Reviews written by registered user
|7 reviews in total|
I've been meaning to see this movie for several years now, having heard
all the hype and comments rating this as one of the best films of all
time. It certainly wasn't disappointing- despite the relatively slow
pace compared to most brainless blockbusters of today and tendency
towards sentimentality that crept up from time to time. It certainly
wasn't one of the greatest of all films, in my opinion, either; simply
an intriguing story, with something to teach us, perhaps, very well
told and very well acted. It's probably a movie I'd watch again, though
not straight away, as it is quite slow paced, and, just towards the
end, I felt it was getting a little too drawn out. But it's very good
to look at, there are some great performances, a nice musical score
from Thomas Newman, and a great plot, with a wonderful twist at the
end. So, overall this is a very good movie and one I would recommend.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is a film that tries too hard to be 'worthy', convinced that it conveys some deep message about the culpability of the White Men who colonised the American West at the expense of the Native American Indians. But, as the Haliwell's film guide puts it, it ends up being 'boringly predictable', with its fashionable downbeat ending and cast of bigoted and unsympathetic characters mistreating each other and creating a situation that will inevitably only lead to tragedy. The actors are all fine, the photography is at times excellent, but we are not made to feel for the characters- we can see the outcome way before it happens. Thus, the final confrontation between Sheriff Coop and Willy Boy had no suspense factor for me- and I didn't care when either he or the Katharine Ross character (no, she did NOT look like an Indian!) died. A much better western that is'revisionist' in its attitude to the Native Americans are 'Little Big Man'. Watch that instead.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was really looking forward to this after having seen the excellent original 'The Bourne Supremacy'.I couldn't wait to see where they'd take the plot and how they'd develop the characters a bit more. Unfortunately, it failed to live up to expectations. It is not a very satisfying movie, despite all the critical acclaim it's received. Hopefully the third sequel (which it seems inevitable will be made after the way this movie was made) will be back up to the standard of the original.
A brief introduction to the plot:
After discovering the secret behind 'Treadstone', the CIA assassination organisation, at the end of film one, Jason Bourne and his girlfriend Marie have started a new life together in India. Bourne is still trying to figure out more about his past, and Marie encourages him to write down all that he remembers in a notebook. However, Bourne spots that something's not right when he catches sight of a suspicious man (who is actually a Russian assasin). A car chase ensues, which ends up with Marie being shot and Bourne fooling the assasin into thinking that he died as well.
Now Bourne sets off on his own to find out who killed Marie, and to encounter some more secrets from his past. Also involved is a female CIA chief, who has found out the secret of Treadstone and is trying to bring Bourne in, and two characters from film one, played by Brian Cox and Julia Stiles.
The first problem with the film is the plot, which, compared to the first film's well-written plot, based more closely on the book, is very patchy indeed. It runs out of steam a good while before the end, and so the climactic action scene seems a bit tacked on to make things more exciting. The plot strand where Brian Cox is a 'baddie' did not seem very credible, and the scene where he shot himself was entirely predictable. Personally, I thought it would have been more interesting if he'd gone on the run.
Another mistake was to kill off Marie inside the first ten minutes. In the first film, she provided an opportunity for Bourne to explore his character, but here, the nearest we get to character developement for Bourne is a scene almost at the end of the film where he explains to a girl that he assasinated her father. This was a well done scene, but one well done scene does not a great film make.
Now I know I'm not the first to say this, but the visual style of the film was a real dud. The jerky camera thingey worked quite well in a few of the fight scenes, but all the way through...I was exhausted by the end, and not in a good way.
So, the plot never drew me in, the visuals put me off, and, when, about three-quarters of the way through the film, I was thinking about the way the scenes were filmed, and not the plot, I knew this movie hadn't worked. A real shame. Why couldn't they have written a better script, used Doug Liman to direct again, and made a better film?
All the other comments I've read here seem to be distorting the picture. "Greatest western ever made" "a classic"?!!! This does seem a bit much. Although quite well done- Halliwells praises it's "excellent moody photography" it's not really that different from a lot of westerns of it's time- eg. 'the grimes gang' with the same star if I'm not mistaken. The plot seems to twist and turn a bit, with the final showdown, though an effective ending, seeeming a bit contrived. Still, it's not bad. The best scene is when the cattle drive is leaving-remember a similar scene in Red River? interesting to compare the two. Mind you, this film is probably quite historically accurate, much more so anyway than all those old John Wayne movies! So except lots of cussin', mean-faced cowboys, and a fair dose of violence. the shootouts are very effective.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
70s esponiage thriller, with robert shaw as a soviet defector helping us
colonel lee marvin to trap communist spy master maximillian
the opening is confusing, with lots of characters being introduced every
minute, and its hard to tell who's who (plus, the opening scene is badly
dubbed into russian. why couldn't they just speak in english?)
when the train gets attacked, all the windows get blown out and there are some loud explosions and gunfire, yet no one from the back of the train seems to notice, letting the americans at the front of the train run around shooting people. then, a few minutes later, all the windows are magically restored! huh? and how did lee marvin manage to take over the first three carriages of the train anyway? the avalanche itself comes about midway through the film and is not a major part of the plot. horst bucholz pops up at the end in a very minor role. This is pretty bad!
The western genre is regarded by many (or is it just me?!) as having hit
rock-bottom (well, almost) in the 1970s, before almost dying out in the
and 90s (ok, ok, dances with wolves, heaven's gate, there have been major
westerns since...don't get me wrong). This is a prime example.
Star of many terrible spaghetti westerns (and a few good ones) Lee Van Cleef features in this one as a drunken slob of a bandit called Jaroo. He overacts enormously (of course) and is hardly a likeable character, soupy scene with Mexican kid notwithstanding!!!
Jim Brown plays Luke, an escaped convict who teams up with him to steal the fabulous treasure of El Condor. Oh, and they also hook up with a bunch of Indians led by a chief called Santana- I wonder if he could play guitar? :-)
Anyway, there's also the invevitable cruel Mexican general, a heavily guarded fort, lots of explosions and blood...and some woman who's the girlfriend of the general. The stripping scene was atrocious! Spoiling the climax of the film. Mad!
Music by Maurice Jarre is alright. That's about it. And the problem is, it's not even bad enough to be funny!
One of the numerous westerns Lee Van Cleef made in the 70s, this one is
Cleef plays the title character, a Native American Indian who is also a US army captain (though how he got to be one is unexplained). He is investigating the murder of the Indian Commissioner, and attempting to find out the meaning of his dying phrase 'April Morning.' During his hunt for the baddies, he encounters numerous obstacles, including gunrunner Stuart Whitman and two heavies who give him hallucination inducing drugs.
The soundtrack is very dated (electric guitar during one fight) but the main and end titles are reason enought to watch-Lee Van Cleef sings! Well, on the title track of 'Captain Apache' he talks, but the end titles song 'April Morning' finds him singing! Couldn't they get anybody else? Or where they just having a laugh?
Some moments are fairly effective, but it's mostly rubbish, albeit unintentionally funny rubbish! The 'romance' with Carroll Baker is probably the worst point, although the unimaginably silly storyline should be named and shamed as well! So, watch this if you either:
a) want to have a laugh
b) are a spaghetti western nut
c) want to hear lee van cleef sing!