Reviews written by registered user
|5 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is a wonderful little film. No, it won't ever be listed as a great movie, but it has all the elements of a great story. To whit: A challenge, a likable genre, a semi bad guy thrown in for conflict and most of all, the quiet, understated love a boy and his father often share. It's pure escapism and sweet, sweet nostalgia. Watch for the little things in the background that will make you ache for days gone by: The binoculars and microphone in the announcer's booth, the first baseman tossing his glove to the side as he trots in after the third out; that used to be common on old baseball. Teams would share gloves so the next guy to man first base would pick up the dropped glove. You know where this film is going from start to finish, but that's is it's magic. It wraps you in much of what was best about the fifties. It will leave you with the kind of smile you get from a pleasant memory. 7 out of 10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Great acting and astounding cinematography couldn't save this film. Abraham Lincoln asked the famous question, "What is the most important leg on a three legged stool?" Same goes for movies. Acting and cinematography can only go so far. A good movie has to have a story. The writing was abysmal and I wasn't given the chance to connect with any of the characters. The movie jumped from scene to scene like a blacksmith's bellows. Whoosh! fan some gratuitous action then die down to wait for the next fight. And the shipwreck scene? What the heck was that?? Call this 'Kingdom of Japanese Lanterns', each shining brightly but in between the beautiful lights, just a piece of string. Here is a tip: if you are lucky enough to get Liam Neeson to act in your film, keep him in the movie! Five out of ten.
This movie has removed all of the destruction Tim Burton has wreaked on the Batman fable. It does for Bob Kane what Lord of the Rings did for J.R.R. Tolkien. This is without a doubt Hollywood's best re-creation of a comic book concept. Yes, it's true that you must immerse yourself in another universe - (although Gotham is a little closer to our own than Middle Earth)- but you can almost believe it exists. Add the fact that of all the superheros only "The Batman" lacks supernatural powers and you will delight in the film's cleverness. It is escapism in it's finest form. The only disappointment is that you are left wishing, no yearning, that a sequel is on your coffee table and ready to be inserted into the DVD player. If you are only going to view one fanciful movie this year, by all means see this.
One major mark of a good movie is its ability to draw you in to its own particular brand of reality. An attribute of a Great movie is that for a time you forget it is a movie. The first time I saw Predator I even forgot what time it was. The cast and crew sucked me into a hot little battlefield somewhere near Earth's equator and for a couple of hours I was right there, next to Dutch. Wide eyed and with my heart in my throat I chased and fought and ran from a new on screen Terror so awesome that it succeeded in creating a new Hollywood Archetype in horror. If by chance you haven't seen this movie, watch it alone, at night, in the dark.
There are good and bad points to every movie and I guess that KC might have done better and yeah, the score was so-so but this movie hit me in the hindbrain. I loved it. I think that he tried his best to give you a glimpse back in time. There are some scenes in the movie where I actually felt as close to the 19th century West as is possible. KC made an excellent point in an interview about old cowboy movies and their lack of realism. I tend to despise westerns because usually from the start there is at least one glaring reality flaw and I know I'm watching a bad cartoon. I don't mind these flaws in other genre films because in SCI-FI or Fantasy the writer/director is creating his/her own universe. Fine, create your own universe and you can make up your own rules. Westerns, on the other hand, are only stories displaced in Time. Examples are things like every guy wears a vest, everyone has perfect teeth, or most important, the single dimension personality of the Good Guy and the Bad Guy. I like the new trend of movies like Unforgiven and The Missing (by the way I disliked "Missing" as a movie but liked the effort). What I saw in Open Range was the collection of all the old western clichés dusted off and shined up and done better, and paradoxically made believable, represented as the archetypes that they truly are. These new movies give you a Feel for things "Out West" And as for KC himself- watch the documentary DVD about the making of Open Range. That man set out to make a movie by the seat of his pants and by god he did it. And got actors like Benning and Duval because of the respect people in Hollywood have for him. 7 of 10.