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The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Paying a tribute to Bogart?
Therecare a lot of movies where plot takes place in a prison, with 'innocent' in-mates, cruel warden and a breathtaking escape but I'm almost sure that the director wanted to pay tribute to Bogart& Bacall's Dark Passage. There are some particular elements in the plot that resemble the 50 years old film such as; the ending scene on a south American Pacific beach (here Mexico then it was Peru), a bus ride thru the Mexican border, an innocent fugitive etc. (Morgan Feeeman of course is not Bacall...ha ha ).The rest of the story, or better to say almost all of it is an entirely different . Tim Robins and M.F work together with harmony , even pouring some humor into the gloomy atmosphere of the Shawshank prison.
Word of Honor (2003)
Frastrative attitude from the army , law and administration
The film as well as the book by Nelson De-Mile really causes frustration and un-easiness.We have here a civilian with a successful career and an unblemished record as a combat officer , faulty accused by a 'rightuous civilian ' of being a war criminal. I'm an israeli , and we also experience here motions provoked by 'snow white'civilians from all sorts of 'human rights' organizations to put soldiers and commanding officers to trial, describing any military action taken by those accused to be a criminal act, while on the other hand outrageously ignore enemy's criminal activities like bombing buses , civic centers , schools etc.FOOD FOR THINKING!!!! let's condemn these organizations !!! Betzelem, Shalom achshav, women in black, machsom watch etc.
The Happening (2008)
so bad, in any respect
this movie is so bad, I can't imagine why other critics used so many words to describe and criticize it. The acting is bad, , the background of the characters is unclear (so is the conflict between the couple). There is some resemblance to War of worlds, but this story is so poor, and...stupid , that any comparison will be an insult. There is one similarity to the recently made version, with Tom Cruize; the little girl portrayed in both films is hysterical, and is an irritation to the audience ear.The elderly lady , who owns the house , tops everything else in this movie by adding a grotesque figure to this basically impossible plot.
Do not go to see it, it is a waste of your money, or even worse; of your time.
High Noon (2000)
pathetic and naive (effort)- Do not bother to see.
There is nothing to Say for this film. This is a pathetic , not even appreciated effort to create a replica of an old story and a silver screen success of past giants such as actor G.C and director F.Z . Ther is not much to comment about the acting, either- this one is certainly lifeless. Had not the original 1953 version been made and this one was the first to be created with the same title and plot,no impact would even be made on movie goers (or TV observers in this case). It lacks in-depth struggle between the good and the bad, the personal dilemma's the 1953 contained and leaves absolutely no social message....waste of time, switch over to the next channel...
Blackboard Jungle (1955)
Of the 50's but very actual
In the mid 50's, when this film was released my parents like many other people who had teenagers were very reluctant to permit them to spend their allowance money for a ticket to this one. The film is superb, very realistic , giving an in depth view over problematic educational situation. But not only this- it is also a social outcry about racial problems, poverty problems, and when I viewed this film again in 2005 (yes, I managed to enter the theater in the 50's after all..) I was very astonished to realize that later films about the same situation-and there were quite a few of those during the years to come- displayed the same situations , motives and dilemma's. One realizes a very outstanding fact , which, if you will, is heart touching: these violent juveniles can easily dodge school, nobody can make them to stay in class, they even dread to face an expulsion , because deep in their heart they know that education is essential for their future if they ever want to get out of the vicious circle of poverty and low class, that holds them inside it.
Objective, Burma! (1945)
A unique battle field movie
This film is not just one of those propaganda or moral raising movies. I remember seeing it in the early 50's when 'battle cry',or Audie Murphy's 'to hell and back' came out on screen- while this one was black and white. In those days the Israeli army used to show this film in the Israeli 'west point' compatible academy " "Bahad 1",as part of the new officers training program and for more than one reason. First of all it is a first class demonstration what a real combat is like. Not a very flashy adventure , especially when you are outnumbered and fighting your way out from the combat zone. Then , E.F demonstrate a determined commander who possesses true leadership and understanding of his own men.He never panics , never raising voice and he is a first class professional. He is an ancestor of the much later officer played by Tom Hanks in P-Ryan... I wonder if this movie ever re-hit screen during the Vietnam war.
Undoubtedly, Malick is a Georg Stevens fan
As in his later movie " days like heaven" , Malick presented many motives which are almost a pure plagiarism of George Stevens's Giant. *The long shots of the Texas vast and never ending plains, the wind pump, the outdoors dinner, driving away from the ranch, under the ranches gate, the drive in a convertible on the open road, let alone mentioning the name of the idol: Jimmy Dean....* The movie itself is very absorbing, and it reminds no little of Bonnie&Clyde.Young Shean is quite non-challenging, easy going character and not quite understood as well as his motives. It's a pity that Malick has done so little since his "days like heaven" and "thin red..."
Days of Heaven (1978)
Very professional making of a movie
T.M is influenced by many directors that did movies before him. This movie reminds Bonnie and Clyde.Here again young couple in an escapade, and death at the end after being fugitives from the law. Many commentators for this movie mentioned various influences from all sort of directions, but perhaps one may add that some motives in this film are influenced by Georg Stevens's Giant. Take the big ranch house with the front entrance and its ghotic style, the shots of the sky, the close ups that show half faces in the shade(remember Dean watching Luz die, standing in the shade), the outdoors gathering of folks, the harvest which reminds the Reata's round-up, the shot of the old pick-up(like the one Dean was driving), and finally at the end, the car driving away from the ranch under the big gate.The later is almost like playing back the scene in Giant where Hudson and Taylor drive under the main gate into Reata. T.M does not even try to hide his admiration to George Stevens's directing talent.
The Exorcist (1973)
A horror movie, but with a lot of depth...
No doubt, it's a well made first class horror film, but not only that. Von Sidove is the true hero here, assisted by the younger priest.He faces an old arch enemy of his, the Satan , for the last showdown of good vs. evil.The effects used are excellent.<<Spoiler>>: At the end the girl is escorted to the cab by her mother who tells the priest:"she remembers nothing"--"good" he retorts. But the girl suddenly turns back and gratefully kisses the priest's cheek as to let know, that she unconsciously ,at least , must thank him. And one more detail, Lee J. Cobb here, portrays the "earthly" and helpless hand of the law- takes his new friend by the arm in a picture shot at the same angel as in Casablanca's last scene and they both fade away like H.B and Claud Reinnes......
Secret Window (2004)
certainly not a 'rear-window' - big flop....
A very big disappointment, considering J.D's talent(he is o.k in it). The story never picks up and the ending has no relation to the developement of the plot, the charachters are simply borring... One cannot decide if it's a psyco-drama or a thriller. It seems that the talented J.Turturo is there just to assist a bad set up.
Spoil warning!!!- take the sherif, nothing to compare with the sherif in 'Misery' , even Francis Mcdurmont's (Fargo)deputies are far more interesting- when he finds out about J.D, it never rizes to be a threat at all....
-do not waste your time (and money ) on this one.