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Scorcese on steroids
I need two lives to count the ways I hate this film. Let me just put it in three words: over the top. Everything is over the top. The violence, the screams, the pseudo-pathos (DeNiro's slobbering unrequited puppy love for Stone). Pick anything, it's overdone.
IMDB requires 10 lines. Well, here goes:
This film is bad. This film is overrated. This is Scorcese on steroids. Avoid this mess.
There. Ten lines. You asked.
Tiempos de guerra (2017)
Somebody went into raptures about this telenovela dealing with "Embracing other cultures ... Interracial relationships ... Interfaith relationships ..."
Oh, of course. We must have interracial/interfaith relationships and embrace other cultures at any cost. Or else ...
Sorry. I simply cannot resist the temptation to tweak knee-jerk political correctness.
On to the series. I've only just started to watch it and, so far, so good. I like Amaia Salamanca and Jose Sacristan, whom I have seen in Grand Hotel and Velvet. I know nothing about the Rif War so I can't say how historically accurate this is. But ... I take it for what it is: a telenovela. Not a history lesson.
I usually enjoy Spanish telenovelas. I hope this won't 't dissapoint me. So far my only objection is to the color of blood in otherwise very realistic hospital scenes. It's raspberry colr, which is rather distracting. But if that's the only flaw this is going to be good.
Life is NOT a computer game!
After more than 1,500 reviews I will simply state was bothered me the most about this film: the color. Come ON, guys! Life - especially war - is NOT a computer game. Therefore, it should NOT look like a computer game.
Dunkirk - as well as most of the north of France - is gray. Even when the sun is out. The first thing that struck me - as well as my sister, who's married to a Frenchman from Lille - was how colorful the place looked. It looked more like Antigua than Dunkirk. And what about the sea? The sea in that region is a permanent gray-green color. In this film it is a bright acqua blue that would put the Caribbean to shame. Even when it's cloudy. Everything scene is tinged by a cartoonish shade of blue. The first scene on the beach was so lifeless in its computer like quality it was awful.
I was so much looking forward to watching this film. But the Dragons and Dungeons aspect of the whole thing was so distracting I could not concentrate on the story. Pity because Dunkirk was one of the most remarkable episode of WWII. It should be treated with more respect. I guess this is, alas, further proof that the film industry had gone to hell in a plastic bag. I much prefer to watch films like The Longest Day than this mess.
Upstart Crow (2016)
Blackadder it ain't ...
... though everything - I mean, everything - is too derivative of the 198Os sitcom. The soundtrack, the set up, the elaborate figures of speech, pick anything. Mitchell's acting and manner of speaking, and even tone of voice, is obviously a copy of Rowan Atkinson's Edmund Blackadder. Bottom would be Baldrick. Marlowe would be Lord Falsheart, Lord Southampton will remind you of Lord Melchett, and on and on. I think Elton tried to revive Blackadder, but there are some successes that simply cannot be repeated.
Those who are not acquainted with Blackadder might like this (it has some funny moments, and they do make some clever ... well, play upon Shakespeare plays). But those of us who are fans of that incomparable comedy (I have the whole series and watch it at least once a year) cannot help making comparisons. And Upstart Crow is certainly the one that loses by the comparison.
Watch it and make up your own mind, by all means. I find it funny at times, but ... I'd much rather watch returns of Blackadder.
Don't Pay Attention to the Scrooges Here
This a delightful musical version of Dickens' timeless tale. Not perfect, but delightful, nonetheless.
I will not go over the merits of the film. Enough people have done it. But I do strongly advise people to watch the film and make up their own mind about it, rather than listen to the Grinches and the Scrooges who complained here. They bring to my mind one of the songs in the film: "I hate life."
A film for rich, coffee table commies
I recently stumbled over this film, which I saw when it came out, many galaxies ago. I only remembered that I saw it because, at the time, I thought Whatshisname was handsome.
In tried to watch it again and was reminded why my mind wisely chose to delete it. This is nothing but a Hollywood lefty's Ode to Communism. This is the kind of film that historically-clueless, knee-jerk "Social Justice Warriors," Hollywood elites, and other assorted commies love to drool about. I can see any specimen in the leftist menagerie go into rapturous convulsions while watching this 4-hour yawner, some in the private theaters of their posh mansions.
