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The Big Combo (1955)
A Classic Film-Noir
The Big Combo is definitely in my opinion one of the best film-noirs ever. Sometimes I wonder how that some movies (Hitchcock's Notorious for example) are better rated on film-noir top lists than this one, because "Combo" deserves to bee at least in top 10. At first story looks cheesy and well known, but later it gets more and more interesting and really drags you into this movie. Although this movie had small budget it looks better and more elegant than some A-list motion pictures from that period of Hollywood cinema. The photography is simply fantastic. Director of photography John Alton did a really great job. "The dance" of light and shadows is simply amazing. One more thing that's not in common with The Big Combo and other noirs is that The Big Combo contains slightly more violence and "black" humor. Example of that is scene where Mr. Brown with Fante and Mingo kills Joe McClure. At the end I would recommend this classic to everyone who simply want to see a great drama or to those who are into film-noir.
Finally, Someone Giving Credit...
I suppose what you expect from a movie-going experience has a lot to do with what you eventually get out of it. This holiday season, I suppose I wanted to feel like a child again. In that sense, Avatar delivered. Not since Jurassic Park, have I been so mesmerized by the big screen. Of course, the intellectual bar was set low, both in my expectations and in the spectacular product. However, call me silly, but when I want to be intellectually stimulated I tend to pick up a book. When I want to connect with my spiritual, environmental and existential angst, I tend to go for a walk in the woods. Movies can inspire deep thoughts, of course, but movies can also have a very simple elegance when we see beauty in what hasn't been seen before. While the script is boilerplate, Pandora is like no place you've ever dreamed of. It is a vision worth seeing.
The Magnificent Seven (1960)
The Magnificent Seven
You can tell a real classic because the story and the characters don't get dated, no matter how many years go by. Indeed, a fresh viewing will certainly have peace activists arguing how the Mexican villagers would have been better off just giving Calvera most of the damn harvest. Neo-cons, on the other hand, will delightedly observe how a well-intentioned American incursion brought liberty to an oppressed part of the world. And die-hard foes of NAFTA can point out how seven highly-paid gunfighters wind up working under dangerous, in fact lethal, conditions for a measly 20 dollars apiece when forced to seek employment in Mexico. But seriously, folks... Like the classic that inspired it (as acknowledged prominently in the opening credits), Akira Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai, this film grips us for the same reason that Casablanca does. It is about men discovering that there are causes more important than themselves. And, as with many classic westerns, it is about violent men who do not know quite what to do in a world that seems to be getting increasingly civilized. Directed by John Sturges, this movie was an instant member of America's pop culture mythic pantheon. In fact, there is something so darned American about the film that, on first viewing, we didn't even care if a couple of the cowboy heroes (Russian-born Yul Brynner and the German Horst Buchholz) had strangely European accents. And what a line-up of adventure movie icons that joined them: Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn. Sadly, they are all gone, save Robert Vaughn, who played the gunslinger who lost his nerve but then found it in the end. But nearly as important as any of the actors was Elmer Bernstein's immortal score. Just hum it to yourself and try not to feel stirred.
