Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
From Paris with Love (2010)
Travolta plus bullets = fun
OMG!! Some reviewers out there are actually taking this seriously and writing it off as imperialist trash! Lighten up, folks. This is Travolta at his scenery-chewing best, you either like it or you don't. Personally, I loved "Pulp Fiction" and I get a kick out of his turns as villains. In this one, he's actually a good guy (relatively speaking) in a script that's mostly non-stop action with plenty of shooting and casualties and some good Paris scenery. The plot's pretty weak, although there are a few interesting twists along the way. JT's riffs and the action kept my attention throughout, and at the end I was glad I watched it. Nice actioner with some good laughs, so don't take it as a political statement. BTW, he still likes the "Royale With Cheese".
The Matador (2005)
unpretentious and quite good
This is the kind of movie that you really like to enjoy and review. I loved this one- no excessive violence, gore, CGI, or any of the other tripe that compromises so many of today's films. The acting was top-notch across the board, the direction and editing first-rate, and I really cared about how it would all come out. Pierce Brosnan was first rate as the burned-out assassin, and Gregg Kinnear equally good as the corporate everyman. The locale shifted continuously, the script kept you guessing as to how it would all come out, and the whole thing left a good afterglow. This is relaxed viewing, entertaining end to end, and perfect for an evening enhanced with your favorite wine and munchies. Take it at the level it aspires to, and enjoy it.
Anatomy of a Murder (1959)
Well acted, but shows its age.....
I remember how controversial this film was when it first came out, with the sexual subject matter and frank dialog, but as I view it today, it's more of an outdated courtroom drama, well-acted but rather tedious. Stewart, Remick, and Gazzara are first rate, Arden and O'Connell are as always great in supporting roles, and Scott is very strong in one of his earlier roles. However, the courtroom scenes drag on for too long, some of the lawyers' ploys and outbursts are almost comical, and today's "Law And Order" viewers could find a lot of flaws in the way the courtroom and forensic procedures are conducted. Most notably, the judge seems to tolerate about anything, and appears to be there mostly for comic relief.
This one is worth a look for the stars' performances, and for a glimpse of what was cutting edge in '58, but I didn't find it particularly moving or suspenseful, and I thought it overly long. By the way, if you're a car buff, enjoy the vintage convertible and woody.
Convoluted plot, but dynamite poker action
I was going to wait until this series ended to review it, but why bother? This is simply a killer series. The story is pretty complicated, with subplots galore surrounding each character, but that's not why I watch it. Michael Madsen is perfect as poker baddie Don Everest- ruthless, conniving, and dressed to kill in those 80s collars and vests. And best of all is the assortment of characters, dialog, and voice-over narration that you get during the poker sequences. As if that weren't enough, they added one of my favorite actors, Robert Forster, in the last episode. The only unfortunate part is that it's hard to get up to speed if you missed the first few episodes, due to all the different plot aspects. At this point it's better to wait for a catch-up night, or buy the full DVD set when it comes out.
To sum up, the story is contrived, but who cares? The cast is great and the poker sequences alone are worth watching it for. Kudos to ESPN for their best series yet!!! Like MM says before the deal, "Let's rock and roll, baby".
Terry and the Pirates (1940)
Great comic strip, lousy serial
OK, I know that serials in the 40s were definitely B-features, but this is plain awful, especially in view of the fact that it was (loosely) based on one of the best comic strips of all time, chuck full of atmosphere, romance, great characters, and fine artwork. The entire serial seems to be one long running chase punctuated by fist fights every few minutes. The best part of each episode is the rapid-fire narrated preview of the next chapter.
As the serial begins we find Terry and Pat Ryan disembarking and heading upriver through jungles and zebras and hippos (oh my)...er...wait a minute, wasn't the comic strip set in China? This appears to be Malaya or India, or the hills of the Columbia back lot with a few potted palm trees, so right away we lose the exotic setting of the original. We never see a single Chinese junk, much less any pirates, unless you count the guys in cheap beach robes who chase our heroes around for 15 chapters.
William Tracy at age 23 does a pretty fair job with the role of Terry, trying hard to act young by letting his voice crack every little while and maintaining a high level of enthusiasm, and Jeff York is passable as Pat Ryan, given the material he has to work with. That's about it. Dick Curtis as Fang is the worst inscrutable Oriental villain ever, Allen Jung as Connie has ludicrous rubber ears, the Dragon Lady (Sheila Darcy), supposedly an Asian temptress, looks and talks more like she's from Cleveland, and the high priest looks like a Shakespearian actor who wandered onto the wrong set. The worst sin of all is that they have Big Stoop talk! Every Terry fan knows that he never uttered a single word, and his lines are all throwaway anyhow, so why do that? The villains all talk like extras from a cowboy movie, and, yep, there's good old Charles King, bad guy of a hundred westerns, as a member of the gang, with a guy in a raggedy gorilla costume thrown in for good measure. (Now that I think about it, he gets more footage than most of the other actors.)
You can try treating this as high camp and laugh it up for a few chapters, but it gets old in a hurry as there's no real mystery and nothing very new happens. I've always wondered why someone like Steven Spielberg didn't grab this great story and give it the full Indiana Jones treatment; maybe someday someone will, but until then we have only this really bad rendition to live with. Maybe the TV series in the 50s was better, I haven't seen it, but somehow I don't think so.
Hang onto your secret rings, fans, we may yet see the real thing.
The Culpepper Cattle Co. (1972)
very well done and largely unheralded
I first saw this film in the 70s, and ranked it as one of the best westerns I'd ever seen. Watching it again 25 years later, it's as good as ever. The performances are great across the board, and the story, characters, and photography have a hard edge that gives the whole thing an air of authenticity. This is how I imagine the real west must have been: a tough life, with quick and often violent justice and retribution. It hardly ever shows up on TV, which I can't understand.
The performances of Geoffrey Lewis and Billy Green Bush are spot-on. I couldn't believe this was one of Lewis' first movies; he portrays the semi-psychotic Russ Caldwell perfectly.
As mentioned in other reviews, the climax is slightly flawed, abrupt and stretches credibility a bit, but it's still effective. I would have liked one more final scene with the Kid and Frank, though.