Reviews written by registered user
|23 reviews in total|
It is almost always the case that when people cite a bad horror movie as enjoyable, they find it so because it is stupid. The Shining is highly enjoyable, and yet it has a fascinating script. Add that to Kubrick's typically well judged and lavish direction and an eerie score, and you have a masterpiece. The only downside is that the always watchable and entertaining Jack Nicholson overshadows a fine cast with his scene chewing portrayal of a decent man driven to madness. To be fair, it also lacks the ability to scare now, and perhaps this is why The Shining joins the rest of Kubrick's post 2001 work as under-rated and misunderstood. It's a shame, because it is technically brilliant. But it seems a horror movie is judged wholly on it's terror rather than anything else.
This is not Scorsese's best film; there are a few small niggles which prevent it from being so (Cybill Shepherd's performance, a largely powerful script from Paul Schrader that doesn't finish when it should) but it is still excellent and possibly the last proper American New Wave film, along with his Raging Bull. De Niro delivers a brilliant performance which is unbeaten throughout the film (although Scorsese's cameo is remarkable), creating a character we neither like nor hate. It would have been so easy to paint him as a monster. The camera is similarly masterful, showing us the seediest depths of New York. Thank god it didn't go to Robert Mulligan (To Kill a Mockingbird) and James Bridges (the original choices for director and actor).
I don't think I've came across a more effective comedy in all my life. And considering it was made at the height of the 60s, The Graduate still holds up amazingly well. Hoffman's performance is by turns funny and realistic, while the supporting cast makes the most of their well written roles. There are many very funny moments too, but in the end, many of the sequences stand out because they are technically brilliant. And for a comedy, that's a great achievement.
The first Austin Powers film has more substance than the two sequels would suggest. Forget the jokes- although they are indeed very funny- and focus on Mike Myers' twin creations, Dr Evil and Powers himself. These are beautifully created characters who don't rely on a succession of unfunny fart gags to amuse (unlike the lamentable Fat B*****d from the sequels). Instead, humour naturally arises from their pompousness. When either is on screen, they overshadow everything else, thanks to Myers' comic brilliance. It's easy to under-rate him, but he's easily more bearable than the increasingly desperate Jim Carrey. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery is highly recommended, as is the sequel, but miss the third part, which botches everything constructed in the first two.
This is a very moving film, particularly in it's evocation of childhood. Director Mulligan seems to be very skilled in his direction of the child actors, and the admittedly conventional camera work is well suited to the stately pace of the script. Peck is good as Finch; his performance is not amazing but it's enjoyable enough. Robert Duvall also makes a small appearance in one of the most touching scenes. Topping things off, Elmer Bernstein's score is magnificent. Perhaps this is an under-rated film, maybe because it doesn't take many risks, but it's one of the finest to emerge from the changing American cinema of the 60s.
Connery is magnetic from the first scene, but he can't save the movie from dragging in parts. Also, his sidekick Quarrel is a tiresome Jamaican stereotype, played as best as possible by John Kitzmiller. The film only really kicks into gear in the last third, when Bond and the girl (Ursula Andress providing nothing more than eye candy) enter the lair of the titular villain. The strange angles and over the top mechanisms are a welcome taster of what would later appear in the series thanks to the brilliant production designer Ken Adam, and Joseph Wiseman is sinister as No. Don't expect the wild adventure of The Spy who Loved Me, but it is better than Ian Fleming's original novel, and worth watching if you're a budding Bond fanatic.
Cruelly referred to as Goodfellas: Redux by some, Casino deserves (nay, demands) to be see in it's own right. It isn't as good as Goodfellas, however, mainly because it tries to outdo that wonderful movie with extra lashings of gore (some of the violence is unwatchable), foul language, sex and music, to no avail. It's also inhibited by a narrower scope, taking in only the 70s and the early 80s and by the end, the script dithers as much as Sharon Stone's druggy showgirl. However, Scorsese pulls several impressive tricks, De Niro is effective as a outwardly dull but inwardly seething Jewish gangster, and the dialogue is occasionally inspired. If you can stomach the length of it, this is high quality Scorsese, but only just.
This is a movie that you have to admire, but at the same time it has one big flaw, mainly that too much time is spent in the company of the rather dull commando force giving Alec Guinness's brilliant performance short shrift. It's as if director David Lean needed to have William Holden in the movie for a long space of time if only to ensure box office success. Still, when it's on the right tracks, this really tugs at the heart. When Guinness realises his labour of love, the bridge, is about to be destroyed, only the coldest of hearts would feel nothing.
Watch this magnificent movie and see if you can spot the elements that were incorporated into the early Bond films. Even if you were a Bond fan before you saw North By Northwest (in the case of the reviewer) then it still emerges as superior. Cary Grant is very funny as Thornhill (the once mooted Jimmy Stewart would've been a more interesting choice though), while James Mason's slimy villain is memorable without resorting to gimmickry. Eve Marie Saint is wooden, sadly, but she's practically the only downer in a movie filled with fantastic set pieces (crop duster chase, the Mt Rushmore sequence), fantastic dialogue and a fantastic score by Bernard Herrmann. Hitchcock's best? Most definitely.
Here we have what is surely the finest horror spoof ever made. Granted,
a student film, and therefore visually it's cliched and musically it
like it was composed on a keyboard, but the laughs come thick and fast.
intentionally woeful dialogue and overuse of the word 'man' by one
hilariously annoying character provide many of the best chuckles, but it's
the pastiches of other well known horror films that really hits the spot-
look, that weird little boy is reminiscent of the ones from The Sixth
Sense/The Ring! That running around in the dark is like every other genre
movie made in the last five years! That hysterically crappy looking
is a bit like the one out of Scary Movie...wait a minute...
Isn't sarcasm great?
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