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Really, really awful
It would be hard to sum up the poor quality of this movie in more than 10 lines, but I'll try. First, thin plot. like watered down chicken soup, not much to hear, feel, taste or see. Then acting, acting? Hardly any, dull, flat, high school play, these words come to mind. Then there's action, rather, the lack of any interesting action on the screen. Suspense? Nothing to see here, either. Truly a waste of celluloid, cheap sets, fake pyrotechnics and computer generated stuff. This movie (I won't call it a "film") is a flat, amateurish, over-hyped loser which left me begging for less. Had I spent money to see this (borrowed DVD from library) I'd be suing for a refund! Bottom line for me: an unforgettably and unforgivingly bad movie!
War Horse (2011)
Wonderful! Great! Cynics won't like it!
For me, there's nothing not to like in this picture: wholesomeness, good feelings, acting is good, characters are great, scenery is wonderful, battle action is stupendous (think "Saving Private Ryan"), and if you like horse stories, this is one for you. If you want sleaze, profanity, spurting blood, and big name actors, forget it. IMDb wants more lines in my review, so...I was really impressed by the way this great horse, Joey, is trained and handled, and the adventures he goes through. Remember, this is "War HORSE"...it's about a horse, actually, several, neigh, many horses. If this picture doesn't bring a tear to your eye, you have no heart.
Bronenosets Potemkin (1925)
I love battleships and all the stories about them. This film is hard to watch. Yes, Eisenstein made great filmatic beauty, lo these many years ago, with his play of the camera and his directorship. But it is hard to watch nevertheless, in light of the history that has passed in the 102 years since the events portrayed in the film, and in the 82 years since the film was first released, and in the 18 years since the final fall of the Soviet communist dictatorship that killed so many millions in Russia and in the territories that the Soviet Union dominated for so long. This is not to mention, of course, the nazi-fascist response to communism that killed so many millions more. No mention of this famous, much acclaimed, and truly artistic film can go without a mention of the millions who died as a consequence of the events portrayed here and which in 1917 began and continued for the next six decades until this brutal regime was finally put to rest by the efforts of the United States of American under the leadership of President Ronald Reagan. The scene with the peoples' sailing craft going to the famous Battleship Potemkin is beautifully dramatic, though little do they know the fate that awaits them. The famous and horrifying Odessa steps sequence, one of the most momentous and prescient cinematic displays in moviedom, portrays not only the response to the communist revolution but the communist revolution itself when viewed in the clearer air of the 21st century. Sad as it was that these hundreds were murdered by the "White Russian" soldiers, it pales to white in comparison to the millions killed by the "Red Russians" of the "revolution". The Odessa steps sequence, complete with the baby carriage and baby rolling down the steps is emblematic now not only of the horror of the Imperial Russian reaction to the "revolution" but of the effect of the "revolution" itself. The Battleship Potemkin for all of its supposed greatness, and Eisenstein's artistic genius, is merely another piece of propaganda for the murder and genocide for which the communist "revolution" and its evil spawn the nazi "revolution" were to use to compete with one another in the following decades. The Battleship Potemkin's ready accessibility to the gullible collegians of the 60's and 70's, was just another glorified piece of communist propaganda, so popular then, that has been enshrined into our present age as something we should treasure. Rather, in light of the millions and millions who have suffered and died as a consequence of communism and fascism, this film should be relegated to the ash heap of history along with the works of Mao, Hitler and Marx as mere curiosities, to be studied for what they are, aberrations in the progress of mankind.
MacArthur is a great movie with a great story about a great man
General Douglas MacArthur. This is of course, the story of one of America's great military figures, and a figure made familiar to me from the earliest moments of my memory. Though there is a continuity issue (there may be others) e.g. MacArthur's speech portrayed in the film as his 1962 address to the U.S. Military Academy on accepting the Thayer award did not contain the phrase "old soldiers never die; they just fade away." (That was in his speech to Congress upon his dismissal by President Truman) in 1951 for his alleged insubordination (these two did not see eye to eye!) Gregory Peck is im-Peck-able as the general who vowed he would return to the Philippines in World War II. The film moves quickly and easily with the General, his family and his staff from the beginning of the Second World War to the end of his service career. This film would be of much greater significance to one familiar with both WW II and the Korean War. Nevertheless, Peck's portrayal of this great man who fought the twin evils of fascism and communism and who hated war as only a soldier can is a memorable one indeed. "In war there is no substitute for victory."
The Thin Red Line (1998)
Too tedious for me...
