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King Kong (2005)
I am amazed that some people have found this film to be a let down. How? What were you expecting? One reviewer summed it up nicely when he said that this is what we go to movies for. There is no point criticising the story, if you have seen the original Kong you know what to expect. What was nice is that the film has moved with the times and Ms Darrow did not scream the life out of the film like Fay Wray did - although in fairness that was expected in 1933! Here she is a far more engrossing and sympathetic character, with humour and pathos mixed beautifully. And what about Kong? Whilst I half expected him to call Ms Darrow '...my preciousssss!', the mannerisms were superbly mimicked. As for CGI effects, it was amazing to watch.....my wife's face! She was, at one point, sitting with her jaw open and eyes as big as saucers as the specular effects took hold of the film. To those who were felt let down, I am sorry, I cannot see how much more the movie industry can do for you to be satisfied. This film was, by any yardstick, one of the most fabulously entertaining films ever made. Brilliant!!
Oh dear, oh dear!
There is a good argument for having action movies, some comedies etc that really do not require you to have to think. That is good. Queue Spiderman, X-Men et al. Great fun. There is also a necessity to have films that blast the eyes and ears and let you enjoy pure mayhem without the need to have an in depth story, queue Star Wars, Mission Impossible et al.
So what happened here? Sure the eyes and ears get their day out, but was it a trip worth taking? No, it really wasn't! This is a mechanical universal Soldier, the idea of the military creating a unit to cut down losses and create maximum havoc, enter stage right EDI.
And here is the spoiler so marked. Of all the actors, Jamie Foxx must have read the script, though yeah, give us the cash, but make sure I am outa here early.
The other two pouted and posed, fought and loved, and all the time EDI was stealing the show - now THATS stealth! Unlike our Unemployed Critic, I am not going to say any more, lets the kids watch it as this is comic book stuff that adults should not watch, it is too poor for me to add any more to this comment!
Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)
When films like this can be made.......
If this is not considered as one of THE great films of all time, then all of us film fans should pack up bags and go home I cannot fault anyone, any scene, anything in this film. The dialogue races along in its smooth yet supremely captivating style. You grab a film like this, see a whole host of famous actors, and wonder if such a mix could ever work. It does, believe me, it really, really does.
Tracy. He was given the most powerful of dialogues, he presents it to us in a way that does not shout at you, yet holds you in a vice like grip every time he comes on screen. With his characteristic method of looking down whilst talking, hands in pocket, that small sly look up that he does, vintage Spencer, just how you would imagine a judge to be, or should be.
The supporting cast, again, never lets the film down. Some have the opportunity to step up a notch, Snell, Widmark, and others play their roles in a more subtle manner, Garland and Dietrich. And others just wipe away the floor with their presence, Clift and Lancaster for example.
And the story by Abby Mann - incredible.
Shot in black and white, it makes you think, it makes you smile, it will make you sad, and in the end you will be all the better for having seen one of the greatest films ever made, you will be richer for the experience, and you will be wiser.
You will also be able to say that you saw what Hollywood can do, you saw what great actors can do when put amongst their peers and are not 'stars' of a movie but are part of a larger ensemble.
And you will also see why this particular group were, genuinely, the very best Hollywood had to offer, period.
What on earth was this about?
I have been known, so they say amongst those who know me well, as a movie buff. True, many of the genres I have a liking for are perhaps a little old fashioned now, war, Westerns and the like. But comedy? Love comedy, me! I have been known to have to have been extracted from the floor having watched Trains, Planes and Automobiles, Man With Two Brains, Stir Crazy, and so on and so forth because I have been gasping for breath from laughing so much. I can even sit down and enjoy gentle comedies, for example What Women Want, Miss Congeniality etc. I have even been able to sit through the Royal Tenenbaums. I love Bill Murray,I adore Anjelica Houston, I quite like Owen Wilson, I think Willem Dafoe is beyond superb. Cate Blanchett rarely disappoints, Michael Gambon, well, he is pretty good too in most of what he does. So, in summary, I am pretty easy to please. I love my movies, I enjoy watching many fine actors, old and new. So my question people, is this, what the hell was this about? Funny? No. Good story? No. Pretentious? Yes. This is the first movie I have watched that I have ever felt the need to comment on for being so awful, and that includes shockers like Alexander! I beg you, please tell me where I should have laughed. Please tell me what the 'hidden bits' were. Please tell me why I am an ignoramus. I feel like this is the story of the Emperors Clothes, a great review, everyone finds this funny, so you go and see and agree because you feel if you don't then you are showing yourself up for being unworldly. Well sorry, this is Jackson Pollock, it may look pretty good and meaningful for some people, but for me it is an unmitigated mess, and worse of all, a total waste of time. I want to occasionally think, but not for comedy, if you want me to laugh, then hit me with a visual or gag that is OBVIOUS, not be so pretentious that I have to work at laughing! Poor, poor, poor, it has been given a 1 as there is no lower mark..... Sorry guys, better luck next time.