Max Payne (2008)
Mr. Moore does a fairly good job of adapting the cinematic aspects of first-person shooter games back into cinema
I think it was when bursts of flame filled the Manhattan night and giant winged creatures smacked against skyscraper windows like bugs on windshields that I began to lose the narrative thread of "Max Payne," a somber, stylized new action movie derived from a video game.Up until then it seemed more or less clear. Some people had wings tattooed on their arms, and they all seemed to be hooked on a blue liquid developed by a pharmaceutical company where the hero's wife worked before she was murdered, along with their child, by some people with wings tattooed on their arms. The weather in New York alternated between fluttering snow and driving rain, and every time someone fired a gun the images slowed down and the sound mix cleared out so you could hear the plink of a bullet casing as it hit the ground. Meanwhile, Max Payne (Mark Wahlberg) is an action hero so melancholy that he can't even muster a quotable catchphrase.Which gives "Max Payne," directed by John Moore from a script by Beau Thorne, a measure of integrity. It's not an especially good movie, but such a judgment is not really relevant to its ambitions. It is content to be an efficient vehicle for the delivery of a familiar range of sensations, some of which almost rise to the level of feelings. Though a sexy woman in a skimpy dress (next-wave Bond Girl Olga Kurylenko) shows up to tempt Max, lust is not really on the menu. Instead, the film's momentum is derived from the grim, ruthless self-pity of the lone avenger.Max Payne, a solo shooter moving through hallways, alleys and empty rooms, is a figure handed down from movies to video games and nowadays, increasingly, handed back. Mr. Moore does a fairly good job of adapting the cinematic aspects of first-person shooter games back into cinema, and in devising a coherent color scheme and sound design for Max's escapades.A coherent story would be a lot to ask, and would in any case slow down the movie's rhythm. Max's righteous anger finds various allies and targets, though it is not always clear who is which. They are played by Mila Kunis, Beau Bridges and Ludicrous with just enough panache and expressiveness to uphold the (increasingly irrelevant) distinction between a movie and a video game.
"Max Payne" is rated PG-13 (Parents strongly cautioned). The brutal violence has been cleansed of blood, the swearing avoids the really bad words and when Ms. Kurylenko is topless she is filmed from the back.
Meet the Spartans (2008)
300 Spoofs Later, Hollywood Finally Taps Out This Lame Genre
Hollywood has churned out a slew of spoofs within the last year alone, including Epic Movie, Balls of Fury, The Comebacks, and Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. Now,we have Meet the Spartans -- a spoof of a movie, 300. One wonders if studios aren't already developing spoofs of their forthcoming summer movies for release the following winter.
Meet the Spartans tells the same story as 300, so much so that it dances perilously close to crossing the fine line between parody and plagiarism. True, 300 recounts a historical event, but as uniquely envisioned by Frank Miller in comic book form and then Zack Snyder on film. As much as Walk Hard owed a lot to Walk the Line, it never lifted scenes and shots directly the way that Spartans does to 300.
Like 300, Meet the Spartans chronicles the youth and training of Spartan king Leonidas (Sean Maguire), his defense of his nation against the invading Persian army of Xerxes (Borat's Ken Davitian), the efforts by Leonidas' wife (called Queen Margo here, and played by Carmen Electra) to help rally political will for her husband's cause, and the Spartans' bold last stand. Of course, it's all turned on its head by writers-directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer (the duo behind Epic Movie and Scary Movie). For starters, this Leonidas only has 13 warriors rather than 300.
Meet the Spartans is chock full of "cameos" by movie characters and pop culture icons, such as Shrek, Paris Hilton, Ghost Rider, the judges of American Idol, and Britney Spears. (Even Ain't It Cool News honcho Harry Knowles gets a jab.) Besides 300, there are plenty of scenes satirizing other big Hollywood films, such as Casino Royale, Stomp the Yard, and Spider-Man 3. Reality shows and game shows are also parodied. Seeing as how Spartans is their seventh produced spoof, one wonders what stone is left to be turned by Friedberg and Seltzer.
Back to the Future Part II (1989)
As with many blockbuster movie trilogies, the first installment of the Back to the Future series stood perfectly fine on its own. Technically, it did end with a cliffhanger, but it was a joke cliffhangerone final gag in a series of romps. No viewer had any particular reason to expect the story to continue. But there was too much money at stake, and so not one but two sequels were produced. And that mock cliffhanger became a real springboard to further adventures. In a strange way, the plot device of Part IIwherein the craven Biff Tannen steals Marty McFly's idea of using info from the future to make a monetary killingparallels the filmmakers' visit back in time to mine more money from their original box office goldmine. As faithful readers (and other intelligent people) know, sequels are meant to retell the original story while giving the illusion of advancing the original story. This sequel did something quite clever in literally revisiting the original movie and watching the action from a different perspective. (The mixing of old footage and new action presaged what director Robert Zemeckis would later do, more elaborately, in Forrest Gump.) It also paid homage to one of the most homage-paid movies of history, It's a Wonderful Life, by having our hero Marty McFly witness the dire fate of his home town in an alternate reality. The film is rife with in jokes, like when Michael J. Fox is startled by a holographic ad for Jaws 19. Tweaking the films' producer, Steven Spielberg, he mutters, "Shark still looks fake." And, just as the first film ends with a mock cliffhanger, this one ends with a real one. As with the second Star Wars movie, audiences were put on notice that they would have to wait for another movie to be released to find out what happens next.