So unless you're a Communism fan/apologist avoid this interminable propaganda piece. Pick up a history book, instead. Preferably one that has not been revised by our Ministry of Truth (i.e. our so-called education system).
Our Souls at Night (2017)
Is there anything more depressing than geriatric sex? Yes. Geriatric actors who just Won't. Go. Away. Look, there is nothing wrong with retirement. I know. I'm a retiree myself. And retirement in the case of these two Norma Desmonds would be even better. It would be dignified. You can't play Salome if you're past 17. At least Norma Desmond was 50. These two old farts are 80, for goodness sake.
Jane, Bob. You were once gorgeous and sexy. Now you are just old. Sex at age 80 is one of those things that everybody knows (may) happen, but nobody wants to hear about. Like Alzheimer. So please, stop embarrassing yourselves. And us.
Falcon Crest (1981)
Ah, the wonderful 80s!
I know, I know. These days the 80s are reviled by lefties as the 'decade of greed,' and other self-righteous, 'sour grapes' nonsense. Let those people wallow in their bitterness. I was young in the 80s and I had a ball.
Because of that, I love to watch the 80s soap operas: Dynasty, Falcon Crest, The Colbys, etc. Dallas I was never fond of because JR was just too revolting, even for a soap opera villain, and Sue Ellen was such a neurotic loser and a pain in the nether region.
Yes, the 80s soaps were this, this and the other. But what fun! And how refreshing to see good-looking people, slim, fit, well- dressed and made-up. I am fairly sick to death of fat, ugly, people who look like the spent the night in the hamper. And don't give me the "real life" spiel. After a day of dealing with the 'realities' of life I want escapism. I want glamour, luxury, beauty. Life's grievances are so much more bearable in luxurious surroundings.
I'm into Dynasty now (thank you, Amazon!). Next will be Falcon Crest.
Forget the bitter, gloomy negativity of these days, folks. Put the Do Not Disturb sign up, kick off your shoes, pour yourself a glass of wine, and come to the cabaret of 80s soaps!
A bit dated
I watched this film last night for the second time in my life. Being someone who grew up in the 60s and 70s, I'm used to - and rather fond of - the films of that time. And I like Dassin. I enjoyed Topkapi and I ADORE Rififi. But I found this film did not age very well. The acting is unnatural and over the top, which turns the film into a melodrama rather than a tragedy.
They made a lot of fuss about Mercuri in those days. She was considered to be one of those "not beautiful, but fascinating" women. Maybe she was, but I always thought her a rather alarming female, with her decidedly masculine face, the nearly demented intensity of her eyes, her guttural voice and her strident laugh. Then again, I am a woman myself, so maybe it's just that her 'je ne sais quoi' is lost on me.
I would not have chosen Perkins to play Alexis, as I never considered his type to be the sort that ignites an overwhelming passion in a woman's heart. But that might be just my personal taste. I liked the way Dassin did the love scene between Alexis and Phaedra. Truly beautiful and erotic, without all the biology text-book, clinical details they inflict on us these days. And Theodorakis' soundtrack is spot on (he is Greek, after all).
All in all, this is the sort of film that I watch more for nostalgic reasons than anything else. But I would not put anything on hold for it.
Kong: Skull Island (2017)
'Bad' doesn't BEGIN to describe it
I watched the original KK, the 1970-something remake, the 2005 remake, and ... This. Oh, dear. What can I add to the many other cries of dismay?p
In this latest Hollywood excrement they don't even bother to build up your excitement and expectation. I suppose the writers must have thought, "Oh, what the heck. By now, everybody knows the protagonists are to stumble into a ginormous monkey. Let's start blowing things up from the get-go instead." So KK blasts on the screen (and in your face) barely 15 minutes after the opening credits (in a two-hour film).
It barrels south from there. Cartoonish, made-in-Japan-like creatures, tons of gooey, revolting gore, silly people, sillier situations. Oh, and did I mention aurora borealis ... In the middle of the South Pacific? Did they leave any cliché out? Nope. Everything is there, right down to the assertive, macho-like, snarky female photographer, who's capable of lifting a helicopter that not even a huge, prehistoric water buffalo could dislodge. Does our Kong fall for the gutsy photographer? Perish the thought! This is the new millennium. Nobody, not eve big apes objectify women. Can't have that. No, once Kong slaps the chopper off the water buffalo's back, he spots the photographer, gives her a regally disdainful look, turns around and walks away. The only part in the film I felt like clapping.
