Reviews written by registered user
|8 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have just seen this film tonight in Luxembourg, the famous Ruritanian duchy. It is the first film in quite a time that really thrills me and gets me high. Everything is very good, from the twisted but consistent plot to the great cast. In fact, there were many films shown today at the movie theater and when I saw Soderbergh, Law and Z. Jones were involved I thought to myself: it can't possibly be a fail, and I am glad to say now my assumption was utterly right. This is a real treat like those we used to have back in the forties. The evolution of the main character is very realistic and convincing, from an honest but somewhat naive English shrink in NY to a red blooded survivor struggling to get back his life in a ruthless legal jungle. In the end we even get the morals from the tale, which I will not disclose for the sake of a good watching. Much can also be said about a paranoic society feeding on pills to live up to overwhelming expectations of success and top-performance; a cowardly and hypocrite society which, ironically, is not ready to take responsibility when things take, say, an unwanted course. But, fortunately, these clever hints masterfully scattered throughout the film do not harm the most important thing, a sound mystery story with excellent players and a spectacular ending. Most highly recommended by all means.
I've just watched the first season of V (2009/11) on DVD and I have to say I am quite disappointed. I remember the big and attractive publicity not so long ago, although I failed to spot the show when it was broadcast. I can realize now I didn't miss that much. Critical reviews (notably the insightful one by AlefVeld from London) on IMDb have made strong points as regards plot holes, miscast players and illogic scenarios and development. I think what people who dislike this remake of V regret is just the lack of what made it a likable show in the eighties: I remember the national shock and thrill when it was aired in Spain in 1985. Now, in the 2009 version flaws are apparent after 30 minutes watching into the first episode, and your fears are totally fulfilled later. Key questions are never answered; for one thing, what's their wicked "plan"?, the resistance seems to be more deadly and unethical than the aliens. I particularly resent this: highlights are weak, scarce and scattered, thereby taking out all the promised fun. And the worse comes to the worst: there is no sense of humor at all, you can only hear one witty wisecrack on account of the weird situation in the whole of the 12 episodes. Miss Baccarin's performance was the only thing that really kept me watching; her line "skin them!" is priceless. The other characters are so dull and the development is so low-intensity that you nearly want the aliens to stop fooling around and start wreaking havoc on earth, which sadly never happens. Millions of light-years far from it. To sum up, the stingily doled out good stuff doesn't make up for the lack of story and action. What a pity.
I love Lubitsch, I worship the golden age and I am a great fan of the early talkies and the jazz age, but this film has been a sad disappointment to me. The technical achievements are there, indeed. The condition of the film is astoundingly good. The players are charming. The music is pleasant. Some gags are funny, if not that witty. This is how far I go, for no more praise can be given to this banal story about a lieutenant loving a fiddle player and being harassed by a princess. The whole plot is not only silly, as one of the reviewers said, but also extremely reactionary. It really spoiled my evening. And by the way, what's the fun about a tailor not being paid for his expensive clothes? It simply doesn't look Lubitsch.
Is it possible that I am having the privilege of writing a first review
for IMDb? I can hardly believe it! Too bad the film I just saw this
evening does not deserve the fuss at all. Here it goes.
I think this is the movie which made me feel worst at least since I had the misfortune to see Dick Tracy back in 1991. The whole thing is plain nonsense. Nothing but cockeyed, unjustified violence and ugliness,with the nastiest jerks you could possibly think of populating the screen and trying to awe the audience with their commonplace gimmicks and stuffy talk. I hate to say, for I once had her acting in good esteem, but Ms Binoche is in 2012 like Norma Talmadge in 1930, that is to say, on her way down, down. AND WHAT ABOUT GOD'S PERFORMANCE??? You know who I mean, the Pattinson guy. For goodness sake! Who in the universe does he think he is? Come on! Couldn't you bite someone so at least we have a laugh? Never mind. I guess you have to be posh, dimwit and less than 21 to understand the guy's pull.
There's no merit in showing off you master the technique of filming almost a whole movie inside a car (much less given the fact it is a limousine), in a sink, wherever, if you have no story at all to tell. I'm afraid I've crossed out the people involved in this swindle for good.
