Watching this film in High definition, it is abundantly clear, that this is a class job of movie making. The sets, which are extraordinary, the effects, which to my eye are still wonderful, and most importantly the characters and story, are all done to an extraordinary standard. You really do feel that you are a fly on the wall, or even more terrifyingly, a passenger on the doomed ship. I found myself so engrossed in the goings on that I wanted to shout to the passengers to run to the lifeboats! Shot by the incomparable Geoffrey Unsworth, the film is a feast for the eyes, detailing the splendor of the Gilded Age, and the interior of the recreated Titanic. Even that, though would be a lost effort, if not for the wonderful cast and script taken from Walter Lord's book of the same name.
According to the trivia section actual survivors were on hand to lend their expertise. Absolutely incredible. Of all the tragedies that have befallen the world, the sinking of the Titanic continues to fascinate the public. With so many unanswered questions, theories, what-ifs, stories, and lives lost, the Titanic will continue to fascinate for another 100 years. This film really does the story justice, a must watch!
Avanti really is about a father son relationship, about how the people we look up to and think we know can and are just as flawed as anyone else. But even those flaws can reveal things, like the true love that existed between the late couple. As Armbruster Jr. wonders how he will get his father home for his lavish funeral that is expected, he begins to realize that what he wants for his father, and what his father really wanted may be two separate things. Along the way, he also comes to terms with his own stifling marriage and his own image as a devoted husband. Will love show him another way?
As well as fine performances from the leads, we get an extraordinary performance from Clive Revill as the maitr'e d hotel, Carlo Carlucci, who gets almost all the best lines (and hits them out of the park) to see his performance, and realize it is not an Italian actor, is incredible!
Take some time to watch Avanti! Then take some more and watch it again, it really is a wonderful film, and one of Wilder's forgotten gems.
Jack Lemmon plays his usual role, the put on Everyman. But to say that in a negative light is wrong. He played that character so well, that it is a pleasure to see him do it again. This time, he is trying to win back his estranged wife of 12 years, who has left him for a sex clinic doctor.
Playing against type, is Walter Matthau playing a hit-man who has one last job to complete before retirement and a life of leisure on an island near Tahiti. As fate would have it, both men find themselves in the same hotel with much different objectives. Lemmon to end his life, and Matthau to end a mob snitches life, before he's able to testify in a big trial.
Needless to say, hijinks ensue, and in my opinion, some really funny scenes. I won't spoil it, but give Buddy Buddy a chance. Is it "The Odd Couple"? No. Is it worth a watch for some harmless entertainment? Absolutely.
Returning to direct the third installment, Lester again throws sight gags at us as if it was his job. The opening montage starts out with a bank robbery then slides down the slope into pratfalls, and pie in the face routines. Richard Pryor as computer genius August 'Gus' Gorman, lays it on a bit thick, and is really wasted in what could have been a better part. But really, there lies the problem with Superman III. Instead of battling Lex Luthor, or Zod, Superman is set upon by Richard Pryor, a boring business tycoon and a supercomputer! Instead of a known villain, we get jobbed. As if the producers just didn't care to invest the time into really writing a strong story with a great conflict.
What they do accomplish however, is staging some very good action sequences, whereby Superman saves the day in several different scenes. The most exciting in my opinion, being the fight between the 'Good' and 'Evil' Superman, a high point for the series. In addition, the back story of Clark's life in Smallville is brought to the fore as we are introduced to Lana, Clark's high school crush, (Annette O'Tool) in a fun trip back to where it all began for Clark on Earth.
Kudos must go to Christopher Reeve for his portrayal of three characters, Clark Kent, Superman, and Bizzarro Superman. He was a wonderful talent and this movie really shows off his acting chops. The rest of the cast holds their own, but the script is not up to par, so you really can't blame them. What could have been a GREAT cap to the series is only a fair effort, a shame as this was the last gasp of a great series of films.
This movie totally draws you in to its dark and sometimes horrifying world, where the seamy underbelly of Victorian life is on display. Congratulations must go the production designer who immerses us in the London fog and dark backstreets of 1880's England. Add a beautiful, haunting score and wonderful direction and this rivals the best thrillers I've ever seen. Highly recommended!
Entering the body of a wealthy industrialist murdered by his valet, Neil Farnsworth, Pendleton must decide what is really important to him, returning to football glory, or staying as Farnsworth to help a beautiful woman who comes to Farnsworth for help.