As others have pointed out, the dialogue is so bad it makes you cringe even more than the revoltingly gory scenes.
All in all, I think it's high time Hollywood was sent to pasture on some Skull Island somewhere far away. I mean, what could go wrong? The Hollywoodians would be devoured by the local fauna. Well, what of it? The film taught us that the critters are prone to regurgitating their lunch. Maybe they'll turn vegetarian. Wouldn't that be adorably politically correct?
Borsalino and Co. (1974)
Better than the First One
First of all, I admit that I will watch anything with Alain Delon in it. Even that insufferably pretentious 1960s snooze-fest, The Eclipse. That drop-dead gorgeous man will continue to accelerate my pulse until I'm 90 (if I get that far). Nature's most perfect production and never repeated.
Having made that clear, I'm surprised at the negative reviews. I find this second installment far superior to the first Borsalino. In the first place, it's daubed in English (American English) and that is a lot better than the first one, which was daubed by French people speaking English (and you can tell). In the second place, then fight scenes are much more realistic than in the first film, where you could see very clearly that the blows didn't even reach the recipient. IMO, the first Borsalino was more of a comedy caper, while B & Co. is more sober, more of a real gangster film. Perhaps a bit slow, but that's how they did things in those days. Personally, I prefer them to the crash, bang, thank you, ma'am 'action' films of today.
Maybe I'm biased because I grew up watching European films of that era and I still love most of the French flic and gangster films made in those days.
My advice to young people is if you cannot watch old films with an open mind (e.i. without automatically comparing them unfavorably to the new ones, or without making the necessary concessions) just pass them by. Stick to The Godfather and Good Fellas (the last one atrocious, in my opinion, but that's just me).
All in all, B & Co. is not a bad film. Give it a chance.
The Betsy (1978)
Typical Harold Robbins
As everyone said, this is strictly mindless entertainment, since Harold Robbins is no F. Scott Fitzgerald. So don't expect anything high-brow. Howver, if you're just looking to kill a couple of hours you could do worse ... Though not much.
Now I know I'm going out on a limb here, but Katherine Beller must be one of the ugliest, most unattractive women I have ever seen. Her face is blah and she has the body of a Smurf. And that hair! However, not all is lost as there is the stunning Lesley-Anne Down to compensate.
Yes, I am one of those materialistic, frivolous people who likes to see good-looking men and women on the screen. If I want to see ordinary people I look in the mirror, thank you very much.
Bring back the 80s!
I loved the 80s. I was young, good-looking (if I say so myself), and life was fun (and don't let anyone tell you any different). That was usually reflected in films and TV series. That is why I hate anything contemporary. Forget trying to find escapism in the entertainment industry. Everything today is vulgar, loud, and crude at best; ugly, dark, broody, violent at worst. And don't even start me on European productions! Anybody seen Brit TV series, lately? They are the pit. All the men are evil, perverts, fat and ugly. The women are no better. Equally disagreeable, fat and ugly, they also pasty faces and muddy skins. Of course, not a trace of make-up among the lot of them (feminism insists). And everybody lives in depressing squalor and is tiresomely profane in some sort of English patois I can barely follow. I believe that is what certain people like to call "realism." For goodness sake, who the devil wants realism in entertainment. As Oscar Wilde put it, the less known about life's sores, the better.
Anyway, tired and fed up with all the kitchen-sink drama fetish, I decided to explore the internet in search of some much-needed escapism. Thank goodness for YouTube.
Yes, these soap operas have plots with more holes in them than Swiss cheese. Situations are barely believable. Everything is tinsel and fantastic (dear, oh, dear; no realism). But, oh, how refreshing to see luxury, glamour, beauty, for a change! Yes, people are still rotters. But I much prefer to see rotters in opulent surroundings than in dismal squalor. Men and women are gorgeous. Women are made- up (ok, maybe a bit too much). And, oh, look! They are all thin! If there are profanities, they are so few that I missed them.
Lace is no different. I won't go into the plot and the faults. Everybody else covered that already. Still, if you are looking for a bit of relief from kitchen-sink drama go to YouTube, pour yourself some wine, put your feet up and enjoy a bit of true R&R.
