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The best of the series
I myself being quite possibly one of the largest James Bond fanatics this planet has come to known, would recommend this movie tenfold in comparison to the many other wonderful entries in this never-dying series. Sean Connery stars as the ultimate James Bond in this 1964 classic of the usual ego-galactic maniac wishing to take over the world. I might recognize that some entries in the James Bond series have not been any milestones in the movie business, but I can guarantee that the finesse of Goldfinger set a precedent in this genre of action film. To begin with, we have the perfect character. Sean Connery played the image of the cinematic Bond the best. [Timothy Dalton was the closest we got to the original Ian Fleming literary character]. In the beginning "teaser", we see the character of James Bond completely--with no strings attached. He is tough, rough, and after he does his duty--ever so smoothly pulls off a wetsuit to reveal a 1,000$+ suit. As he goes into the local bar he sits himself down ever so slightly, checks his watch, and feels the explosion next door that he created. As everyone screams and panics--we see James Bond. Sean Connery's expression is timeless at this part when we see him so easily light his cigarette and press on as if it didn't phase him in the least. Afterwards, he returns to his room where he meets a girl, passionately kisses her, only to fight a man who snuck up behind him. As the fight continues, he electrocutes the man and simply states the classic "shocking....positively shocking". Now what more do you have to hear about James Bond? There is humor, lust, fighting, and gadgets all in this 7 odd minute teaser. This beginning sets the stage for a movie we know will be entertaining. As the movie progresses we are introduced to the best Bond villain: Auric Goldfinger, whom is brilliantly portrayed by the German actor Gert Frobe. Bond has a run in with, in my opinion, the best looking Bond girl to date: Shirley Eaton, who plays one of Goldfinger's accomplices. It is a shame that this beauty had to leave so early in the film at the hand of the mysterious henchman, Oddjob, we first see as a shadow in the film. When we finally see Oddjob, we get the impression that he is practically harmless; a mute servant whose height is laughable in the presence of Bond's power. However, after we see a lethal toss of his bowler hat, which cuts off the head on a statue--we see that Oddjob has a little aid with him; not to mention the fact we learn he is quite strong, after he crushes Bond's golf ball with his bare hands. The characters of Oddjob and Goldfinger both make for an excellent pairing of evil in the movie, unparalleled in any of the other Bond pictures. Pussy Galore, who is introduced as the main Bond girl of the film also has a wonderful part--and certainly meets the expectations of what a Bond beauty is. Her chemistry with Sean is superb, and you can certainly see the lust of this fling in Bond's "romantic" life. Goldfinger has it all--from the best villain of the series, to one of the best girl's of the series, to certainly the best car of the series--which must not be forgotten. The Aston Martin DB5 is truly the essential Bond car (given to by Q, who has one of the funniest confrontations with Bond in the series). Beautiful in appearance, deadly in action. Watch in the sequence when Bond is speeding through the factory of Goldfinger. The camerawork when it follows the car is superb. I still get chills watching and listening to the engine of that beauty. If you want to watch sheer entertainment, watch Goldfinger. If you want to see a great advance in the action film, watch Goldfinger. And if you want to see the best movie of the 19 James Bond films, watch Goldfinger. You will not be disappointed, and you will be on the edge of your seat from the point Bond steps out of the water in the beginning, to the hair-raising climax in Fort Knox. 10 stars for Goldfinger (coming from one of the largest James Bond know-it-all's in the world) :)
A Beautiful Mind (2001)
Best movie seen at the theater in a long time
