Reviews written by registered user
|4 reviews in total|
One cannot describe Metropolis in a few paragraphs online. It is inarguably the greatest silent film of all time, and one of the greatest of any films of all kind. It is pure genius. Every shot, every composition, every cut is rich with meaning, yet it can be enjoyed just for its beauty and cinematic pleasure with no intellectual reading of it necessary. To fully understand it, however, one should brush up on the history of the brief Weimar Republic of Germany between 1918 and 1933, since the film reflects what the Germans were feeling at the time and is a prime example of the art movements of this period. A must for every lover of the cinema.
The basis of Leolo is not unique: it is another director's
account of his poor childhood. Everything else about the film, however, is
brilliantly fresh and original.
Leolo is set in Montreal and is a rare French-Canadian film. The narrative consists of many flashbacks, but does follow a loose chronology of Leo's life, a boy who is so different from his (mostly insane) family that he carefully constructs a fantasy that explains how he is not Canadian but actually Italian. His only escape from the psychological vortex that are his relatives is a vivid imagination, which he uses to daydream of Italy and to write elegant prose. It is a promoter's mantra that a film is hilarious yet touching, but Leolo truly is. Black comedy would be an appropriate label.
Lane's Sidewalk Stories is a unique homage to Chaplin, with a social message dealing with the stereotype of the homeless. Lane uses the character of the Tramp for comedy but also as a literal representation of a homeless man without being overly sentimental or heavy handed.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Talented Mr. Ripley is Anthony Minghella's attempt at a Hitchcock thriller complete with murder, famous landmarks, and homosexual innuendo, however, the murder is neither surprising nor intriguing, and the homosexual innuendo is just another depiction of the gay predator. The only thing truly enjoyable are the landmarks.
While the first half hour is interesting and builds quite a bit of tension as we watch Tom cleverly spin his web of lies, we see the murder of Dickie coming and we know before Tom does that Dickie's identity will be stolen, which slows the narrative to a crawl. The rest of the film becomes ridiculous as we watch Tom plot everyone's death just to keep his secret.
The nude male statues and sly looks between the two men do not go unnoticed and is engaging until Minghella outs Tom in the overt bath scene. It becomes disappointing once we see Tom become a murderer several times over. It seems a homosexual still cannot be depicted as anything but the butt of jokes or as a sexual, murderous predator in Hollywood, a trend that dates back to the Universal horror films of the thirties.
As a side note, Minghella's post production is strangely sloppy. There were numerous and extremely noticeable flawed voice-overs and strange still frames thrown in to presumably avoid an expensive re-shoot.