Reviews written by
Space Oddity_2001

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74 reviews in total 
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Shame (1968)
6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Brilliant and gripping all the way, 3 September 2003

My first foray into Bergman territory and still one of his best and probably my favorite even. Utterly believable, memorable, realistic, subtle performances from Max Von Sydow and Liv Ullmann. They portray a violinist married couple isolated on an island. When a civil war breaks out to their remote farm from the mainland we see first hand the harshness of war and the powerful affect it has on these two characters. Unsettling and eye opening, by the end I was physically exhausted as well as mentally. One of the best films of the sixties.

C.H.U.D. (1984)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Kim Griest abortion scene in shower, 29 August 2003

I have made the joking remark that the scene with Kim Griest in the shower with the hanger looks like she is giving herself an abortion. Certaintly one of the most visually ugly looking films in cinema history.

One has to ask these questions

1) Why does John Goodman appear in this?

2) Daniel Stern, John Heard and Christopher Curry!!

3) What is with the music score?

4) I can't wait for Chud III: Chuds From the Deep

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
The Human Condition in poetic terms, 14 July 2003

Seven Samuarai was ahead of it's time in many ways. The narrative structure, editing techniques, cinematography and Kurosawa's manipulation of time and space to create tension remains very innovative and new despite his techniques being lifted, copied and refined over and over again by other film makers over the last fifty years. Along with The Hidden Fortress and Yojimbo it remains the model for contemporary action films that have been influenced by ( and what movie hasn't). The performances, especially by Toshiro Mifune and Takashi Shimura are unforgettably. The film is longish and weights down a little toward the end but is redeemed by the stunning climatic battle under harsh weather conditions that few films have equaled with the exception of maybe THE WILD BUNCH. A classic all the way.

4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Forget the Star Wars comparison's, 14 July 2003

It's obvious of the debt George Lucas, among practically every other contemporary film maker owes to Akira Kurosawa. While you can see obvious parallels, in all fairness both Star Wars and this film are entirely different for the most part and can be enjoyed on each of their merits although for my money I will take the Hidden Fortress anyday.

An important note, this was the first film by Kurosawa to be shot in Cinemascope and the widescreen photography is breathtaking, especially when seen on a large screen. This also contains some of the best stunt work that Toshiro Mifune ever did in a Kurosawa film, especially the fight scene on a horse ( Mifune really was a crazy b***ard). I think what makes the film unique as well is the whimsical nature of the characters and it's infectious humor, with Mifune giving a wonderful, deadpan performance that ranks with his best. Overall a terrific action/adventure that still retains it's originality with a refreshing since of humor that is very contemporary.

Yojimbo (1961)
1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Groundbreaking, always imitated, never equalled, 14 July 2003

Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune were certaintly at their peak when they made this film. A model for the deconstruction of the "Western" genre and the prototype for Leone's A Fistful of Dollars among other films. Even Mifunes' performance has been lifted by Eastwood for his own persona in his laconic, "supremely cool" anti hero roles. Beautifully filmed in black & white Kurosawa manages to achieve an almost lyrical, poetic quality of film making. The action is hypnotic with a perfectly blend of humor and pathos. Stunning on all accounts. I got to see a new print of this film along with several others at a Kurosawa/ Mifune retrospective recently which only enhances the quality of these films by seeming them on a large screen.

Ran (1985)
2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
glitterly and ornate but some how hollow, 14 July 2003

As much of an admirer I am of Kurosawa's film's I don't regard his "color" output as much as his black & white works. Ran is aesthetically beautiful with ravishing colors but lacks the depth or substance of the King Lear story. Some of the performances border on melodramatic and the ending is somewhat abrupt. It's pretty to look at but somewhat superficial. There are two dreamlike, hypnotic battle sequences and the opening shot is stunning but I feel that Kurosawa was getting on in age and he had become too obsessive and too much of a perfectionist on these latter efforts that he forgot to tell a great story at the expense of his visuals when Kurosawa's genius was in the marriage of these important elements. Also the lack of the presence of Toshiro Mifune is sorely missed.

There is much I can find to admire in this movie, but only at a distance. I personally wouldn't rank it with his best. On the other hand I have recently changed my opinion of his previous effort Kagemusha which I think is his best effort out of his "color" movies.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Exquisite, one of a kind masterpiece, 27 April 2003

I have only seen the edited American dubbed version of Luchino Viscontini's gorgeous, evocative period piece made in the early 1960's and I hope 20th Century Fox will find it wise to open their wallets and call for a full restoration of this classic on DVD as a reissue.

Visconti splendily captures the mood and time of 19th century Italy after the reunification. Burt Lancaster gives one of his most dignified and humble performances as the aristocrat who is from another period in time that has slowly started to vanish in place of the modern era. Beautiful Nino Rota score, gorgeous set pieces, excellent supporting cast including Claudia Cardinale and Alain Delon make this a film feast for any Italian cinema fan or movie lover in general.

1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Fellini is Marcello, Marcello is Fellini, 8 1/2 is Fellini, 27 April 2003

Art as Life, moviemaking as an artfrom, Life is art. Fellini knew this all to well. Perhaps never has a film been so vital or influential in showing us the essence of film as art immitating life. Fellini's movie delves into the infinite possibilities and tries to explain what we all grapple with in the creative process and the hidden dreams and fantasies that exist within our own subconscious.

Okay, ready now, Action!

13 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Landscapes of the inner mind, 27 April 2003

An interesting, experimental and largely successful adaptation of Herman Hesse's multilayered and psychologically complex novel. Max Von Sydow is perfect as Herman Hesse's character/ alter ego Harry Haller. Haller plays a disillusioned man going through a mid life crisis who plans on commiting suicide by the time he turns fifty. Instead he goes on a spiritual journey and regains his humanity again. The first half covers the novel well while the second half and denoument seem like one self indulgent "acid" trip replete with cartoon animation during some scenes. The animation setup at the begining even reminds me of Terry Gilliam's Monty Python work.

Definetly recommended to those who have read the novel and want to see the only film version attempted yet.

24 out of 24 people found the following review useful:
Terrific, low key early seventies noir, 2 April 2002

A successful adaptation of a great novel. Yates unpretentious and minimalistic direction is effective and the Boston settings appropriately gloomy with wonderful washed out cinematography. Robert Mitchum and Peter Boyle give superb performances. One of the unsung films of the seventies.

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