The Dark Knight (2008)
This Black Knight Is Indubitably A Great Film ...
Dark as night and nearly as long, Christopher Nolan's new Batman movie feels like a beginning and something of an end. Pitched at the divide between art and industry, poetry and entertainment, it goes darker and deeper than any Hollywood movie of its comic-book kind including "Batman Begins," Mr. Nolan's 2005 pleasurably moody resurrection of the series largely by embracing an ambivalence that at first glance might be mistaken for pessimism. But no work filled with such thrilling moments of pure cinema can be rightly branded pessimistic, even a post-heroic superhero movie like "The Dark Knight." So conclusion: It is a film of a crazy ambition because behind the myth of Batman and the power of a scenario of action movie hides a moral message rarely reached in cinema, a message of philosophic sublimation which sends back almost to the superman...
Expected Sequel In Great Franchise
As tag line says "Heroes never die...they just reload", and this is trye! He is back! Greatest action hero of eighties-John J. Rambo. The story follows (well known) John Rambo, who is now older and lives in Thailand and captures snakes and transports people and cargo in an old boat. When a group of Christian missionaries asks to be transported to the war zone in Burma to help the locals, the reluctant Rambo only accepts when Sarah Miller presents her point of view about their humanitarian mission. Rambo leaves the group in the requested location, but the village where they are working is attacked by the sadistic army of Major Pa Tee Tint, the locals are slaughtered and the missionaries are abducted. Later a member of their church meets Rambo and asks him to transport a group of mercenaries hired to rescue the missionaries. As you see script has a simple plot and is written in 80's style, but it is more violent than almost any 80's action film. There is blood everywhere! Stallone's acting is of course bad, but when he takes machine gun in his hands, the fun begins. Sure this motion picture ain't all time classic, but it delivers what all of us expect from this kind of movie-great fun and a lot of explosions and blood. Just seat back and enjoy.
The Most Romantic & The Most Stupid Dracula Ever
When I first heard about this film I've tought that it is going to be a great film,but...now, when I have seen it, I can't say any nice word about it. The list of in-discrepancies is very long,it goes on and on, for example: 1. Coppola calls the movie Bram Stokers Dracula, and it clearly isn't. 2. Coppola chooses Keanu Reaves for the part of Johnathan who is, don't get me wrong a good actor just not in this movie. 3. The film seems to have been edited to deliberately remove all suspense and narrative flow from the story. 4. The most cinematic moments of the book (the Demeter Crossing, Lucy's first sighting of the Count, the death of Lucy's mother, Lucy escaping Van Helsing, the fight between Reinfield and the Count, the tracking down of the Counts coffins) are lost or skipped over. Movie which in it's title contains word "Dracula" does not deserve this kind of treatment. In my opinion the reasons that this movie is disappointment are awful script and poor acting of Keanu Reaves and Winona Ryder. Huge disappointment: 5/10
One Of The Best Draculas Ever!!!
In my opinion this is one of the best Draculas ever. It's made by legendary Hammer films which is famous for many horror films,and this one is one of the best.Dracula is played by Cristopher Lee surely the best Dracula of all times,and in my opinion he is even better than Bella Lugosi. Lee's Dracula poses charm of British aristocrat,but in same time he is ghastly and terrifying!!! This and every Dracula film would not be same without one more character-Dr. Van Helsing. In this one he is played by Peter Cushing. He is perfect in this role!!! He is creepy and scary as doctor of strange diseases should be. Original novel (writen by Bram Stocker) has frighten millions of readers ,and this movie has frighten millions of watchers! Great masterpiece by Terence Fisher!!!