I know I'm going to get a lot of grief for my political incorrectness from the usual suspects. (Bleep) them. They can stick to their foul "realism" (no wonder they are so bitter). I get enough of that from real life.
The Durrells (2016)
Terrible does not begin to describe it
OK, I never read the book (or books), but if it is half as bad as half of the first chapter, I'll make sure I watch paint dry before I pick it up.
Somebody called this a "charmer." Compared to what? War? Disease? Hunger?
Where do I even start? OK, how about how on earth did a nice woman like Mrs. Durrell get such awful, nasty, dreadful brats (all of them)? Did she mate with the devil? It's supposed to be the 1930s, but in the first scene we are shown houses that go no later than the 60s (and don't the "experts" try to tell me any different). Then we see the daughter suntanning in a bikini ... which women did not wear till about 1947. Everybody shouts at the top of their voices, is nasty, rude, and common.
Of course, everybody thinks and talks of nothing but sex (heaven forbid that the Genital-Obsessed Generation should go 5 minutes without hearing about sex).
Anyway, you get the picture. Maybe it will get better, but it would have to get A LOT better to make it worth my time. I won't wait for that to happen. Life's too short, and mine isn't getting any longer.
The only good thing about this mess is Corfu. Just go to the travel channel and watch Rick Steve, or whatever his name is. The views are just as good and the people are definitely pleasanter and more civilized.
I wish I could give this garbage a -0.
... no, not as in fantastically good. As in outrageously, no-way, LaLaLand, not-even-funny unrealistic. And to think that they laughed at Roger Moore because in one James Bond film he hand-glides into the Alps.
This latest hallucination from Hollywood opens with the tired and tiresome superman-jumps-on-a-careening-plane. And it goes south from there.
Tom Cruise's face is more stuffed with Botox than John Kerry's. But although - like Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, and all the rest of the 80s- 90s dinosaurs - he is just getting too old for this sort of thing, he insists on playing the indestructible guy. Our geriatric hero can hold his breath for 3 whole minutes in spite of the fact that he is doing acrobatics under water, or that he does this for the first time. He eventually is rescued by his super-female counterpart in another WTF stunt. But wait. There's more. He flies off a motorcycle going at light speed, rolls and bounces like a dummy all over the place, and does not even get a scratch. Under similar circumstances you and I would be mashed into snot. But that's just because you and I are such wimps.
Anyway, I won't bore you with the rest, which is more of all of the above. If that is your sort of thing, by all means knock yourselves out (hubby loved it). I'd rather watch paint dry.
Man of La Mancha (1972)
I Love It
Like the poster tamrath, I sign up for defender of this film. No, it's not brilliant, but visually it's a treat. I never saw the Broadway version, but I do have the CD of the soundtrack. Voice-wise, Peter O'Toole (or whoever daubed him, if he was daubed) is no Richard Kiley. But his acting makes up for that, as usual. And if there ever was an actor who most resembles the description of Quijote that Cervantes made I have yet to see.
As for Sophia Loren, it's true, she cannot sing. Or at least, not in the key she was made to sing in the film. But IMHO, she is scarcely worse than Joan Diener's shrill, metallic, over-the-top, almost demented Broadway rendition, which never fails to grate on my nerves. And again, from the physical point of view, she is the embodiment f what I always thought Aldonza would look like. Her acting is also excellent for Loren is always at her best when she portrays peasants and lower-class women.
James Coco's rendition of Sancho is acting-wise flawless, but from the standpoint of voice it elicits the same comparison as the Loren-Diener: after Irving Jacobson's high-pitched rendition, Coco's sounds sort of lusterless.
The rest of the cast is OK. Ian Richardson gives us a terrific cynical/ironic/pious Padre, a bit on the lines of his House of Cards Urquhart.
So again, the film is not brilliant. But until a better version comes along (and I rather doubt it, given the "revised" politically correct-sanctioned trash that the entertainment industry has made a habit of inflicting on us) I very happily settle for this.
Pal Joey (1957)
Dated and vulgar
I never liked Frank Sinatra. Oh, sure, he's great to listen to when he sings. But, IMHO, his singing talent never could make up for the fact that, even in a tux, he was a skinny, unattractive and terribly common-looking little man ("half-pint imitation" describes him to a T). As a woman I never understood why beautiful women like Ava Gardner, etc., fell over like ninepins around him.
