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There really is only one way to describe this highly anticipated and controversial series. Pretentious clap trap dressed up as serious Television. Obviously inspired by the work of David Lynch (and one suspects Stanley Kubrick) it falls woefully short on every count. There are plot holes so large you could drive an Airbus through them. The only redeeming element is Mads Mikkelsen who makes the part of Hannibal Lecter, very much his own, even managing to cast off the giant shadow of Anthony Hopkins. To all those acclaiming and applauding this snooze fest as the next best thing in intelligent Television, there is a little voice calling from the throng... "But, the Emperor is not wearing a new cloak".
Brilliant work of Art
I love film musicals. From the early MGM, RKO musicals of the 30's up to "Sound of Music", "Cabaret" and "Chicago", but I am amazed and completely puzzled why this sensational film has been so badly received by critics and public alike. For me this is, quite simply, one of the best musical films of the decade. From the superb and flawless casting to the sensational choreography, wonderful songs and under the superb direction of Rob Marshall (the most gifted musical director since Bob Fosse),the film works on every level. This is, for me, a cinematic masterpiece. If you have any depth and appreciation of the joys and sorrows of this shared experience we call life, and appreciate good cinema and films about cinema, watch "NINE". It will enrich you.
Ben Hur (2010)
The 1959 version of "Ben-Hur" is without a doubt one of the truly great motion picture epics, so it was with surprise, and dismay, that I saw this 2010 re-make mini series appear on my local TV channel, and against my better judgment started to watch, what could only be, this travesty. To my surprise I found within 30 minutes I was totally hooked and engrossed by a deeply touching and superior Television experience. What it lacks in sheer magnificence of the 1959 version, it more than makes up in the human story of a family torn apart by terrible misfortune and fate. Wisely the makers chose a superb young cast in the leads, with Joseph Morgan (as Ben-Hur) and Stephen Campbell Moore (as Messala) not only doing justice to these epic characters but imbuing them with true human emotions. The story is very much the same as the original, and even though it was said the makers played down the religious aspect, I personally found that by doing this they actually heightened it in some respects to truly wonderful effect, especially during the last hour of the story which left this viewer with more than a few tears in his eyes. Naturally the sexual aspect is more explicit, but if one watches the original 1925 silent version you realize that is is something which has always been there but left and only implied in the 1959 version. The famous chariot race of the 1959 version can never be duplicated and the film makers obviously did not have the budget or tried to do so, but apart from that, if you have the opportunity to see this version, do yourself a favor and do so. I think, like me, you will be pleasantly surprised.
The most Romantic Musical ever made.
From it's blossom spread opening credits, to it's heartfelt finale, this masterpiece is, sadly, one of the most neglected of all MGM musicals. A huge box office success in the year of it's release and an Oscar nominee, it is now all but forgotten except for fans of the singing duo and film scholars. Filmed in stunning Black and White, every frame pulsates with atmosphere and emotion, drawing the viewer into an unforgettable cinematic experience. Everything in this film works. From the perfectly realized performances to the sensitive direction to the no expenses spared production. This should be up there with classics like "Wizard of Oz" and "Singin' in the Rain", and yet it remains one of the best kept secrets in filmdom. So do yourself a favor. If you enjoy musicals, and especially one's with heart, watch it, and experience the joy of one of the most romantic films ever made.
Quantum of Solace (2008)
Here lies James Bond 007. RIP
I love Bond. Ridiculously, passionately and unapologetically so. I've watched all of them, over and over. I bought them on Video, Laser Disc and DVD (twice). When Cubby Broccoli died and his daughter took over, with Pierce Brosnan, the series started well (with "Goldeneye"), but then steadily sank into clones of one another, with little individual character. With "Casino Royale" things looked brighter. A superb new Bond (ok he ran too much), a new imagining, a fresh start. Then came "Quantum of Solace". The worst directed Bond, EVER. Confusing actions scenes. Stupid script, and even Daniel Craig, who looked so good in "Casino", looks positively ugly in this. I watched it 3 times, and I still can't remember what the Bond girl looks like. I never thought I would say this, not even with the Brosnan films, but perhaps it's time to end the series. In the past the Bond film has been the leaders, now it had become the follower. Trying to mimic the irritating "shaking camera" action scenes so prevalent in cinema today. Sorry Barbara, you have not done justice to your father's extraordinary legacy, and that is to simply, and superbly entertain. Not only HAVE you messed with the formula, you have destroyed it.
Film making is very close to musical composition, the difference being the creator use images, instead of notes. Very few films have achieved true visual compositions, Stanley Kubrick did, notably in "Barry Lyndon", and now director David Fincher has with the exquisite "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", one of the handful, true artistic cinematic masterpieces of the past decade. The film breathes, pulses, rises and falls as we follow the life of Benjamin as he he is born, experiences life and finally dies. Words can never do justice to this wonderful film, but if you are open to it, have experienced enough of life, you will come away enriched and humbled that artists like Mr.Fincher share this time and space with you. Bravo to all involved in this film! and Thank you.
A musical and artistic masterpiece
Being born the same year as the film version of "Carousel" was released, it took me a while to get hold of it to finally see it. The first time I did, I was disappointed. This is no "Sound of Music" or "King and I" I muttered. I thought the songs were beautiful, but the film heavy handed, uneven and the story too dark, no wonder it was one of the least successful R&H film musicals! However, over subsequent viewings on better formats (Laser Disc and now DVD) I have come to realize this is quite possibly one of the greatest film Musicals ever made (!!!) and without a doubt the ultimate masterpiece in the Rogers and Hammerstein canon. The cast is flawless, the story almost unbearably tragic and at the same time uplifting and inspiring. There really are no words to describe this wonderful work of art, and like all great works of art, you not only look at it, but it looks back at you, which is why it is so relevant and so incredibly moving. Bravo to all involved!.
The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)
One of Hollywood's most underated films.
A film of awesome beauty, and probably one of the most uderated epics of all time. Massacred by critics this for me is an undesputed masterpiece and is way over it's time to be rediscovered and acclaimed, as it so richly deserves. It's very slow and demanding, but as Kubrick's "Barry Lyndon" unfolds with breathtaking splendor and deeply felt inspiration. I'm tired of the moans about the use of big name stars in small roles, George Stevens had to to get this made, it's been done before and will always be done, otherwise no finance. For me the cast is flawless, especially Max von Sydow as Jesus, giving a magnificent performance. The photography, editing and especially the music are superb, but in the end this is one man's vision - George Stevens who was ahead of his time, and who knows one day time will catch up. Bravo Maestro.