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Streets of Fire (1984)
A Forgettable Movie
Well I must say that after watching Streets of Fire directed by Walter Hill I was bit disappointed if not upset. I regard Walter Hill as a director with much more potential than to direct a B-Movie such as Streets of Fire. Remember that he has written such movies The Warriors (1979), The Getaway (1972), 48 Hrs. (1982) and not to forget Aliens (1986).
My most concern with this movie is the lack of acting and a decent script. I just don't understand how Walter Hill could cast Michael Paré in the lead role as Tom Cody. Michael Paré delivers terrible bad performance as the one dimensional character Tom Cody. I admit that Paré didn't have much lines to do with, but yet I'm convinced that even if the character did have the one-liners his uncanny performance wouldn't be improved.
One of the things that annoyed me was the fact that the background history did in fact resemble the theme from The Warriors (1979) meaning a violent society without any law and order. But when Cody and McCoy together with Billy Fish tries to rescue Ellen Aim and from the gangsters and McCoy confronts the their leader Raven claims they have no weapons, but they could get them if needed - Totally ridiculously.
The only actor, who delivers a good performance in this movie is Rick Moranis as the agent for Diane Lane. The latter and Amy Madigan as McCoy delivers a decent acting. By the way do notice how the music by Ry Cooder really scores the theme of the movie.
A week story, but good animation
"Robots" follows in the same path as Blue Sky Studios other cgi picture namely "Ice Age". What differentiate Robots from Ice Age is the pace within the movie where Robots unfortunately lacks the smooth pace that justified Ice Age reputation of being one of the best cgi animations ever made.
The problem with Robots is that the pace besides the introduction to the characters in the beginning of the picture never seem to slowdown but keep a high and consistent pace which in the long run becomes a nuisance. A minor problem is the story which IMHO lacks the character sketching as compared to the duo of my all favorite animations animations ("The Lion King", "The Prince of Egypt") e.g. where you can feel the gripping story after you've left the theater.
I believe how ever that the relations between Cappy and Rodney Copperbottom is showing peculiar resemblance with the relationship between Del Spooner and Susan Calvin from "I, Robot" both of them released by 20th Century Fox Studios in the last year.
The good news however is the cgi animation itself is outstanding (I saw it in a digital theater) as well as the humorous whims that the directors Chris Wedge & Carlos Saldanha have incorporated into the movie. Especially the casually ideas regarding "Attack of the Clones" are conspicuously equally but they provide a good laughter so there's no complains from me. In the end however I feel lackluster about recommending "Robots" because of the flaws described above so wait for the DVD, but if you're into animations then its worth seeing.
Italiensk for begyndere (2000)
A Dogme '95 movie right out of the box
Director Lone Scherfig has proved that she's able to direct a movie based on the Dogme '95 concept first originated by Lars Von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg in 1995. It's a simple story told through the eyes of 6 lonely persons in a small town on the rural coast of Jutland. What binds them together is the common interest for the Italian language they all participate during an evening course.
One might think that it's a common love story, but the character building clearly proves that it's not uncommon for all age groups to have all kinds of personally burdens such as the reverend Wredmann who has lost his belief in God as he has lost his wife to God. Another such character would be Olympia who has almost given up all hope of ever being able to function as human being because of fetus damages.
The primary reason for watching a picture like this one the developing of characters and how they bond together even though personalities of Karen and Hal-Finn are quite disturbing with Hal-Finn being a really imbecile. This is the only place where "Italiensk for begyndere" starts to lack some ingenuity but in the end it's only minor complain. In the end if you're into foreign pictures and especially endearing dramas then go and see "Italiensk for begyndere" if you got some time to spare.
A Terrifying Experience of the Shoah
In my honest opinion "Holocaust" is terrifying experience of the way humanity can act when the horrors of Nazi Germany is thrown upon it.
The cast with Meryl Streep, Michael Moriarty and Joseph Bottoms in the leads shows the struggle of Jewish family from when the Nazi comes into power and until the liberation of the survivors in the death camps in 1945 and the Exodus to Israel.
The great achievement of the series is the ability to demonstrate the degradation of man when it has little or no hopes of survival at all. Furthermore "Holocaust" displays how the common man (Michael Moriarty) is lured into believing the Nazi regime is the way out of the economic slump which befell Europe in the early years 1930th following the fold of Wall Street in 1929.
I was only young teenager when I first saw the series on Danish television in 1979, but I've never forgotten the series and till today I stand firmly on the belief that neither any series nor movie have portrayed the Shoah with such conformity with the reality - Only Steven Spielbergs "Schindlers List" comes close.
Do Not Disturb (1999)
Lousy movie not even HBO will air
This movie is so badly written that not even good actors like William Hurt nor Jennifer Tilly are capable of turning this script into even a good movie made stricly for cable - I don't believe for a second that HBO or the likes would air this crappy movie. The final rating has to be 1 out of 5 and this is only because Hurt semi-good acting!
How the West Was Won (1976)
A Great TV-series
In my opinion the TV-series "How the West Was Won" is the greatest western ever made straight to TV. The cast is superb with James Arness (Zeb Macahan) in the lead and Bruce Boxleitner (Luke Macahan) co-starring.
I've now been watching all the episodes of this western on Swedish television for the third time (1978, 1989 and 2000). The quality of this series is how it's being able to get the grip of the viewer in such a fashion that not even a frontrunner like Gunsmoke can compete with "How the West Was Won".