A very poor film
Like other reviewers have stated, there was a real desire to sit down and want to enjoy this epic. I really did. Honest. But the moment Colin Farrel opened his mouth and an explosion of Irish came out I knew then the ride was going to be pretty painful. And boy was it! I have no issue with the 'look' of the film. It is pleasing to the eye in terms of costume, location, battle scenes and the presence of the old great actors in all too short roles. But, and it is a big but, the dialogue! Whoever sanctioned the script by Stone/Kyle and Kalogridis should be shot! The script bears a resemblance to that parlour game where someone writes a sentence, hides it, passes it on to someone else for another sentence, hides it, passes it on.....and the resulting story is, well, need I say more? I can't get into the various arguments regarding the supposed sexuality issues, and how Stone was brave to tackle the topic, it matters very little when your ears are screaming for the dialogue to get real! No, when you have been spoilt with Gladiator and Troy, this is a very poor third.
Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)
Not so bad as some people think
I was not going to comment on this film at first, but when I recalled how I jumped up and immediately ordered it on the web after having seen it, I can only say, it must have been pretty good to make me do that on a whim! Beautifully photographed, a simple feel good story, and, as a married bloke of 52, would not necessarily agree that it is a 'chick flick'.
I found myself getting slowly drawn into the story after having hired it for my wife, and very quickly got into the characters. I actually ended hoping that it would end in the way the film was suggesting it might and......well, you will have to see by watching it as to why I ended up running to Play.com for my own copy, which, by the way, has been watched by many members of my family, all of whom were somewhat pleasantly surprised!
Go on, give it a go, it may not be as bad as some people think.......
C'era una volta il West (1968)
Truly this is the greatest western, if not film, of all time
237 comments to date on this film alone. Many 10 out of 10's. Why? If you have never seen this film, or have been put off by its extraordinary length, don't be, watch it and understand why it provokes such a reaction. The bottom line? If you like westerns, then watch this, afterwards try and convince me that it isn't the best of all time, bar none.
Don't get me wrong, I am from an age where we saw nothing BUT westerns, we played westerns, TV was full of western series, so I have seen them all. Yes, there are many other fabulous 10 out of 10 westerns, but, even acknowledged classics like High Noon, The Wild Bunch, even Sergios other two (!) do not quite reach the level that Once Upon a Time in the West has.
Knee jerk reaction perhaps, but any time someone asks me my thoughts on what the greatest film of all time (let alone westerns), I blurt out Once Upon a Time....
Fonda, Robards, Cardinale, Strode, Elam, and above all, Bronson, who would have belived that such a mix of stars would result in the absolute perfection you see in this film.
And the music, a tune for each character, what a superbly simple and effective idea.
Wonderful, it blew me away when it came out (I sat through it twice on the trot - you could do that then!) I have never lost my enthusiasm for it. I blessed the day it arived on DVD.
Inherit the Wind (1960)
Tracy at his zenith
We have been blessed with many, many wonderful films over the decades, and we have also been blessed with seeing many, many fine actors and actresses. Here you have a film, with a host of stars; brilliantly portraying characters from a true story, with acting that is sublime. The dialogue is sharp, witty, and each performance is gripping. Small town America, religious bigotry are all handled in a sympathetic manner by the use of powerful acting. I gave this film a 10 purely because it is one of those rare gems that stay in the mind forever. It is truly memorable, and one can watch it time and time again to marvel at the superb portrayals. There is a saying that they don't make 'em like they use to. No sir, they certainly don't!