A Beautiful mind was by far the best film I have seen in the theater for a little bit of time now. Before that I would say that the Sixth Sense was the best--although there were excellent movies that did come out after. (I had just seen those at home). Nevertheless, "A Beautiful Mind" should not be ignored and should be viewed by those who feel out of place with themselves and try their hardest to show their potential..but never seem to be able to get it across to someone. As a person, I do not particularly care for Russell Crowe. The whole hoopla behind the Academy might have done him in for an award, but nevertheless, Crowe shines as John Forbes Nash, Jr. in "Mind". His performance was that of how the old times in cinema used to be--very in touch with their characters, and flawless in their performances. Russell Crowe is comparible to Tony Curtis's portrayal of Albert De Salvo in Richard Fleischer's "The Boston Strangler". Although they are complete different performances, Crowe delivers his with the same impact of Tony Curtis's character. Mr. Crowe was phenomenal, and to my wishes, was not overlooked by the Academy but simply given a close race against Denzel Washington. Many people disagreed with Nash's schizophrenia not being unveiled until the middle of the film, and I will admit that it was upsetting to me, but the good aspects of this film really overshadowed the slight flaws of dislike within the movie. I was more disappointed that Nash was not in fact doing all these things for the government and aiding us at the times of the Cold War. However, Nash's true genius made up for this factor and allowed the viewer to see that he truly was a genius but just one that simply had to overcome an obstical that was so slight compared to the intelligence he possessed. Along with Crowe's magnificent performance, we were given a marvelous music score by James Horner. (I think that had Randy Newman not won simply for breaking his losing streak, Mr. Horner would have scooped up the award). The music added a beautiful tone to the movie and showed what Nash's mind must feel like within--eerie, confused, and beautiful. On a last note, As wonderful as Jennifer Connelly was in her role, I really think that her Oscar was uneccessary. She turned in a decent performance, but was certainly not Oscar caliber compared to the great Dame Maggie Smith's comic performance, and the ever charming Marissa Tomei's performance. But nevertheless, her Oscar just added to the movies list. :) If you intend on seeing a compelling movie with one of the best male actor's performance's in a long time, pull up a seat and watch "A Beautiful Mind". [Congrats to Ron Howard] :)
Vertigo is the ultimate film. It is my favorite film and in my opinion should have been rated much higher in the AFI's top 100 movies of all time list. It outdoes Psycho and North By Northwest even though those are superb films as well. I realize that Psycho set standars for years to come, and North By Norhtwest set standards for script-wrting, directorial techniques, etc....but Vertigo was simply a masterpeice made. Nothing was revolutionized (except Hitch's technique of falling bodies), but instead a wonderful movie was made that can show just how much the human mind can toy with feelings and emotions. Not only is the cinematography and acting remarkable in this film, but the heart-breaking score by the great Bernard Herrmann would also have to be the high point in this film. When you listen to the score, you feel all the emotions that are running through the film and through the charachters head. Never before could this have been expressed in a film, and it has never been done again in film. There have been many attempts and superb films as well that have tried to express the same emotions--but none have succeeded more then Vertigo. This was Alfred Hitchcocks personal favorite of his own--and I do not blame him. All elements come together: James Stewart and Kim Novak's electrifying performances, Bernard Herrmann's legendary score, the superb scenery of San Francisco, and the love and passion expressed through the chracters by a remarkable script. The thing to top off Vertigo is the scene where Judy comes out of the bathroom and reveals herself as this illusion woman (Madeline). There is so much passion in this scene it truly has to be one of the most remarkable scenes in the history of film. When one takes all these elements into hand, Vetigo can without a doubt be considered one of the 3, if not the greatest, movie of all time.
The Godfather (1972)
One of the best
Next to Vertigo, The Godfather is my favorite movie. The feeling of family is well expressed in the film and although Coppola was criticized for "glorifying the mafia family", the film does not show that but shows a devotee to his father, and his undieing love for his family. The music is great, the atmospheres are great, and the acting is superb. Marlon Brando is at his best in his Oscar winning role, and Al Pacino delivers a superb performance as one of the most well known characters in movie history. No other person would be able to deliver the character of Michael Corleone better then Al Pacino. This is truly a magnificent picture and not much else can be said about it. See for yourself the splendor of Coppola's Oscar winning family.