The film is a treat. Beautifully shot, with soft lighting, and wonderfully acted by a GREAT cast including James Mason as the angel Mr Jordan, Charles Grodin as the murderous valet, Jack Warden, Dolph Sweet, Dyan Cannon, and the beautiful Julie Christie as Beatty's love interest. A filmed really tinged with sadness in its own way, but a beautiful love story, it should not be missed. Highly recommended.
Trying to track an elusive movie star who has retired to a Mediterranean villa to star in his latest film, Barry Detweiller (Holden) cannot seem to catch the elusive beauty. Her compound is secluded, and all access is restricted. His calls and letters go unanswered. But he must get in to see the elusive Fedora.
After sneaking in to the compound, Detweiller believes he has caught his quarry. But a strange turn of events, reveal to him that all is not what it seems in paradise. Wilder's next to last film, is something of a return to his great "Sunset Blvd' featuring another Joe Gillis like character, and a another Norma Desmond as well. The two movies do bookend each other I believe, and if you are a fan of the former, you should try and see the latter.
Beginning with Holmes and Watson returning from a recently completed case, we see Holmes, bored, taking up a syringe which to inject cocaine. It seems that Holmes, when bored between cases, uses to try and stimulate his incredible mind. Disapproving, Watson is hopeful a new case will come along to break Holmes from his cocaine fit. While waiting, Holmes and Watson are invited to attend the Russian ballet performance of Swan Lake where Holmes is offered a very interesting arrangement!
Not long later, the meat of the movie starts with a mysterious guest arrives at 221B Baker st, and we are off on a grand adventure. Played by Robert Stephens, and Colin Blakely, Holmes and Watson do make a fun pairing. Trying to watch any sherlock Holmes adaptation without Jeremy Brett, is always going to look odd, but these two are very good. Stephens plays up Holmes' distrust of women, while Blakely is a mite too overdone for my taste, but as a whole, the cast is uniformly excellent. Lushly photographed on location in London and Scotland, this film is a treat for the eyes. With an absolutely fantastic score, by Miklos Rozsa, the finale is especially touching. An even nicer surprise is Christopher Lee as Mycroft Holmes, in a wonderful performance.
In researching this movie, I found out that Billy Wilder had originally scripted this movie as a series of different cases in the same movie, but the footage that was shot was lost. What a shame, it would have made an already excellent film so much better. Highly Recommended!
The movie follows a group of kids and their parents as they go on auditions, meet casting agents, and directors, and try to find jobs. The kids seem very nice, but it is sad that 99.9% of the people going to Hollywood to pursue their (or their parents?) dreams of stardom will wind up with nothing to show for all of the THOUSANDS of dollars spent, months away from family and friends, scams suffered, and humiliation of constant rejections. The whole underbelly of the Hollywood machine is open to see, and it is not pretty. No one has the guts to tell these parents that their little boy or girl is just not going to make it, as they see just another sucker they can wring a few dollars from. "You need different head shots" is a familiar refrain (Neglecting to tell you that the photographer of those head shots is their husband)
The saddest thing is that these aren't kids in the normal sense, they have been taken over by their overriding ambition to be "somebody" Instead of living a normal childhood, they are already sounding, and resembling like slick adults. It is sad to watch this movie and think of all the wasted time and money, but even sadder to think of the wasted youth. Highly recommended
Is there a film image that can conjure up such horror as the unmasking of Erik, The Phantom? Played by 'The Man of 1000 Faces' himself, Lon Chaney, we have to remember that this film was made in 1925 and that Chaney's characterization has remained as potent and vital in 2012 as the day it was first seen. Surely there are precious few performances of any kind that can stand the test of time as well as Chaney's has.
Taking place in the late 19th century, the story concerns the haunting of the Paris Opera House by the famed Phantom, a hideously disfigured madman who, from his underground lair deep beneath the stage fills the theatre owners with dread. In love with opera understudy Christine Daae, the phantom terrorizes the theatre owners, and performers when his object of affection is not given the lead role in the latest performance. Luring Christine to his lair, while disguised, he confides in her his unrequited love. The phantom has only one request, that she never attempt to peer behind his mask. In love with another man, Christine cannot give herself to the phantom and cannot resist the urge to peer behind the mask...
As a silent film, the viewer is treated to three aspects that make this film great. One is the performance of the actors. They are so expressive and so natural at the same time. Second is the amazing score. A PERFECT complement to the Gothic atmosphere of this movie. And third is your own imagination. Without speech and sound effects we have to imagine them for ourselves, which makes this film even more special.
A masterpiece by anyone's standards, 'The Phantom of the Opera' deserves your attention. Highly Recommended!
