Reviews written by registered user
|291 reviews in total|
I like Losey's films quite a bit - well The Servant in particular. This film is no Servant . It is a tour de force of overacting, particularly Leo McKern. I don't think I have ever seen such an over the top performance by anyone in anything. It really does him and the film no favours. Michael Redgrave acquits himself quite well but it must have been a thankless task holding on with McKern's histrionics. Ann Todd is the epitome of British middle-class angst and is very annoying for being so. I chose to watch this because it was a Losey film but it disappoints me in every way. It makes very little sense and could have done with much tighter editing and control over the actors' performances.
I just love Lester's Musketeers movies - they were so very original when first released in his treatment and the way the swordplay was executed. It was so very naughty to make two films at the same time without telling the cast. In my opinion Oliver Reed steals the movie he is so believable as Athos - a rough, tough, hard drinking adventurer. That said all the cast acquit themselves very well - even Raquel Welch who was not known for her comedy acting. I would have liked to have seen a 3 or four hour movie telling the whole story as I could never get enough of the films as they are. The last Musketeer story was rather lame but still enjoyable if you had not seen the first two. I have seen them all a few times now and they never fail to entertain me - Richard Lester was a very unconventional and innovative director. I hate to think what may have happened to this story had it been adapted for use by The Beatles which I believe was the original plan.
I saw this as a child and it enchanted me and it stayed with me for years. How disappointed was I as a grown up that it had dated so badly. It was annoying and trite and made me a little uncomfortable. Danny Kaye was a favourite of mine many years ago with his Mitty movie and The Court Jester ( the pellet with the poison routine still cracks me up). He was rather subdued in this film and I now find the songs I loved too cheesy and very much fifties. The ballet sequences are terrifically staged and still work brilliantly. Who knew Zizi Jeanmaire was the person in Peter Sarsted's song?! Perhaps it still works for children even now but not for adults. The songs I remember were a staple of fifties radio and are a part of my childhood and speak of a much more innocent time.
While I admit that the effects were good and the costumes worked - the film as a whole was awful. Kate Winslett was horribly miscast and there was no chemistry between her character and DiCaprio's Jack. The script was dire and the baddies were just missing their twirly moustaches. It was difficult to care about what happened to anyone at any point during the interminable denouement. it seemed to me that like many other Cameron movies the bottom line was the profit to be made from the extreme overhyping of the whole thing. Avatar was only just better (which is not to say it was any good either). Definitely the law of diminishing returns was played out here. I think it halted Leo's career in it's tracks, given the "heartthrob" title attributed to him. Conversely and inexplicably it boosted Kate's career beyond any explanation.
A well made but flawed movie. My main gripe with it is the dialogue. I imagine it is authentic but the problem is that I could only catch about half of what was said. Chiwetel is great as the main character but when one can only follow parts of any conversation it spoils the effect of those parts of the script. It must have been a difficult task for the actors to treat each other so appallingly, even given they were only acting. It really is not a film that one can be said to "enjoy" it is more a question of appreciating it. Steve McQueen took on a difficult and even controversial subject in this film and it was never going to be a blockbuster. It has been honoured more for the subject and the bravery it took to make it than for it's quality.
No-one in this mess of a movie comes out of it with any credit except maybe Arlen. He was not only convincing as a not-so-dumb cowboy star he rather appealed to the viewer on screen. The Coen brothers have made some wonderful films but this, most definitely was not one of them. I daresay they were able to attract the stars that appeared purely on their reputation as filmmakers. Judging by the people in the movie I think it may have been made well before it's actual release date as I think it must have taken forever to form the dull script into some kind of releasable order. Clooney ought to rethink what he gets involved in or his career is likely to go into steep decline. It is boring, preachy, confusing and I found it difficult to believe that good actors were content to take part in this nonsense. Making a movie that people are going to enjoy and take away something with them is no easy feat and it proves that even the best writers and directors can make stinkers sometimes.
No-one can deny Cate Blanchette's appeal. She is an astonishingly beautiful and classy woman, much in the mould of the screen goddesses of the past. Not only that but she really can act - only Meryl Streep can match or surpass her in my eyes. She is wonderful in this movie as is Rooney Mara who, at some points, seems to be channelling Audrey Hepburn. That said this film disappointed me overall as it left the conclusion hanging in the air and seemed to have more of the story to tell. The film looked great and the period feel was spot on for me. One surprise was Kyle Chandler as Carol's (Cate's) husband, Harge (was this name or nickname?). I have only ever seen him in made for TV stuff and was impressed that he held his own with such great actors as Mara,Paulson and Blanchette. He was very good in it in a difficult part with which to sympathise. There was an inevitability about the whole enterprise which made one want the film to move a little faster to its conclusion. I just wanted it to be better than it was although it was never exactly boring it was too slow for me.
This movie is Audrey Hepburn's best and really shows what a fine actress she was.She was versatile able to do comedy and drama with equal aplomb.Take a look at Two for the Road a FredericRaphael-written dissection of a marriage which is both comic and tragic by turns. It seems a travesty to me that she was only nominated for The Nun's Story when she quite plainly should have been awarded one as best actress. Peter Finch,too is excellent as the dedicated doctor working in the Congo and the sexual chemistry between them is palpable. I have seen The Nun's Story lots of times over the years and it never fails to impress me. Due to the times in which it was made it is naturally dated now but the subject matter and performances supersede all complaints on that score. It warrants several viewings and rewards every time.
I saw this when I was a kid of maybe 10 or 11. It was my favourite film for many years after. It is, of course, very dated now but the performances are still great. Particularly memorable in this fifties curiosity is Richard O'Sullivan whose comic timing, even as a child was terrific - he made the movie for me. Carol Shelley whom I saw in The Odd Couple many years later was a particular crush of mine. John Mills is the central figure in this movie as a teacher obsessed with music who comes up against the authoritarian figure of Cecil Parker, the newly-appointed head of Angel Hill school. It is a snapshot of fifties school life in a typical middle-class organisation and it was quite like the grammar school which I attended (though it was not quite as much fun where I was).
I saw this short film many years (possibly 40!) on TV one Christmas. It impressed me no end and I could never forget it. Orson Welles narration is superb,atmospheric and chilling(no pun intended). The main character ,played by Ian Hogg ,is just right in this part and his desperation is clearly portrayed. The dilemma of having to create fire in order to save one's life is portrayed wonderfully and however warm the viewer is while watching this one can feel the severe cold which the protagonist experiences. It may be only a short film but it feels much longer as the frustration of the situation becomes apparent. It is a hugely cautionary tale which stays with the viewer for a very long time.
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