With utmost respect to other reviewers who seem to have enjoyed this film, I keep failing to get the point of the whole thing. Certainly, most actors are doing their best, especially the ones given fewer lines, but you have to avow that Maximilian Schell's performance, however sincere, is overdone and dated. Perhaps he was not the smartest choice for the title role. As to the main plot, if the filmmakers intent was to keep us misled throughout the movie till the very end, congratulations! you did it! I think it's ridiculously twisted and entangled altogether. It is nice to see some good production values of the seventies at their best, as well as some funny hair styles and well conceived props, but this doesn't make up for the lack of sense. I think it's a mistake to overwhelm the audiences with lots of information and tons of strong feelings, just to be unable to come to a well contrived conclusion. Good films need original ideas well developed and well solved. If you launch the great question you have to propose an answer based on sound consideration or, as it should be the case in a film, on a consistent outline for your story. Not a good contribution to understanding the crimes against mankind, and namely the Jewish people, during WWII.
Now, first and foremost let me put this straight: I don't care about
the historical lack of accuracy, I don't care about some cattle getting
hurt in the making of this film, I don't care about Henry King being an
allegedly rank-and-file director - Baloney!! What I see is a masterful
movie, a tragic and epic tale of how America was made, a proof that
also the WASPS were often victimized by the corporations and the
Govermnemt, an extraordinary screenplay getting the most from the
hero's and his beloved ones' ups and downs, as well as a superbly
beautiful cinematography, all set on the original location where the
events took place around the 1870s (quite different from the Arizona
landscapes we are used to). All these elements were not put together by
way of accident. A major studio, run by a very intelligent Zanuck was
behind it. This is the evidence of what the old studio system could
achieve in the golden age. This is the kind of movies that made Henry
Fonda and Tyrone Power the big stars they were. This is why MGM got to
admire, envy and plagiarize 20th Century Fox's ideas. No wonder it
became instantly a legend when it was first released early in 1939.
Indeed, one of the most glorious years of that era.
This film is priceless. To my taste, it is the best western of the thirties. The story is told ruthlessly, just as reality was, but not without tenderness and utmost respect for the characters. You're not given a chance to breath a sigh of relief. The players work like masters. The very young Nancy Kelly is incredibly convincing as Jesse's wife. Silent star Henry Hull's performance throughout the movie is beyond telling. You have to see and hear. Not a single shot or line is wasted and the story is wise enough to be sprinkled with some bouts of good American sense of humour, very much in line with the ironic style of Mark Twain, another Southerner, very much in the 19th century mood. To think this was filmed in 1938 leaves me with a feeling of awe and admiration. Those guys and girls did know their business. I can't find the right words to praise this sensational movie as strongly as it deserves it. I shall only say this: This is one of the very few films that had me weeping and crying and I insist there's very good reason to be moved and touched by it. I give it 10 out of 10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I've just watched the film this evening and I am not totally captivated by the story. It is pleasant to see a film of such high production standards, which formally unfolds very much off the mainstream, downtrodden way of telling moral stories to which we are used. However, the promises of the beginning are not fulfilled in the second half of the film. The plot is set out brilliantly for the first hour, but then more and more details begin to lack consistence. If the film makers wanted to lecture us on the uselessness of private justice, for instance, I have to say the result leaves much to be desired. Frankly, if you, as an adult, faced such extreme situations as those depicted in the film, would you react likewise? Ynoel-2 from Spain denounces the script as manipulative, and I think he has a point (I look forward to read the future comments he nearly promises). I enjoyed the glossy cinematography, some good dialogues and several strong scenes, but I'm afraid that, if I watch this movie again in, say, a couple of years, I won't like it half as much.
I disagree with plankton rules on several points. I would never give Nertsery Rhymes a 10, but I don't think it's despicable. I watched this short on TCM in the mid nineties and was very pleased for the surprises it held. It's a kind of patchwork, where it was obvious, being a 1933 film, that the two musical numbers had been taken from the earliest 1929/1930 MGM talkies. I was, at first, struck at seeing the three stooges perform a smoothly timed and really funny story. In fact, this is the only film where I have found the Three Stooges'act getting across. I agree with M. Planktonrules that Healy was nasty, and that the more talented Stooges did the right thing when they dumped him one year later. But, overall, the farce turns out quite well, with many unexpected comedy twists as well in the action as in the lines spoken. As to the "Lady in the fan" and "Lady in the shoe" clips, the worse it can be said is that they hardly fit in the screenplay. However, their music, in one case to Nacio Herb Brown's credit, is nice and pleasant and the staging charmingly out of date. The colour quality is also strikingly good. In short, I think this is the kind of film that makes people getting interested in old movies.