OK, that's a bit off my chest.
Now to the film. I usually like musicals and vintage Hollywood. But this one I had a hard time getting through. I always say that judging films (or anything else) made over 60 years ago by today's standards is stupid, bigoted and pointless. Things were different then and that's all there is to it. If you can't stand it, well, stick to Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston ... er, "comedies"? Having said that, this film is ruined by, among other things, some of the corniest, most cringe-worthy, Ugh!-inducing lines I have ever heard. Even for 1950s Hollywood.
Apparently, the original Broadway show was duly sanitized when they converted it to the screen, which proves - once again - that censorship is NEVER a good idea, whether it's on moral or politically correct grounds. So we ended up with a film that can't quite make up its mind whether it wants to be a sleazy comedy with a romantic twist, or a romantic comedy with a sleazy twist. Kim Novak is absolutely gorgeous, but she's just not convincing as an ingénue. Someone here said that Rita Hayworth's role should have been more Norma Desmond-like and I really could not agree more. And I already said what I think of "Sinatra as Mr. Irresistible."
All in all, unless you're a Frank Sinatra die-hard, just skip it. There are much better "classics" out there.
My guilty pleasure
At the risk of offending the purists, the animal lovers and the rest of the supercilious self-righteous know-alls, I thoroughly enjoy this film every time I watch it (yes, I come back to it, now and then). It's right up there with my other favorite westerns, "The Magnificent Seven," "Duck, You Sucker," and "MacKenna's Gold." Nothing serious. Just entertaining, off-the-beaten-track plots, and good-looking people. I don't know about you, but I DETEST being preached at. Never could take it, either from my parents, or my teachers. Not even from my church, truth be told. So I'm certainly NOT going to take it from the hypocrites in the film industry. And that's why I like Shalako. No preaching. No whining about big bad America. No oh-dear-weren't-we-awful-to-the-natives chest-beating, so prevalent in the 60s and 70s. Just a bit of fun. Which is all the entertainment industry should stick to.
The Flim-Flam Man (1967)
I saw this film way back when I was in school. I picked it out of YouTube on a boring summer afternoon.
What a delightful film. No fireworks, no grand master schemes (though Mordecai does very well for himself), but keeps your interest all through. Clever without resorting to vulgarity, swearing, gratuitous sex, or violence. I wonder if the new generation can get their heads around that concept.
Scott, of course, is his usual great. Sarrazin does very well as Curly. If you want to spend a relaxed entertained couple of hours get this film. I think that is as good a recommendation as any.
Love on the Run (1936)
Please stop screaming
I love old films as much as I despise modern pop culture (which is a lot). I love the glamour in old films, the sophistication, the wit, the lack of foul language, vulgarity and mindless sex.
Unfortunately, and just to prove things are never perfect, one sad characteristic of 1930s film making is that they seemed to believe that comedy should consist of people acting frantically and shouting at the top of their voices. This film is an example. I sat there thinking, "Man, this film started yesterday." Finally, the constant shouting and silly humor got on my nerves and I had to turn it off. Too bad because the cast is top notch. But it just did not do it for me.
Catherine the Great (1996)
If you like great period costumes and lavish settings you will like this shallow effort. If you want information about this Russian empress pick up a history book.
Personally, I had never heard of this film before I ran into it on YouTube. Now I understand why. For one thing the casting is dreadful. Look, I know the white race has been rendered very unpopular lately by the reverse-racist "multiculturalists," but anybody who's ever seen a portrait of CTG knows she was a fair-skinned, blonde and blue-eyed woman of rather ample proportions (don't take my word for it; pick any biography with her picture on the cover). Therefore, I found the olive-skinned, dark-haired/eyed slim Catherine Zeta-Jones distracting and annoying. Somebody already mentioned Jeanne Moreau and Omar Shariff so I won't go over that again. Add to that the fact that the history is wobbly at best and you've got pretty much all you need to know to make up your mind if you want to invest time on this film.
Into the Woods (2014)
Horrendous and sick!
Oh, my goodness, where do I even start. Hubby rented this horror based on Sondheim's fame (inexplicable, if ITW is anything to go by) and because he always wanted to see the musical. I love musicals so I said OK. We both paid dearly for our rashness.
