Reviews written by registered user
pgruendler-1

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13 reviews in total 
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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
The Way Kept: Husbands, Love Your Wives..., 10 December 2006
8/10

... as Christ loved the Church, and gave Himself for it. Oh that I had seen this movie before I married the woman of my dreams! Oh that I had spent more time walking with her! loving and cherishing the best thing who ever happened to me! Alas! . . . The Tree of Life is yet guarded, still safe - safe from the amateurish story of a delightful, beautiful woman with a fatal brain disease who writes it for her love. My wife, too, thought to build her fantasy world in her career; but her love for her husband was not as strong as the love of Izzy Creo (short for CREDO - "I BELIEVE"?)for Tommy. The quote from the Book of Genesis at the film's beginning is in her careful hand, and the book is never finished. Aronofsky asks us to finish our own chapters.... I actually saw this movie hot on the heels of "Apocalypto". The same night! Mel Gibson's take on the Conquistadors chimes perfectly with this one. Izzy's fictitious hero is frustrated by the Tree of Life as guarded by the Xibalban priest with the flaming sword. To me this symbolized the misguided passion to connect with non-Christian religions which falsify and pervert the original Mosaic revelation.... Izzy and Tommy represent Humanism in rebellion against Divine Providence: fiction and science make no inroads on mortality - they only help us poor dying souls cope. The hapless lab monkey represents Nature itself - manipulated for man's feeble, selfish ends. The barren tree in the ascendant bubble represents the purgatory of waiting for the transfiguration of Xibalban - which will never come. A naked tree 'sprouts' in the body of the conquering hero - myths need men to give them life. ... The lotus pose represents the atheists' religion - a contemplation of nothingness, of infinity, but no escape from the self... the Bubble? the created universe of the Tree. We are all destined to move out of it eventually and into immortality... the Conquistadors in Mel's movie, represent the Roman Catholic Church which, for all its militancy, has failed to lift any nation or people above barbaric superstition and poverty of land and resources for two thousand years... I suspect that Mr. Aronofsky felt compelled to make certain concessions (the title should have been 'The Tree') to his financial backers in order to get the movie made, but hey - that's what we all do; life is a series of compromises... but to get back to the symbolism: the RING to me was the heart-breaker. See, I still wear my wedding ring in fading hopes that She will come back to me - back from the Dead, as it were. The ring will not come off, and I have no desire to take it off. It symbolizes a promise and a vow made in deadly earnest to my God before many witnesses. Tommy tattoos rings on himself as punishment - he wants the permanence of matrimony - of monogamy - of a woman's unconditional love. So do I , Tommy; so do I... this is an evangelical film, to me Aronofsky is searching and his script shows it, but I have hope that, bringing whatever world-view one will to this movie, that the powerful performances of Hugh and Rachel will absorb you as they did me. I left the theater in tears of lament, but willing to 'bury' the last symbol of the woman I love and to move on, my world-view of Divine Providence intact... Thanks to brother DAaron for a wonderful picture.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
See Also the movie "All the Young Men", 23 October 2006

This is a good, entertaining kind of B war movie potboiler with lots of stars and young actors that was in vogue in the easy cultural period between Korea and Vietnam: late Fifties - early Sixties.... Others covering WW II are as the above (with many of the same themes, AND racism), and also The Longest Day; Morituri; The Young Lions; The War Lover (McQueen); The Bridge Over the River Kwai; The Enemy Below; Run Silent, Run Deep; No Man Is an Island; Never So Few; < insert Roger Corman 'd' movies here>; and of course, "ATTACK!".... Korean War movies The Hunters, Pork Chop Hill, The Bold and the Brave; War Hunt, Battle Hymn, and especially MEN IN WAR. There are other wars represented in this period by the likes of "War and Peace" (Henry Fonda) and Chuck Heston's "The Private War of Major Benson".... not to mention Kubrick's PATHS of GLORY . . . .

