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China Rose (1983)
Ir isn't all that bad.
I will admit that I do not have an advanced degree in Drama or have I performed on stage, Shakespearian or otherwise, but the criticism that Ms. McGraw received in some of these reviews sounds a bit much. Is there a "Let's Get Ali" Club out there? As far as her acting ability I do not find her as objectionable as some and, in fact, I like her. If that makes me something of an amateur in theatrics, well so be it! The critical remarks made against her go too far I think and border on gross insult. Frankly there are a numerous so-called actresses today who cannot act as far as I am concerned but I am not going on a tirade against them. I just don't watch them. Many people go "ga ga ga ga and ga" over Meryl Streep and frankly I would not pay a dime to see her perform. So therein lies the issue, some of us like certain actresses and others don't and vice versa! Besides, I miss the Lana Turners, Greer Garsons, Betty Davisis, Susan Haywards, Joan Crawfords, and other fine actresses from the 1940s, 50s and 60s!
True Grit (1969)
What is all this talk about a remake of True Grit? I do not have anything personally against Jeff Bridges, but is not John Wayne. Is Tinsel Town so intellectually void they have to remake other movies? I have had the misfortune of seeing some of these remakes and the originals were much better. Of course, I am rendering a personal opinion here, so for those of you who want to indict me for whatever reason, back off! Frankly, I am not going to waste my money attending any remake of True Grit. For those who desire to, be my guest. I realize there are still a lot of John Wayne adversaries out there, who despised him for various and sundry reasons....however I do not recall Paul Newman, and his fellow travelers walking on water either! Apparently we need a fresh supply of writers who can actually come up with something new instead of rehashing films that should be left alone!
12 to the Moon (1960)
For Those Who Suffer From Insomia
This is a magnificent display of boredom. The space ship was unbelievable but then this is a movie, so there. The acting was over dramatic and pretentious. It reminded me of a 6th grade attempt to make a sci-fi movie. (actually, I think the 6th grade attempt would be better.) I am sorry, I wish I could be more generous in my comment. I did give it a 2 out of a generous heart but that is as far as it goes. I was attending movies at the time this was made and I would have probably walked out on it as soon as I had finished my popcorn and drink; unless of course someone enticed me with a candy bar. It just did not come across in a serious light; now as a comedy it might have had potential.
War and Remembrance (1988)
Change of Actors
I was not at all happy with the replacement of Ali McGraw with Jane Seymour; Jan Michael Vincent with Hart Bochner and some of the other changes. Thank God they left Robert Mitchum alone despite his age. I really missed John Houseman in his role as Aaron Jastrow and while I consider the late Sir John Gielgud to have been a superb actor, I kept looking for Houseman. Unfortunately his health prevented his reprisal of that role. I have nothing personal against Ms. Seymour but I much preferred Ms. McGraw in the role of Natalie. I also preferred Mr. Vincent over Mr. Bochner as I believe he portrayed Byron much more convincingly. I gave War and Remembrance a seven (7) rating as opposed to the ten (10) for Winds of War. Why? Precisely because of the change in actors. While I could understand the change from Houseman to Geilgud, I think there were too many changes. I am thankful they left Jeremy Kemp in the role of Gen. Von Roon however I was more impressed with Gunter Meisner's portrayal of Adolf Hitler in Winds of War over Steven Berkoff's portrayal in War and Remembrance. Ralph Bellamy did a masterful job as FDR. As to the critics of historical accuracy, the author was not presenting his work as a non-fiction textbook; but rather a novel set against the background of events leading up to and including World War II. And yes, there were some changes from the novel to the screen, but again, this is a great work of fiction that remarkably included real life events!!!
The Good Shepherd (2006)
Thank God I Read A Review
I had reservations about this motion picture when I saw the cast, in which some names read like a roll call of left-wing ideologues on another tirade against the CIA. Then I read a review and I am glad I did not waste my money going to see this apparent travesty. It amazes me these days that the malcontents in tinsel town cannot turn out a decent film. I have to admit, I am more comfortable with the stars of the 1940s/1950s/1960s. I sincerely wish I could find something good to say about the stars of the new millennium but what I do see are basically a group of hopelessly narcissistic children caught up in a world of illusions, seeing themselves as "pied pipers" leading us to glory-land! Frankly, I would not follow them pass the front gate. There are some exceptions among the older group whom I admire for their acting ability and sense of propriety. It would appear to me that The Good Shepherd is just another gussied up anti-CIA film.