IMDb demands that reviews should be at least 10 lines long. I could write ten pages and and that would not be enough to express how much I hate this film. And yes, I completely agree with those who say there are disturbingly sick issues in it. For example, I found the scene in which the evil sisters, who were punished with blindness, are shown stumbling around, wearing dark glasses and carrying white sticks (get it? dark glasses with period costumes? Hah, hah!),revolting offensive and in bad taste. Physical disabilities are nothing to laugh about. Ask anyone who is afflicted by them.
The music - if I may so call it - is bombastic, unmelodious, and maddeningly repetitive. I don't care what "the critics" say, Sondheim is no Andrew Lloyd Webber, and that's a fact. The characters don't sing. They screech like banshees (granted, that may be more the composer's fault than theirs), and if you close your eyes you can barely tell one from the other. The scene in which Meryl Streep sings The Last Midnight is very probably what a witches' sabbath looks and sounds like. Characters are totally unlikeable and right from the start I didn't give a toss about what happened to them. Cinderella seems to have more teeth than necessary for any practical purpose. Prince "Charming" is a common-looking individual with a five day stubble and a 1950s hairdo straight out of West Side Story. I can't say much better for the rest of the cast.
Anyway, I could go on but I'm sure you got my drift by now.
All I can say is if woods are all like this one they certainly make the case for deforestation and urban development.
Beau Geste (1966)
Very little, if anything, to do with the book
Sorry to be the apple of discord here, but being a fan of the book (which I've read time and time again throughout the years), I cannot like this film. As an adventure film coincidentally named like the book, maybe. But that's it. The beautiful story of courage and honor (when such things still existed and came before self), which is the essence of the story, is sadly missing. As others said, Savalas is great as Lejaunne. The rest of the acting is sort of pedestrian.
If you want to see yet another film about hardships in army life and fighting, please yourself. If you want to do yourself a favor, read the book.
Mrs Henderson Presents (2005)
Period piece "Showgirls"
I would leave it at that, but I believe I am obliged to write 10 lines. Ten lines to state the obvious? Oh, well. This is what happens when I'm not in charge.
I must admit that I soon tired of this film and didn't watch the end. One of the reasons is that I found nothing humorous in this film, which is presented as a comedy. At least I never found the combination of old age and sex amusing. To me it's pathetic and embarrassing. Like the proverbial "excentric" old relative who's very sweet and all that, but it's wiser to keep out of sight, locked up somewhere. Watching the great Judi Dench prancing about, acting the naughty, profane and rude (in a most unfunny way) little old lady was painful beyond endurance. I mean, she says things like the saddest thing that could have happened to her son was not being killed in the war, but having died without seeing a pair of tits ... need I elaborate?
This film has enough nudity and "sexual content" to please those who have turned postponed adolescence into a habit, or for the gullible, who are fooled into believing things like paying taxes is patriotic, or that smut can be disguised as art. If you must waste your time, there are better ways of doing it than watching this silliness.
The Living Daylights (1987)
The Year James Bond Went Politically Correct
In spite of his rather dismal professional career I used to like Timothy Dalton. He was always easy on the eye. When I heard he was doing Bond I was thrilled. I thought he'd make a great Bond. Physically, he did. Otherwise, he was one of the worst JB ever. Not entirely his fault, though.
This was the year when the Bond franchise ill-advisedly went PC. To appease feminazis ... oh, pardon me, I mean feminists, of course ... they decided to make Bond into a serious, tough-but-vulnerable, one-woman (at a time) man (Oh. Please). The results were predictably disastrous. Bond went from being charming, suave and lethal to being stuck-up, sanctimonious and tedious. I suppose we should be grateful they stopped short of making him a nonsmoking, tofu-eating teetotaler.
Understandably, Dalton looks terribly uncomfortable in the role, which is obvious from his wooden humorless performance. For all her Stradivarius-playing cellist Marian d'Abo does the typically silly, easily infatuated Bond Girl. "You pretended to love me!" she cries inevitably. GROAN. So much for feminism.
As someone else said, the only good thing in this turkey is the sound track.
If this is not enough to convince you to give this a pass and stick to the Connery-era Bonds, nothing will. Just don't say you were not warned.