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Wait Until Dark (1967)
Excellent Film with Some Pot-Holes
Alan Arkin has said that his role as Roats in this film was difficult for him, because he, like everybody else, did not enjoy having to terrorize a character played by lovely Audrey Hepburn. In fact, this was one of the reasons that the character of Roat was so hard to cast-but lets be glad Arkin finally took the role. He contributes quite a lot to this film. The film is based on a stage play of the same name, thus a lot of the action happens on one set. I generally find such films fairly boring, and the first time I saw this one I didn't find it all that interesting. But I so enjoyed the Roats character, that I went back and viewed it again-and this time I loved it. The film contains a few plot holes which some reviewers have pointed out, accurately, end up serving the film rather than detracting from it. Anyone who enjoys a good suspense film or movies with twists and surprises will love this one!
Having loved the 1st Pirates film, it was in anticipation that I went into the dark theater to watch the sequel. I was confused almost the minute the film began. The plot of this film rushes by in a whirl of action and excitement. The scenes and stunts are spectacular, aided by the incredible performance of most of the actors. I was greatly impressed, but a lot of things in the story just didn't make sense to me. To give the filmmakers a little mercy, there was a huge storm the day I saw this film and the power went out twice. Add to that a few minutes absent from the theater, and I really shouldn't complain about constantly feeling I had "missed something". But I just got the impression that the filmmakers did not make everything as clear as they could have. I have no doubt that many of my questions will find answers come the release of the 3rd film. As an after note, I was rather annoyed by the character of Elizabeth Swan. She had a very abrasive personality. Whether this is a fault of Keira Knightly's performance, or an intentional addition by the filmmakers remains to be seen. But I don't remember her being that obnoxious in the 1st film.
The Proud Rebel (1958)
Not a blockbuster, but a harmless outing
This is by no means going to win any major critical awards for originality or tricky effects. It isn't going to win Alan Ladd any post-humous Oscars. But when one just feels like watching a movie... who really cares? For that type of Saturday afternoon frivolity, this film is certainly worth a try.
The film depends on a typical boy-and-his-dog storyline, giving it a slight twist when the other relationship in this story-the one between a father and his son-takes priority in the tale.
The effect of this whimsical fable is enhanced when one realizes that Alan and David Ladd are indeed father and son, and imagines the bond presented on the screen to be one that could have existed in real life. One is also saddened by the remembrance of Ladd Sr,'s drunken death at the age of 55.
In other words, it's not a two handkerchief picture, but it's more than worth a shot.
The Music Man (2003)
A Musical Gem, a Delight!
Musicals are a controversial art form. There are those that love them and those that hate them ever so much. If ever one was looking for a film to change a negative mind on that subject, this would be it. One doesn't have to be "into" music to appreciate the light hearted humour and wonderful melodies of this timeless piece. The entire show sparkles with an excellent cast, colourful, realistic sets and Meredith Wilson's sparkling musical works. On top of all that, one can truly appreciate such a rascally sneak as "Harold Hill, Boy Band Salesmen". He's a criminal but, as the town of River City soon finds out, he has a huge heart. He is anything but slimy and basically a goof, a very appropriate role for Matthew Broderick. A fun, musical romp all around, "The Music Man" is a thrill to the end. Come along for the ride, and you won't be disappointed.
Star Wars (1977)
Watch this one first!
If you choose to watch Episodes One-Three first, you may be disappointed in these older films which, quite understandably, lack in the special effects compared to the other ones. It should be noted however, that these films were at the height of technology at their time, and remain a credit to their creators. As far as story line goes, I was unimpressed with the action. The movie does contain a few fast paced scenes, but they lack the feeling of suspense and excitement which make the newer movies so fun to watch, and which had come to be associated with Star Wars.
Luke Skywalker, played by Mark Hammel, is about as interesting as watching paint dry. Carrie Fischer does a scantly better job. Most kudos should likely go to Harrison Ford, as Hans Solo, who makes a few foolish attempts at being funny, but whose acting is at least up to par. Or maybe the Star Wars Oscar should go to whoever played Chewbacca, for being inside that big costume all day. All in all, a bit of a disappointment.
This movie will make a fan of you!
I was one of the all too common people who refused to accept Star Wars because I felt it was something that only geeks would be interested in. I loudly protested when my brother told me that he wanted to start watching the movies, starting with episode one. I watched only part of that movie, though I was remotely interested in what I saw. The next week, we rented Attack of the Clones. Again, I had no interest at first. But the next day, when my brother was re-viewing it, I watched too... and I really like it! So, I gladly joined in watching Revenge of the Sith, and it blows the first two movies out of the water! A superb mix of action and emotion, it stops at nothing to complete the story of Anaking Skywalker in a manner you won't soon forget. A perfect example of a ten out of ten.
Now that is what I call a movie!
I agree with other posters that this is film, pure and simple. No social messages, no poignant emotion, just entertainment, plain, pure and simple. It is the type of horror film only the likes of it's fine British director could handle. Anthony Perkins gives a fine performance, and its too bad that this role is what ultimately ended up stereotyping his career. I found his character to be excellent, phsyco but not "mad".
As for Janet Leigh, well, lets just say I was kind of happy she died early on. The shower scene lives up to all it's expectations.
If you want to see real Hitchcock, see this.
North by Northwest (1959)
Not one of Hitchcocks best.
I've frankly come to expect better of the famous suspense director. After being told my whole life that this was a really good movie and it was so good and so on and so forth, it was a real disappointment. I would hardly call it a suspense movie, but maybe it was never supposed to be suspense. There is a lot more romance and talking than chasing bad guys.
Like most films, however, its not without it's good points. Cary Grant is , as usual, quite dashing in the lead role, even though he is obviously aging by this point in time. It was fun to watch the crop duster sequence and Mount Rushmore scenes, which were every bit as exciting as I had hoped.
So while this movie is not quite what I would call Hitchcock class, it is quite satisfactory as a Friday night Fun Flick, or to watch with older kids.
The Big Clock (1948)
I tossed in an extra star for the ending...
This movie... what can I say? It has a very confused start. It's one of those movies that just kind of throws you for a loop at the start-reminding me of M. Night Shayamalen's "The Village", although the subjects are very different. The plot improves about a quarter of the way through the movie. After that, you'll be interested. A comment on the acting. Superb. Elsa Lancaster, Charles Laughton,Ray Milland, natch.
A comment. This movie was remade some years later, and sometimes you catch the two on TV together. If you have the opportunity, it might be worth it to watch both together.
Fabulous, Faithful Retelling
Welcome to Narnia. Prepare to be lost. If you don't wander around blindly in the forest, prepare to be "lost" on this virtually flawless film. Unlike other movies made from books, this film never strays from the novel. Like the fourth Harry Potter movie, this one does suffer from a feeling of scenes that are far too brief and rushed. The music is quite ordinary. Aslan's angry roar could use work. But that is all. The film gives us the ability to see C.S. Lewis' fabulous allegorical tale enacted on the screen, with incredible results. The story represents Christ's unending love for us, carried so far as to die on the cross at Calvary. Look for ways this movie, and the story, represent the different aspects of Jesus' story.
Don't miss the movie. As a bonus, Peter is REALLY CUTE!!!