more engrossing.
No, The Light Thief has nothing that would hold the interest of a pre-adolescent; it is a caring, sensitive film that delves into a number of human emotions that are far too deep for Hollywood script writers.
I must allow my comments to end at this point because of the simplicity of the script; the script is simple not because it is childish, no it is infinitely more profound than my simple words can explain. In fact, the script éxplores complex issues that are beyond that which Western viewers are comfortable. These issues are not complex but they demand a degree of appreciation that overly sophisticated audiences today are, perhaps, incapable.
Far from the Madding Crowd (2015)
A definite "do see" movie
Diane and I watched this engrossing anð captivating movie version of a book that she had read in high school; obviously, we viewed the film at her behest because I avoided the book when it when it appeared on my reading list in my lower class.
I mention all of this background to give the readers, such as they may be an idea of why I rated the film as a Ten. I did so because I thought, as well as Diane, that it was a superbly moving film that the Director had rather meticulously adapted from an older book into a faultless adaptation as a brilliant movie.
I was unfamiliar with the story in any way so the entire unfolding of the beautiful film was completely new to my philistine ways. The film followed the story line of the book in a journeyman like manner but in a precisely soft adaptation of the book's story line. The dialogue was never arrant or off-putting. In short, it was a wonderful movie that could easily be viewed on several occasions.
A Quiet Passion (2016)
A sublimely delicious movie with a particularly delectable script
Diane and I watched this engrossing film yesterday at the Paradiso in Northbridge, Perth. We both loved the film and this time I thought that the film was better than Diane particularly because she regarded Emily Dickinson highly enough to be one of her favourite poets which is a considerable compliment considering that Diane has read the U.K. greats.
Of course, we both consider Nixon's performance of the, shall we say, difficult role of the poet herself to be outstanding. In fact, all the major performers carried their roles superbly. I was struck, even as a self-confessed Philistine, by the extraordinary script written by Terrence Davies who also directed this marvellous movie. Perhaps because I was so unfamiliar with Dickinson's poetry that I was so embraced by the facility by which the actors play with the words with which they were so at ease.
Admittedly I am a philistine considering poetry regardless of who wrote it. However, I do love listening to an Australian Bush Poet named Banjo Patterson while listening to his rough poetry around a fire when the stars have come out (sorry readers I got distracted).
Wonder Woman (2017)
Only if you really want to see it
Yesterday afternoon, Diane and I attended a Hollywood remake of the old comic book hero, Wonder Woman. Diane and I, who usually agree on the worth of movies, thought very differently about this film.
I admit at the very beginning of this comment that I am an old codger who dislikes modern Hollywood productions. Diane wanted to go because Hollywood broke their age-old pattern of making male centered movies so I accompanied her against my better judgment because I loathe popular "blockbuster" movies and this turned out not to be an exception.
I also admit to falling asleep during the first part where Wonder Woman is growing up but then saw the second half where she fights in the First World War. The last 2/3rds that I saw were pretty bad; the war scenes were typical "god guys beating up the bad guys" that Hollywood seems unable to discard. I am sitting here shaking my head at those terrible war bits towards the completion of this bad movie. Please read the One Star comments because they said what I think except they write better than I and they remember the scenes far better than I.
I thought Gal Gadot who played the mature Wonder Woman was either directed badly or could not act well because the faces she pulled during the scenes in England and particularly during the battle scenes in France were Beyond the Pale. Admittedly she had terrible scripted scenes to work with and the Director should never have kept all of her close-ups. You can forgive all of these complaints but you cannot all of the Hollywood German-bashing in the second half of the film.
Dangerous Beauty (1998)
I am a little late in viewing but it was worth the wait.
I loved everything about the movie except the terrible soundtrack; the music was a definite detraction from the action on the screen. Admittedly, I saw this film on TV last night and I enjoyed everything about the film besides the musical background.
I thought, as did other commentators, that the historical epic blossomed fully, the costumes, the physical settings and the sprinkling of real historical figures: how many films are produced with the personage of the Venetian Doge sitting amongst his Senators and other governmental officials.
Given contemporary schooling, this could easily be the last generation for decades that would ever know about Venetian Doges or about the Ottoman attack on Malta and its importance to European history or what the Inquisition was all about.
The film was a delicious compendium of choice morsels of historical dishes that allowed the viewer to leave the TV table well satisfied.
Viceroy's House (2017)
Movies are in the eye of the beholder and I loved it.
I admit at the beginning that I only know about movies from what I see on thé screen and this film satisfied me in all respects. Of course, thé subplot was more than a little overworked and had I been more knowledgeable concerning the minuscule of the dialogue I perhaps could be more inflammatory regarding my comment, but alas I am far more uneducated than my fellow commentators.
I loved the beauty of the film; the costumes, the buildings and the makeup of the individuals. I loved the street scenes, the fact that the extras were really there and not just computer composites.
These components of the film are more important to me than the nuances of dialogue or the accuracy of that dialogue that took place seventy years ago.
It is easy to understand why some commentators object so strenuously to unhistoric or inaccurate dialogue but to me, "close enough is good enough."
It is a wonderful historical epic about a little-known facet of history so please attempt to see it before it is buried by the nay-sayers.