The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)
An Excellent Film
On the whole, this film is an excellent adaptation of the life of Jesus Christ, albeit it may not be 100% down the line, I do not believe that any unnecessary liberties were taken in a malicious manner. Considering this was a George Stevens film, I am satisfied that the intent of the film's message was sincere. Perhaps it was more idealized in some portions, but I think it only added to the greatness of the message that was delivered by Christ himself when he lived on Earth. Christ's message was love and forgiveness; charity and forbearance; devotion and commitment. The film had a splendid cast and I very much enjoyed Max Von Sydow's portrayal of Christ. All in all, an excellent film. And while I am on the subject, I think the film Jesus of Nazareth was an excellent film as well.
Hitler: The Rise of Evil (2003)
Another Telling Episode on Hitler
It is too bad that the film makers of tinsel town and elsewhere cannot make a film with equal wrath on Josef Stalin. When it came to murder, Hitler was an amateur! That Hitler was evil there is no doubt, but for some it seems that the satanic Stalin walked on water! NOT SO! He also was the embodiment of EVIL! I thought the time period was interesting and while Peter O'Toole's performance as President Paul Von Hindenburg was interesting, I thought he did a much better job as General Tanz in "Night of the Generals." Of course I am never surprised at the rank hypocrisy that emanates from tinsel town. Most of them have their heads so far up in the clouds I would guess the lighter oxygen levels have affected their ability to produce an objective documentary/historical drama. I gave the film a five due to its historical inaccuracies!
The Green Berets (1968)
A Motion Picture With A Point of View
Yes, the Green Berets was a motion picture with a point of view, and yes, the Liberal Establishment is going to find everything wrong with it that it can, because the Liberal Establishment despised John Wayne. Now, I am not saying this motion picture was academy award material, but neither was Reds, Julia, Platoon, and a few other films that had a "point of view." The reason I gave it a higher rating was to offset the bias displayed by the doom-sayers and pseudo-critics who constantly condemn anything that does not fit into their small little minds.
I found the film to be good entertainment. I had problems with the Vietnam War myself.....mainly that it was conducted to achieve a political settlement. It should have been fought with one thing in mind...total and complete victory over the enemy, period!
The Razor's Edge (1946)
A Superb Film
This is a superb film and I have a copy of it in my collection., I am aware of a 1984 remake, but I cannot imagine it being better or even equal to this 1946 rendition of W. Somerset Maugham's work. I much prefer the cast in the 1946 version and I cannot imagine Bill Murray in the role of Larry Darrell. I thought the performances by Tyrone Power, Herbert Marshall, Gene Tierney, Lucille Watson and Clifton Webb were very good, along with that of Anne Baxter as well! Why is it that some clowns in Hollywood (The Twilight Zone?) these days seem to think they can do a better version of certain films made in the 1940s?
I read somewhere that Brad Pitt wanted to remake The Fountainhead, a 1949 film that starred Gary Cooper, Patricia Neal and Raymond Massey. I can just imagine Ayn Rand rolling over in her grave at the thought of Pitt perverting her work. Brad needs to stay close to Jolie and mind the kids they have adopted or planning to have or whatever.
King Kong (2005)
If I Had My "Rathers" I would "rather" have not!
I love Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings Trilogy and I have them in my film library. I WILL NOT be adding King Kong to my collection.
Some of the scenes were definitely not for children and some of the scenes were definitely not for anyone as far as I am concerned. Some of the scenes are absolutely unbelievable, although I suppose anything is possible if it can be imagined! The picture was too long. Frankly I think the 1933 version is still the best. It may not have had as many special effects as the Jackson version, but it got the point across well.
As for the ending scenes, I thought I was in the middle of a Kong Manhattan Mello-Drama waiting to be interrupted with a soap commercial.
I could only give this film a 3 out of 10....I think I am being generous at that.