5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
The Blood of Human Kindness, 17 July 2006
8/10

Eight of Ten Stars. I was so enamored of this movie as a teen that my Northwestern University freshman dorm wall was papered with big B&W posters of mssrs. Eastwood, Wallach and Van Cleef in the Fall of 1968. I was quite the little existentialist then; "If it feels good, DO IT!" was the mantra of my high school Senior English teacher. Well, it felt good, and bad, and ugly. I ended up dropping out of Northwestern after Kent State and, taking the soundtrack of GBU (in my head) with me to Vietnam in 1971, I proceeded to get a real-world education in the old 'ultra-violence' as an infantryman in the AMERICAL Division... WHAT you may ask does this have to do with an American Civil War movie, directed and written by an Italian Communist? (Sergio Leone's daddy may have been more of a commie than Sergio was, but the fact is that "A Fistful of Dollars" was STOLEN from Kurosawa, while "The Magnificent Seven" was PURCHASED years before. The end justifies the means? Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?) http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/classic/articles/prof.html I found out firsthand the moral ambiguities of war. If only I had paid attention to the subtext in GBU! If only I had studied the Matthew Henry battlefield dead tintypes as Leone so obviously had! His hideous, rotting carcases of Union and Confederate soldiers, bloating in direct sunlight, would have sufficiently revulsed me from any notion that I could 'play soldier' and survive! But here I am, having just barely survived.... and I just got out of the fabulous Fox Theater here in Atlanta where the restored GBU was projected in all its Technicolor/Technirama glory at fully loaded, screaming Morricone volume.... there must have been at least a thousand people there, and hardly anyone moved. INCREDIBLE. It is said that the movie was made to the tunes Morricone made prior to production's start; i.e. Leone played the music while shooting the scenes! Hence, these epics are giant music videos - fantasias - symphonic cinema- they are huge, elegiac tone poems! And, God help me, I still love this movie.

18 out of 38 people found the following review useful:
"Welcome Home; thanks for your service...", 20 June 2006
9/10

"... to your country!" With these words I shook hands with Jane Fonda at the Atlanta showing one recent Friday night. Attendance was excellent, the audience was mostly older but there was a smattering of very young - some of whom asked questions of Jane and David and a Vietnam veteran up front between shows.... Yet, I could have answered those questions, too; I am a Vietnam combat infantry vet who was an existentialist then; I am a Christian now. I wanted to ask Jane: "Ms Fonda, do you love Jesus?" - but it is obvious she does. She shook hands with me - a huge, ugly guy in a "Vietnam Veteran" ball cap, not knowing me from Adam, and there was nothing but love and a hint of sadness in those beautiful eyes. Yes, we all made mistakes in those days.... it was cathartic for this vet to watch and regret and weep and mourn the live not lived, the sacrifices needlessly made by the thousands... but the movie has seen the light of day and for that I will ever be grateful. See it with a vet. Thanks to all fellow vets and Welcome Home; your service is appreciated!

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
"It's Puppets and Stew Meat, Man!", 29 May 2006
9/10

From the moment Ren and Stimpy are summoned to America to the moment when Anthony hyperventilates upon seeing Ren on the pot reading the paper to the epiphany with Anthony's repentant dad, this is one of the all-time great redemptive cartoons in all moviedom. The themes here are gigantic: love, devotion, parental guidance, American consumerism, idolatry, illusion and reality... I could go on. Would LOVE to see R&S on the tube again. "Family Guy" is just so mean-spirited and, well.... LAME.... far better to see again the weirdness of Kricfalusi foisted upon a new, yet unsuspecting generation of (now jaded?) catatonics.... do you not agree?

3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
I Agree with the Irishman!, 30 April 2006
6/10

Any time you see a movie with a theater full of kids and it holds your attention, it HAS to be a winner. So WHY don't we see it on Amazon? Whay is there only one seller who has it TODAy on eBay, torturing me?WHY is there only a Spanish poster available? WHY was Lloyd Bridges in BOTH the original "Sahara" and this remake? Wasn't he planning Sea Hunt or something? The color as IO remember it is saturated - please refer to DeToth's other big color pictures: He fell in love, obviously, in 1951 with Technicolor directing the HARD to FIND "Man in the Saddle" with Randolph Scott and Lone Pine, CA...; back in Europe he did the Italian job 'Morgan the Pirate' with Steve Reeves in '61 (Eastmancolor); what about Vincent Price's masterpiece remake? 1953's 'House of Wax' also in Warnercolor... and don't forget Coop's classic and De Toth's first Warnercolor picture from the previous year: "Springfield Rifle"...unforgettable! What a colorist! What a stylist! and he lived to NINETY!

