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phoeniks-1

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17 reviews in total 
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A major work, 14 May 2007
10/10

Michael Ciminos masterful movie remains to this day a disturbing and truly compelling story about the experience of war and the importance of friendship. Without doubt a milestone in American cinema and perhaps among the ten best films of the 1970's! The cast alone is exploding: De Niro is fascinating to watch as the sensitive but ultimately strong Michael, who manages to hold the remains together, but Meryl Streep, John Gazale and particularly Christopher Walken are equally great! Perhaps to a lesser extent a movie about the anatomy of war (maybe "Apocalypse Now" is a greater film in that specific regard?!) and to the greatest extent a story about the necessity of being loyal to your friends despite the obstacles from an outside power. Maybe Cimino try a bit to much for pathos in the epic moments, whereas he succeeds to the fullest in the passages of describing the strong bond between the men, especially between De Niro and Savage's off course. In any event, it is a remarkable movie that does not show its age. I think the movie will remain as fresh as it is today for another 30 years! At least!

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Unexpedted gem!, 13 January 2006
8/10

This could very well be one of the most profound movies ever to come out of Hollywood in the last 10 years or so. I remember that I did not have any expectations when it came out, but was I surprised! Kevin Spacey is great, Bening is alright, but the mood and pace of the film is the real star. It possesses a rare meditative quality that is far from being self indulgent as many films of this kind tends to be. It is a remarkable work and it manages to reestablish some hope in a time where hope seems to have abandoned the world. It is an honest movie and that is what we need to see today on the screen! Not reality but real emotions and real thoughts conveyed in a fictitious frame.

4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Classic Wilder-satire!, 18 December 2005
10/10

Billy Wilders acid-like satire on the double side of American middle-class morality is great stuff even after almost 50 years of wear. Jack Lemmon, in perhaps his best part, is fantastic as the quiet paper-pusher Baxter who is exploited to the maximum by his cynical employees, while he is left with nothing (career-wise and any other...wise), except for his honest intentions, being the only one in the firm with some sense of dignity and respect for human values. Fred MacMurray, in my opinion, never had a better part as the spineless boss. And Jack Kruschen gets everything out of the doctor next door! A total delight from start to finish, and despite of the comedy theme never neglecting the important one: remember to be decent! Make note of the amazing pacing and dialog that sets new standards even for a Wilder-film!

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Murder on a remote island, 12 December 2005
10/10

Who-done-it No. 1. This could easily be the subtitle for this great "suspenser" based on Agatha Christies novel. Masterfully directed by french René Clair and with an amazing cast including such movie greats as Walter Huston, Judith Anderson, Louis Hayward, Barry Fitzgerald and Roland Young. Maybe not the most likely of story lines ever put on film, but who cares? Even if you do not find it very remarkable, you have to acknowledge the superb use of location and photography. The music is another plus and adds to the suspense. One of the best detective-films (without the detective!) ever made it will satisfy any real connoisseur of the genre.

Amarcord (1973)
12 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
Fantastic!, 12 December 2005
10/10

Fellini's nostalgic account on his early years is a tremendously touching and fascinating time capsule that never lets up! More fiction of course that actual history lesson (this is after all Fellini!), although the period seems real enough. One unforgettable scene after another! No one did ever capture sentiment, poetry and drama the way Fellini did, in a way that made the clichés digestible and with real feeling and not emotional swamp. AMARCORD could be his best work alongside LA DOLCE VITA. Some of the best scenes includes the voluptuous big mama in the little town that could make Anita Ekberg green with envy and the old grandpa that still has a great appetite for the opposite sex. Classic movie-making of the highest order!

5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Breathlessly entertaining movie!, 12 December 2005
10/10

This could very well be the best political thriller ever made - in any event it is certainly the best of 1976! The account follows the painstakingly search for the truth behind the Watergate-scandal and the two relentless journalists Bernstein and Woodwards efforts to uncover the mystery. It is top-excitement from the first to the last frame, and it is my opinion that both Hoffmann and Redford do their very best work in this movie! The supporting cast is exceptionally good, including such solid actors as Martin Balsam, Jason Robards (he is fantastic!) and Jack Warden. The film is without any doubt the best work ever from acclaimed director Alan J. Pakula! You can watch this fabulous film again and again. It does not seem to date a bit!

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
The taste of bittersweet, 2 December 2005
10/10

Alongside AMARCORD this movie is my absolute favorite among all Fellinis films. It is a dark and tragic look at the modern age he depicts here, but also with some hope for the future, magnificently captured in the beautiful closing scene. Maybe the film is a bit too long, but in fact that is quite compelling and matches the theme of the film in a strange way: the fast and pointless city life where the attention can't find a target and no one sees each other. Perhaps this film is Fellinis most profound work, it is certainly his darkest. And yet dark does not hit the mark, because his film is so full of life and hope. He is one of the few (and true) humanist filmmakers that ever lived. Maybe incoherent and sometimes self indulgent, but always with a strong believe in humanism. And that is not such a bad thing these days.

8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Behind the scenes, 21 August 2005
10/10

Along with "Sunset Boulevard" and "The bad and the beautiful" this is the best film about Hollywood behind the masks and all the glamor of theater and film. Extremely stagy, but Bette Davis was never better, and George Sanders is as always deliciously slimy and arrogant to the max; only Baxter is not quite convincing as the star to be. But it does not really matter because the direction is great, and the dialog is amazing all the way. A real roller-coaster of a movie that contains both bundles of laughter, and some truly terrifying moments as well. Davis has the line of a lifetime that expresses the essence of the film: "Fasten your seat belts! It's gonna be a bumpy night!"

3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Adventure of the lovers, 21 August 2005
9/10

Michelangelo Antonioni is one of the greatest directors ever from Italy, but contrary to fellow colleagues such as Fellini and De Sica he is not so easily digested. As a consequence his films had a hard time finding their audience, but eventually his very unique style has become more and more interesting, although probably not for a mainstream audience. This major work are innovative in many ways: it is a movie that breaks free of the traditional narrative and in doing so becomes very confusing at first, but for those who are patient will emerge as quite fascinating and profound. The movie is considered the first in a trilogy - the others being "La Notte" and "L'Eclisse".

6 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
René Clair was first!, 21 August 2005
8/10

An exquisitely executed comedy about a simple man who suddenly wins a big amount of money in a lottery and the consequences for his modest way of living. A real treat of a movie, very funny and also in many ways quite profound. Maybe the first musical in the history of movies, the film is quite often being compared to Chaplins "Modern times" and apparently there was a feud between Clair and Chaplin because of the similarity in storyline. However, Clairs film is in fact very different and the two movies are both great on their respective terms. And both men should be equally praised for their depiction of the industrial developments impact on the individual human being.


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