These comments came into my head before I read anyone else's comments, and thus were not influenced, though I did read some. My view of this film is very different from the comments I read. First of all, I had a hard time enjoying this movie, and a hard time watching it, finding it sleep-inducing, slow moving, and insipid in dialog. Despite its having plenty of blood and gore, it just seems to lack realism. The characters seem trite and stereotyped, and only of three or four "types". I find it difficult to write the required ten lines here, because it it hard for me to find words to recommend this movie. Maybe it's too much of an "anti-war" movie to be a good war movie.
Five Easy Pieces (1970)
If you don't hate Bobby you weren't paying attention!
This classic from 1970, seen for the first time in 35 years, left me angry at Jack's character Bobby, and at the same time feeling sorry for his pitiful soul as it must surely burn in hell for his absolutely rottenness. Only Nicholson could play such a rotten, evil, ruthless, miserable, low-down, conniving, despicable character as Bobby, as opposed to the "heart of gold" simplicity of Karen Black's Rayette, the epitome of country/western innocence and charm. Nicholson's Bobby goes from one miserable tirade and temper tantrum to another, as he philanders, cheats, lies and steals his way through this entertaining but often angering film. He hates his life, he hates his family, he hates his great missed opportunities, he belittles all whom he encounters, and in the end goes out of the film just as ugly as when he enters it. You just KNOW that in the imaginary sequel (SIX Easy Pieces?) he surely must end his useless life by his own hand! Ah, Jack, only YOU could have done this character!
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Highly enjoyable non-stop action, fun, silliness, twisted and perverted.
Having seen both of the Kill Bill movies, and having enjoyed their extreme entertainment value, I decided to see Tarantino's earlier Pulp Fiction. This film, filled with the "f" word and the "n" word and all manner of profanity (enough to make a sailor blush)and obscenity (who really cares), is a highly entertaining and cartoonish, mish mash of stories, plots and subplots centering about a gang of varied characters featuring drug dealers, dopers, perverts, rednecks, gangsters, murderers, bullies, victims, and all their blood, guts, violence, stupidity, and even a smattering of religion. What Tarantino has done here with his cast of wild characters is cover all the bases, providing non-stop entertainment and excitement for the viewer who is able to suspend his disbelief and disconnect from reality long enough to last until the head-scratcher that comes when the film runs out. (The story really doesn't end; I think Tarantino just ran out of time!) This is a great vehicle for the ever-familiar and versatile John Travolta. Samuel Jackson is a great and lovable baddest-type bad guy. I loved Harvey Keitel's cameo. Don't look for a lot of reality here, but enjoy the exaggerated realism. I found lots of laughs (it's easily as funny and silly as Kill Bill 1), lots of gore, lots of nice guns, strange twists, and enough time warps to want to see it again just to get things straightened out.
One of Hitchcock's best!
Notorious is absolutely one of Hitchcock's best films. The suspense sneaks up on you, and I found myself on the edge of my seat. Cary Grant is in love with Ingrid Bergman, (but who wouldn't be) caught in a triangle of love, deceit and lies. They both shine as the super stars they are in this meticulously filmed masterpiece. Hitchcock's hand is all over this film. And as is usual for the master, he never misses a beat, never puts in a sloppy scene, and sees it all in his mind's eye (and on paper) before committing it to film. This is why he is The Master of his craft. Bergman is at her lovely best, that sometimes smiling, sometimes pouty mouth, that cute nose, and those stupendously beautiful eyes. This film, which I've just seen for the first time (why, oh why, did I wait so long?) is up there, near the top, I have to see it again and again.
Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)
One of the best WW2 movies ever.
Tora! Tora! Tora! has long been a favorite of this WW2 buff. Considering I have had 34 years to study and learn about the war since the film first was shown, I still maintain it is almost unbeatable in terms of realism and historical accuracy. An added attraction for me has always been it's total lack of a love interest. Unlike the recent "Pearl Harbor", T!T!T! is not complicated by any silly love stories. While by recent standards the movie may seem slow paced and plodding, the details of the events leading up to the attack is gratifying to see and actually educational. The attack action is thrilling, well paced, and in its use of models, actual planes and other equipment,is extremely realistic with few distracting anachronisms. Be aware that this is definitely not a movie to watch if you are in a hurry.
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
About as silly as they get
Kill Bill (the first one) is the silliest movie I've seen in years! It's sillier than Blazing Saddles, sillier than a Monty Python movie. It is very cartoonish. Part of it even is cartoon, (although it's that highly stylized Japanese cartoon). Uma Thurman plays a good role, but I thought she used to be good looking. All the murder, mayhem, incredible martial arts, spurting blood, severed limbs, funny character names, and goofy plot twists will keep you munching your popcorn with great animation. This silly piece of fluff is filled with fantastic violence, totally unbelievable plots and characters. Keeping all that in mind, it is hilarious from beginning to end! I hope the sequel is as cutely charming.