6 out of 26 people found the following review useful:
Cinemascope Cinematography, 3 April 2006

Although I have never seen this movie, I am studying widescreen movies of the fifties and their influence on an audience beginning to be sated with the small screen, i.e. hypnotized by the cathode ray, i.e. tainted by TV!....This one has to be one of the first westerns to use this photographic process, later to be called Panavision. According to the Widescreenmuseum website, ''Broken Lance'' was made in '54, along with the "western" "& Brides for 7 Brothers"; ''Chief Crazy Horse'' was filmed in in '55, along with ''The Kentuckian'' and ''The Man from Laramie'' .... So I am gonna call it like I see it for now - All hail Sam Fuller!

14 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
The Legend of the Mighty Bogatyr!, 2 March 2006

First things first: Get ahold of a good recording of Rheinhold Gliere's 1908-11 Op.42 - his Third Symphony - "Ilya Muromets".... Take a long drive in the most spectacular countryside you can find and make it a LONG drive as the symphony is 85 minutes LONG! In the grand tradition, then, of master Russian composers, Gliere' (think Bruckner or Mahler with Wagnerian overtones in a strong Russian accent!) created a complex and moving masterpiece of visual splendor. Google Gliere' and see what I mean; this masterwork is greatly beloved worldwide. You and the little kids must see this epic film of the bylini, or MYTH of Ilya Muromets. If you get the DVD, I suggest watching it with the symphony in your headphones and the remote in your hand. You will be able, with creative effort and grand delight, to 'orchestrate' the movie to the music, and vice-versa! It will thrill you even more to be such an interactive participant. In what for this writer is an indelible childhood memory: standing in a LONG line outside the Lowes Theater on Grand Avenue in St. Louis, Missouri - after drooling over the TV commercials for weeks- then being totally enthralled by Ptushko's theatrics and cinematic wonders on the Big Screen! But to top it off, dear Daddy took us home and cranked up the old SCOTT HI FI, put the 1956 Columbia recording of the #3 in B Minor by the Philaelphia Orchestra with Eugene Ormandy (see the review at AMAZON by Avrohom Leichtling of Botstein's version with the LSO) and we acted it out all over again! What a stirring memory even now as I type these words! SO....Get this movie and see it with a couple of six and seven year old boys and pretend right along with them!

17 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
Rest In Peace General Scott!, 28 February 2006
7/10

Here in Atlanta we mourn the death Monday, February 27th of General Robert L. Scott, ace and author of the book from which this classic movie was made. Scott owed $25,00 in back taxes after publishing his (most successful) book in the Summer of 1943 - during the height of WW II. His publisher advanced the tax money to him and gave him another assignment. The result: "Damned to Glory". Other books include "Runway to the Sun", Look of the Eagle", Tiger in the Sky and another classic IMHO: "Chennault of China". They don't make 'em - men and movies - like this any more. Scott to his last days was a fixture at the renowned Museum of Avation in Warner Robins, GA. He was always very helpful and full of stories with which to inform and regale the museum patrons. He will be sorely missed. Get the movie and the book and savor them like old wine.

5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
The Extinction of Mankind, 17 January 2006
9/10

Not too many movies tackle the subject of the end of the world; this one does it with just the right amount of irony and pathos, whimsy, wrath, wonder and wry commentary that IMHO it will be on many "Best SF" lists forever under the genre: "End of the World". But to what could I compare "A.I."? As fantasy, it out-pinocchios Pinnocchio; as SF it out-kubricks Kubrick's "2001". The ending of "2001" is somewhat of a cop-out; we trust that the new suiper baby will herald a new super race of men who - perhaps - will not self-destruct this time? "A.I.", on the other hand, posits 'no return' to humanity; that last vestige of humanity goes to sleep as her DNA disintegrates, her baby boy-bot contentedly closing his eyes at her side. SAD! Almost unbearably sad! We blew it, and the A.I. will have to carry on without us.... thus we lovers of "A.I." join a very small coterie of apocalyptic-ally-challenged SF fans who bemoan the lack of good stories pondering the alternate realities of mankind's extinction....


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