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Doesn't quite hold up after all these years.
After viewing the film again after 37 years, and loving it when I first saw it, I realize that it has many flaws. Most noticeable are: 1) the horribly developed dialogue between crew members. Obviously the writers never worked in a factory like setting, or for that matter, any setting where they had to communicate with small talk with co-workers. Compare this dialogue with the dialogue from the 1951 Thing or even Forbidden Planet.
2) Sigourney Weavers character is way too harsh. It may have been a sign of the times to create a "strong woman" but in the film she comes off needlessly harsh and unappealing.
3) Overuse of technical effects like the strobe light. Why does a ship have strobe lights anyway?
4) A very big rip-off of the film "It, the terror from beyond space. The plot line and dialogue was better in that one as well.
Builltt is terrific
Terrific film. What I like about it is that it takes its time telling you the story, and is slow moving, with exception, of course, of the car chase. The film can be confusing, but I feel that was intended. The pace at which the story unfolds is the pace in which Bullitt is thinking to try to capture the killer. I take exception that we don't know why the witness was killed. It is spelled out towards the end. As to the criticisms regarding more info was needed about the hows and whys of the mob, I find that silly. Its the mafia, there was someone stealing from within, and they wanted him rubbed out. Also some critique Jacquline Bisset's dialogue. We need to remember that this film was made in 1969, with a very different collective conscience of peace and non-violence than exists today. The film was reflecting the values of the time with her character, and trying to appeal to a younger audience.
To the Devil a Daughter (1976)
Too much gore dooms this one.
This film started out well, with great photography, color, and locations that were sorely lacking in the other 70's Hammer films, and an interesting premise, but decides to become a gore fest with the interminably long "birth scene", which I think derails the whole film. It also is intercut with other long sequences so you can't really turn your eyes away. It seems that Hammer thought the reason the Exorcist was a huge hit was because of its shocking scenes. The difference is that the Exorcist had a compelling plot, and the scenes with Regan shocked you, but it was not overdone and worked with the film. Also Regans life was saved because of a priest sacrificing his own, which gives the audience a hero. In this film, a rock is a hero. It seems Hammer lost its bearing with this one, and I am surprised the Lee agreed to be in this film at this point of his career. Ashamed, it could have been great with a better script.
Odd film-Studio bound and street gritty at the same time
After years of trying to see the original release version of the film, I finally acquired an uncut copy from a collector and must say I was puzzled with the outcome. There was the original, infamous subway scene intact, as well as the gay-bar beating. There are some really gritty location shooting in NYC, but its mixed with the most banal, studio bound bland scenes. If you can image a film that intercut the "French Connection" with an episode of "Kojack" then you would get a good idea of how this film plays out. Not bad, but a disappointment. Don't even bother watching it if its the TV version, which cut out most of the gritty scenes.
Time Table (1956)
Mistake of being unfaithful to his wife
Fairly good low-budget noir about a train-heist. Problem is that I lost interest in the main character when it is disclosed that he is having an affair with the doctors wife. His wife was so loyal and attentive to him that we lose his motivation as to why we wanted to do the heist. Was he going to leave his wife behind at start a new life with new money? How was he going to deal with the doctor? And why did he murder the plane mechanic? He seems to be such a heel that we don't care what happens to him. Would have been a much better film if the motivation was just the money. Silly requirement to make reviews 10 line minimum! ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES RICH A DULL BOY. ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES..
The Cat Creature (1973)
I like the film, but I think cats were abused filming this.
I haven't seen this movie since I was a kid in 1973,and have looked for it for years. Recently found it on You Tube. I remember being impressed with the eeriness film and the scary visuals of the ending, even though you know who the priestess is. However, what lessens the films enjoyment for me seeing it again is the appearance of abuse of cats, with an unnecessary plot device of alley cats surrounding and eventually attacking the priestess. It appears the cats were starved to congregate around the victims and thrown onto the victims, a lot like what was done with rats in Willard. I am glad we live in more animal conscience times. 2.5 out of 4 stars
The Hindenburg (1975)
Suffers from Heavens Gate Syndrome
Just like another beautifully mounted, expensive, silly flop, The Hindenburg reminds me a lot of "Heavens Gate" made five years later. Just like Michael Ciminos film, Robert Wise was obsessed with recreating the era, props, models to exacting standards, unfortunately exacting standards were not used on the plots. Both films suffer with a poor script, which renders all their technical expertise and budget nearly worthless. Also, just like Heavens Gate, there are problems hearing important dialogue in the ships interior over the hum of the aircraft. In Heavens Gate is was the train station. Both films miniature plots can't hold up to the production, and seem silly, like watching a TV movie in IMAX. And really, would a sober minded character like George C Scott's neglect to factor in the possibility of a late landing?
Would have been better with a more experienced director.
Let be start by saying I liked the film, as much as you could like a film that deals with such a grisly subject matter. That being said, I can't help but thinking that this film could have been a knock-out with a more experienced director. While the director had a good grasp visually, I feel he could have got more out of Kevin Kline, who was a bit too sedate and jaded. I know he was trying to portray a world weary character, however, sometimes he just seems disinterested. The director could not capture the nuance of his character. Other performances seem overacted, especially the new comers.Kate del Castillo absolutely scares the hell out of me. She can project evil like no one I've ever seen. If the producers were going to grapple with such a controversial matter, it needed a gritty, worldly, director.
The filmmakers must really hate AA
One thing I learned from this film: stay away from AA meetings or alcholics. Sorry, but this is an incredibility stupid and unbelievable film. Everyone associated with AA in the film is really twisted and sick,even the lone person that trys to disuade Julia from kidnapping isn't very forcefull. The crime is taken with as much seriousness as perhaps someone stealing a petty cash account from their job. The film may have worked if it took itself seriously as a character study of how dangerous an unrecovered alcoholic can be, but it elvolves into somekind of chase film that resembles the 1980 "Gloria", with "Gloria" being a far more pausable film. Also, in Gloria, the main character did not set out to commit any crime, the boy was thrust into her life. Oh, did I forget to mention how nicely Mexican people are portrayed in this film, they are either psychoic or ruthless criminals. Hard to believe in 2009, by a politically correct French filmmaker no less, could an entire counrty and people be treated so shabby. The writers and director should be ashamed of themselves.
Going Home (1971)
Poor execution, graphic violence doom this film
Its hard to like a character, no matter how well they act in the latter part of a film, when the first scene you see is a graphic murder of a mother by the father, witnessed by a small child. It reminds me of film openings of various horror films. Then we see the films credits roll over some cutsie 70's song. This film is unrelentingly mean-spirited and confused in its message. The adult child reunites with his father 13 years later,after the father is released from prison, only to provoke his father and wallow in violent fantasies of his father attacking him. Why, perhaps he wants his fathers attention? Who knows. We are also witness to a graphic rape of the only likable person in the film, an ugly harassment in a boardwalk arcade of the same woman by a bunch of sailors, a repulsive stag party, beatings, a sadistic parole officer, and a psychopathic hen farmer. This might be o.k. if it had a point, but it doesn't. The movie, which is blue-collar in its location and tone, seems to hate and condescend to these people. The only redeeming quality of the film is the great New Jersey shore location shooting.