Reviews written by registered user
|23 reviews in total|
I'm giving this film an 8 due to the perfect use of social commentary. I felt it could get a little dull due dialogue being the driving force behind the plot and the entire movie was a shift from conversation to conversation but it really makes you wonder. Now, being 19 I wasn't alive during the time period in which the subject matter would've been complete taboo but this film is very thought provoking. When viewing this, think about the fact that interracial marriage in a good chunk of southern states was completely illegal! It wasn't until the latter half of '67 that we saw Loving v. Virgina allowing interracial marriage in these states so you can imagine the stir this movie caused. The film attacks stereotypes and racism using Sidney Poitier as a very well educated, well spoken African American doctor. This made it so the only real objection people could have to the union of John and Joanna would be that John was black. This film also serves as the final showing of the duo of Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy and they provide their usual great performances. Ultimately the film gets a little boring due to the constant use of dialogue but even today it makes you wonder how your own family would react in this situation and this contributes to the longevity of the film.
This is the epitome of the Western Genre. How could you possibly go wrong with John Wayne and John Ford? Answer, you can't. This film is shot on location and it gives the movie a very authentic feeling. I feel this was crucial to the success of the film, too many movies feel forced in their attempt to achieve believability and one advantage of shooting on location is that it gives us the most realistic look possible. On top of this it brings us the great John Wayne. AFI ranked him as the 13th greatest male star of all time and that's hard to argue especially after you've seen him in this film. He's exactly what a western needs; a rough, rugged, hard nosed no-nonsense cowboy. Orson Welles regarded it as the perfect textbook for filmmaking and he's widely considered as one of the greatest directors of all time so you be the judge.
I loved Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. George Roy Hill did a great job giving it the feeling of a real western even though it was released 30 years after the height of the genre. He coupled beautiful cinematography with great casting and an exciting closing scene. The scenery is spectacular and you'll feel like you've been dropped smack dab in the middle of the "wild west." The best part of this film though has to be the casting. Paul Newman and Robert Redford were great (Especially Redford)and much like Bonnie and Clyde you're easily able to connect with and root for these two although they're constantly breaking the law. The two are witty, charming and surprisingly funny. The only knock I have on this film is the music. I feel like it was a mistake using more modern music in the film which was supposed to be set in the 1890's but it's a small complaint against an otherwise well made movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
So, I'll give this film credit for the message it sends with the importance of youth and the whole searching for rosebud idea. It seems like an overplayed film theme but Citizen Kane does a decent enough job with it. With that said, I will now proceed to rake this film over the coals. I hated it. I felt like it was dull and incredibly uninspiring. Like I said before, it had potential with it's message but it never delivered. There's an incredible lack of focus on his youth and most of the film falters in my opinion as it doesn't make Kane out to look like a confused man, it makes him out to be more tyrannical and sinister. He; cheats on his first wife, beats his second wife and forces her to perform an opera to prove that HE is not a failure, and on top of that he fires his "best friend" from his paper for writing an honest review of his wife's pitiful performance. Oh and he never sees his son, so what kind of youth is he providing for him? Now on top of all of this, how is this film innovative? I've been taking History of American Cinema at my college and I don't see anything that is new and adds to the way movies are made. I was expecting a real masterpiece and boy was I ever disappointed. I just don't understand how this film is so well spoken of.
Spike Lee is probably one of the most polarizing directors in American history. He's known to address issues within the black community but on occasion white viewers have been known to take offense to some of the aspects of his films. One of the most popular films he's released is Do the Right Thing where through a closely knit community he poses the question, "Do you do the right thing?" He tackles racism, from all angles not just white on black, he also addresses police brutality and even a bit of alcoholism with Da Mayor. What I was most surprised by with this film is Spike Lee's work on screen. I've known of him as a director but I felt like he really did a great job as Mookie and Samuel L. Jackson adds a little bit of humor to an otherwise very serious movie as the local DJ. This movie isn't good due to good acting though, it's more due in part to the question that the film poses and at the end you'll find Spike asking you who you thought did the right thing?
Whether you like Woddy Allen as a person or not, I'd have a hard time believing you can't find this film funny. He plays an incredibly sympathetic character, Alvy (who closely resembles Allen) whose constant narration gives you a unique look at the inner workings of his mind. This narration, coupled with the subtitles in the scene where Alvy and Annie Hall get acquainted are prime examples of Allen's ability to push the boundaries of reality all while keeping things fresh and funny. He plays his typical Woddy Allen role as a man chasing a girl, Annie Hall (Diane Keaton) but if you've seen previous works of his you'll notice that this film is much more serious than earlier ones, he poses questions about fate and destiny but he still adds his little touch of humor (a great example is the flash back to the younger Alvy, the kid who played him is hysterical given the coupling of adult feelings with a child's dialogue). The film is shot beautifully and you may notice some similarities to the Godfather in this area as both films used Gordon Willis for cinematography.
Easy Rider is the perfect movie to close out the Counterculture Movement. This film brings to light all the biggest points of the time period (i.e. the commune, drug scene, anti-hippie attitudes). The acid trip scene has been described as the closest you can imagine to actually being on acid. The acting is superb as you would imagine from the names but at the time these were a couple of relatively unknown actors (Peter Fonda being the most well known at the time). Nicholson's performance might be my favorite of the film and he's just plain funny as always. The only gripe I have against the film is that it seemed to end very abruptly. I don't really know the intention behind it but I just felt like the ending was rushed. Other than that this is a great film and I would recommend it to anybody as these three actors complement each other so well.
In one of his earliest film roles Dustin Hoffman performs brilliantly as The Graduate (Benjamin Braddock). The movie is witty and thought provoking. His actions aren't admirable but he's able to invoke a sense of sympathy with his character as you can feel the poor young man's confusion. On top of this he does a good job of playing the age of his character, you get the sense that he's been taken advantage of and by the end of the film you'll find yourself pulling for he and Elaine (Kathrine Ross) both. The scuba suit scene is a nice touch with the switch to a first person point of view where the view of the audience is cropped by the edges of the scuba mask, it's quite unique actually. It also adds to the sympathetic nature of Benjamin as it gives you the feeling that he just wants to be left alone for a while, it's also a nice break for viewers from his annoying family.
The Killing was a groundbreaking film in terms of presentation of plot. If not the very first, it was one of the first times a film was shown as a series of simultaneous events all culminating in the "ultimate heist." You would think this would add confusion for the viewer (and so did the brain trust behind the film as seen with the use of the narrator) but I think the film could've moved along just fine without it. The only criticism I have of the film is that the narration seemed a little heavy handed at times. What I really like about this film though, is that it's the emergence of Stanley Kubrick. Arguably one of the best directors in American film history and this is the film that really propelled him into the A movie market. Solid movie with an innovative plot structure 9/10.
I've never been a fan of musicals on film, i like going to the theater and watching a play but something about seeing it on film doesn't generally work for me. However, with that said, this film is incredible. It manages to pack everything of Hollywood's "Golden Age" into the film, great acting, great dialog, beautiful direction and cinematography (the colors, oh the colors) and on top of that it's probably the best musical ever put on film. Now everybody knows the songs aren't original but the dance numbers are great, even the ones that you would think were less prominent (i.e. Make 'em Laugh) are better than most musical's best numbers and Donald O'Connor really steals the show with this one in my opinion. The dance number that immediately comes to mind when you think of this film is Singin' In the Rain and it definitely doesn't disappoint. Gene Kelley is an incredible dancer and he'll have you mesmerized while you watch the scene. I watched this film in my History of American Cinema class and I have a hard time arguing against it being the best of the bunch.
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