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Planet of the Apes (1968)
This is Charlton Heston's worst film with acting, time and plot against it! I admit that I am biased. I never thought that Charlton Heston could act, and I see this film as my proof of that. Man's uneducated Chuck Norris, if you like!. If you find the screenplay interesting then look at 'Inherit the Wind' with Spencer Tracy and Fredric March. If the acting is satisfactory then please enjoy the cast in anything else they've ever done.
If Charlton hits your buttons.....well then just go out and kill something (preferably that you can eat) and post Sarah Palin pictures on your wall.
The dialogue is terrible drivel, The locations are from a back lot and The acting is really bad. The editing is amateur, The soundtrack is rubbish and Charlton Heston should never have been allowed near cellulite!
Sometimes, Hollywood and viewers just get it terribly wrong. Go watch a movie, instead of a reputation and throw this rubbish out.
Bridge to Terabithia (2007)
Great for all
Firstly, I'd not allow children under 8 watch this alone, because of the plot. That said, I'd happily let them watch with older kids or adults. It is such a good film on lots of levels. The most important point is that you quickly believe in the central characters. It's really well acted and - SPOILER - handles death with great sensitivity and reality. Everyone says they cried watching it and okay, I sniffled too, but you'd want to be callous not to! The lessons of life are tough and we all go through them growing up. There's bullying, lack of support, isolation and tragic loss. But there is also that teenager linking to another place. There's a friend which you think may be more and the awkwardness that that creates, as you tip toe into romance. And there's escape to another world. Where teenagers can escape to - no kids or adults allowed. There's the freedom to be your true self, uncaged. The joy of finding someone to share that world with and the grief from having that thorn apart.
Josh Hutcherson and AnnaSophia Robb are superb stars with great futures. Director, Gabor Csupo, has given them great scope to shine. They capture the emotions of teenagers and the dark side of life. The CGI is non- intrusive but may lull parents into thinking that this film is aimed at a younger audience. I'd say this is for aspiring teenagers up to adults. Men may dismiss this as a chick flick, but it's not. It's for anyone who has ever been a teenager, or dreamed, or felt, or loved. An unsupervised box of tissues would be appreciated! I've got to update my vote to 10 :) I loved it!
Hotel for Dogs (2009)
A few basics first! Kids will like this! There is little for adults. We have become so used to 'films for kids but written for adults' that it is nice to see something just for the kids again. A parent may be useful with very young kid for the slightly 'spooky' bit. The kids and dogs all act well and Emma Roberts is a great anchor. Don Cheadle is giving his time competently but Lisa Kudrow is miscast. Now the important news. This has very, very little to do with Lois Duncan's book! You can be sure that the book is better and a perfect read for any dog lover. Buy both or buy the book! With only 5 dogs, 2 kids and a family life there is much more depth of character in the book. This film is a good one off. The book will be a favourite reread :)
Better than the Sting
This is great! The first viewing is a roller-coaster ride of confident control suddenly lost, then understood, then whipped away again! It's certainly Joanne Woodward's finest hour with an excellent cast of also ran stars. At the end, it all makes wonderful sense and you just wish to see it again!
Second viewing lets you see how everything works, and you marvel at the screenplay and acting. Then you want to see it again and just enjoy the whole film. The fourth viewing is confident entertainment which you want to share with your nearest and dearest. Repeat viewing maintains the entertainment level and I still want to see it again!
One of the top films I have ever seen and I look forward to seeing it again. Thank you Hollywood!
The Green Years (1946)
I find this film charming. As a 1950's Dublin kid, I loved the acting, direction, script and message of this film. I agree that it is a Scottish 'How green is my Valley'. I have always felt closer to Scotland than Wales, although not understanding why! Dean Stockwell and Tom Drake are especially wonderful. Nowadays, some follow ups would be certain. I would love to follow Robert Shannon's adulthood, after this film ended. I have always been a fan of Jessica Tandy and it was great to see her as a young girl, knowing what a successful career she had. This is a warm hearted Sunday afternoon film with feel good after-shocks. I don't know if a colour remake is possible but it's a black and white classic. Enjoy!
The Poseidon Adventure (1972)
A disaster of a movie
I was a teenager in the 1970s and this film turned me off cruising or package travel for life! Because of the people I might meet. I have no idea how Hollywood gathered the cast of stars together, but they are terrible. The camp over-acting; the totally unsympathetic characters and the ham-fisted editing meant that it should have sunk without trace (dragging the Towering Inferno down with it, please). It took Gene Hackman and Hollywood a decade to recover. Do I care for any of the cast? Absolutely not! The rescue party should have gone to the pub and read a better script. The producers must have been selling ice to the Inuit and coal to Newcastle to pull this off. The delightful Shelley Winters never got out of the disaster mode and deserves a more dignified memory. Avoid!
The Land That Time Forgot (1974)
This has everything for a budding boy to enjoy. There's monsters, the struggle against evil, a submarine and the stunningly beautiful Susan Penhaligon. I was lucky enough to see this when it came out and it enthralled me. I still watch it on television when I can, with fond memories. It is not aging well. CFXs have left it looking quite poor in places. However, for a B-Movie it is very well done. The acting, storyline, direction and editing are all well controlled. I agree that a remake may be justified, as long as the inherent innocence of it all is not lost.
It is good family fun which will keep boys glued for an afternoon. And Susan is as beautiful as ever :-)
Hating Alison Ashley (2005)
A very nice film
Australia loves quirky and does it better than everyone else. It has allowed their film industry to create great films over the decades. Lately they have concentrated (in this part of the world anyway) on children's' television. This seems to fit in here and is very well done. The acting is very good, although Delta's wig is distracting. There is great attention to the minor roles and Saskia is perfect in the lead. I think this works best for slightly younger kids than the ages portrayed in the film. They possibly relate to teens a couple of years old, without being adults. Hopefully, it will open them to the wonderful treat of Aussie film, which as for me, will last a lifetime. It's good.
Cool Runnings (1993)
This film leaves me breathless. It is like a prescription tonic for the credit crunch. John Candy is wonderful. The bob-sleigh team is a true Ambassador for Jamaica. You add in the nasty Germans, the resentful Americans and the whole amateur sports is controlled by professionals nonsense. It all works. I know some very cynical Capitalists who expressed themselves above such candy floss trivia and yet whooped for Jamaica by the last run :-)
This is my favourite feel-good film of the 90's. If you have seen it already - do yourself a favour and watch it again. Everyone needs some buttons to help them through bad economic times and I've yet to find better.
Cool Runnings Rules!
Hotel Rwanda (2004)
I came to this film having read the book 'We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families' by Philip Gourevitch. I was frightened by how Hollywood may distort the story of the Rwandan genocide for commercial reasons. Well, I have to admit that I think they did a wonderful job. Don Cheadle really rises to the task, despite being American. It feels right to have concentrated on one person's remarkable story and allowing the horrifying conflict ( and the world's guilt ) to remain as a backdrop. I find this an important film in the way Shindlers List was important in telling a man's story and reminding us of the flawed humanity which caused it to happen in the first place. 'Enjoy' this great film and then read the above book to learn more.