Reviews written by registered user
rollo_tomaso

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97 reviews in total 
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The Birdmen (1971) (TV)
5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
A WWII Escape movie with heart, 1 January 2001
10/10

This TV-movie adaptation of "Escape from Colditz" manages to pack all the action and intelligence from the book, fine pacing, and unforgettable emotional characterizations into 75 minutes of run time. Terrific pacing, unforgettable musical score -- another rarity for a TV movie. The best kind of history lesson -- well-told, well-acted, truly representative, and thoroughly enjoyable. See it if you get the chance.

The Birdmen (1971) (TV)
5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
A WWII Escape movie with heart, 1 January 2001
10/10

This TV-movie adaptation of "Escape from Colditz" manages to pack all the action and intelligence from the book, fine pacing, and unforgettable emotional characterizations into 75 minutes of run time. Terrific pacing, unforgettable musical score -- another rarity for a TV movie. The best kind of history lesson -- well-told, well-acted, truly representative, and thoroughly enjoyable. See it if you get the chance.

3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
a '50's Gangster movie with all the low-budget trimmings, 1 January 2001
9/10

Victor McLaglen has a ball as Big Tim Channing in this forgotten, yet enjoyable, 1950's gangster movie. With all the stand-by's (Frank Ferguson as crusading D.A., Paul Maxey as crooked lawyer, Anthony Caruso as a two-bit thug), this "B" actioner delivers what you would expect, and a bit more. It probably was intended to elevate the career of its lead, John Baer. As such pretty boys go, he's not too bad, but I never heard of him again. Still, it's a good way to kill an hour and change.

4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
a '50's Gangster movie with all the low-budget trimmings, 1 January 2001
9/10

Victor McLaglen has a ball as Big Tim Channing in this forgotten, yet enjoyable, 1950's gangster movie. With all the stand-by's (Frank Ferguson as crusading D.A., Paul Maxey as crooked lawyer, Anthony Caruso as a two-bit thug), this "B" actioner delivers what you would expect, and a bit more. It probably was intended to elevate the career of its lead, John Baer. As such pretty boys go, he's not too bad, but I never heard of him again. Still, it's a good way to kill an hour and change.

40 out of 58 people found the following review useful:
the best nostalgic romantic comedy I've ever seen, 29 December 2000
10/10

Another Lubitsch masterpiece, Heaven Can Wait is in brilliant color. It is extremely well acted, charming, and in its own way, timeless. It takes place mainly around the turn of the century though it does transcend decades. It is the engaging story of wealthy would-be playboy Henry Van Cleeve, magnificently played by Don Ameche, whose heart is captured by Gene Tierney. Since he always had a bit of the rogue in him, and acted mischievously at times, upon death Henry goes directly to see Satan (played winningly by Laird Cregar) to accept his fate of eternal damnation. Thus, the story of his life is told to Satan via flashback in most ingenious fashion. I don't wish to give any more away. It is marvelous fare for the entire family. See it and revel in it.

35 out of 41 people found the following review useful:
This is a movie that defines the biopic, 27 December 2000
10/10

Paul Muni, one of the five best actors EVER, is magnificent in recreating the life of one of France's most controversial literary figures. Zola reveals every facet of the great man's complex personality and personal successes and learning experiences in a manner that delivers rare insights and consummate entertainment to the audience at the same time. The supporting cast and the direction match Muni's magnificence to the best of their abilities every step of the way. I recommend this as one of the great forgotten films of all time.

5 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Avoid this obnoxious and sadistic "kiddie" movie, 27 December 2000
1/10

If you want your kid to develop low self-esteem, bullying tendencies, obnoxious behavior, and a foul mouth, take him to see this repugnant excuse for a movie. It is unbelievable that Eisner and his deputies somehow allowed this disgusting piece of garbage to go out under the Disney brand. It is stupid, obvious, and degrading. Avoid.

39 out of 45 people found the following review useful:
Poignant real-life drama mixed with great acting and directing, 27 December 2000
10/10

This movie, based upon a true incident at the Oglala Indian Reservation in South Dakota, seamlessly combines great acting, much of it by native Americans, taut direction, and delicious dialogue. It is thought-provoking, enlightening, well-paced, and always entertaining. As poignant a movie as I've ever seen, I rate this alongside L.A. Confidential, Life Is Beautiful, as one of the Three top movies of the 1990's. Val Kilmer has never been better and Graham Greene is simply magnificent, even better than he was in Dances with Wolves. This is a must-see for the entire family.

15 out of 21 people found the following review useful:
A lot of talent and clever ideas totally wasted, 17 December 2000
3/10

The idea of using the Hogan's Heroes cast in a cold war farce could have been delicious. The Paula Schultz character, her circumstances, and goals, could have made for a very interesting cold war farce. Bob Crane, stepping out of character, to form a complex blend of con man, sadist, and American patriot, had definite possibilities. Unfortunately, when they put them all together. This is the mess they got. I can hardly believe that George Marshall (!!!) is the credited director on this disjointed, slapsticky, murky mess.

Terrific Biopic, 26 November 2000
10/10

A Classic Hollywood Biopic is the best sense of the genre. Gooding and DeNiro both give spectacularly heartfelt performances in the two leads roles, and the supporting cast is uniformly excellent, with standout performances by Carl Lumbly and Michael Rapoport.

The only "nit" I might pick is that Theron's role was unnecessary & distracting (not her performance which was fine, it's just that the film seemed to add two unnecessary scenes to accommodate her role.)

Aside from that, the characterizations, dynamics, and action of the real-life story are riveting and unforgettable. The evolutions of the main characters and how what they experience evolves their beings are uniquely characterized by the performing artists. Despite the movie's extreme length, the pacing stays intact throughout. The score is also terrific.

Us this a predictable Hollywood film? You bet. So, Mike Leigh addicts should subtract a star, but everyone else should enjoy mightily.


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