The plot concerns four buddies who love betting horses at their local track. With not much else going on in their lives (They are presented as lovable losers), they fall into a scheme to bet a fixed horse race with money borrowed from the mob! Tim Conway (Who wrote the script) Harvey Korman, Jack Weston, and Ted Wass are the four buddies who take part in the action. We get a glimpse into each characters home life, where they are browbeaten husbands, content to play cards in Conway's garage, or, in a great scene, happy to grill steaks in the back of Ted Wass' possessed station wagon. It really is a funny movie with some good comic performances from all the actors. I won't give away the ending, but suffice to say it'll leave a smile on your face as the credits roll.
Two bonuses, Eddie Deezen (Of 'Grease' fame plays a funny bellhop in a cameo, and Jonathan Winters brings the laughs as an old tow truck driver. Give the 'Longshot' a chance, you'll be happy you did!
Michael York as Logan, is a 'Sandman' a man charged with tracking down those unfortunate souls who decide that maybe they don't want to die at 30. Considering life is one big party for the inhabitants of this world, all pleasure all the time, I can see their point! Unfortunately, we get no backstory on these characters! Why were they chosen for these assignments as executioners? What benefit do they get? They also die at 30 so why would they take the assignment??
Well, Logan meets a "runner" in the form of a beautiful woman Jenny Agutter, and initially is intent on finding her network of cohorts so he can take them all down, but as time passes, his feelings change, and he decides that he wants to live dammit! The movie plods along and eventually comes to an unsatisfying ending. I really can't recommend this one unfortunately however I will say the music is great. A half synthesizer, half orchestra score that is a highlight. If you're looking for a great sic-fi/end of the world movie, Charlton Heston in 'The Omega Man' is a much better film.
Always being a short story, horror, and sci fi fan, I jumped at the chance to try some programs I had never seen. Having some familiarity with Roald Dahl's work, I was intrigued, having read that he was a cross between Alfred Hitchcock and O Henry. I sat back to enjoy the first story of the series, the fine, 'Man from the South' about a man who bets the little finger on his left hand that he can't light his lighter ten times in a row. Filmed on location in Jamaica, it is a very clever tale that sets the tone of future episodes. Now don't misunderstand, the episodes are not all 10's, but the majority are very, very good, including 'The Landlady', and 'The Flytrap' which is a CHILLER, all the while featuring a wonderful sense of storytelling along with some excellent actors, including Jose Ferrer, Joseph Cotten, and Joan Collins, to name but a few.
If you enjoy really well told tales that hold your attention and are genuinely entertaining, get the first two sets of this series, they really are a wonderful way to spend a few hours.
First, Elliot Gould is a revelation as the chain smoking, wise cracking private detective living as a man out of his time in the wild 70's of LA. His under the breath come backs are so snarky and perfect, you have to love him. He's got a cat that has special dietary needs, wild next door neighbors, a doorman who does impressions, and a friend who needs a ride to Mexico at three in the morning (Who later winds up dead, setting off the movie) If it all sounds a bit odd, it is. But it's so good, you'll wonder what took so long to find this movie.
As with many great movies, there's more going on here than a great leading man and his wisecracks. Director Robert Altman tries some different things here, which really work. First, the title song which is great, is repeated throughout the whole movie in different arrangements. I've never seen that before in any movie, and it works great. The second, which is much more subtle, is the fact that the camera never stops moving for the entire two hours. Not one static shot. A ingenious device IMO.
Finally, we have the supporting cast. Without being more familiar with Sterling Hayden's work other than the Godfather, and the great The Killing, his role as an alcoholic writer is so impressive, that you have to wonder if he's really acting at all. Mark Rydell, later a director (For the Boys) has a small role as a gangster who is terrifying.
To try and accurately describe this movie wouldn't do it justice, needless to say it is a must watch. Highly recommended!
As the movie moves along we watch Larry trying to cope with his new found status as a lonely guy. Walking into a restaurant, he admits that he is dining alone for the evening. Right then, a spotlight shines on him and every customer in the restaurant stops talking and stares at him. He tries buying a dog, but when he throws a stick for the dog to catch, the dog runs away! It's full of funny scenes where you just laugh at the goofiness.
One of Steve Martin's best, along with 'Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid', and 'The Man With Two Brains', give this film a chance you'll be pleasantly surprised!
Released in 1972, it's a later Hitchcock film, but one that has not lost any of the master's distinguished touches or style. In fact, it even treads new ground for the director, in view of the brutal rape and strangling scene that must have shocked early 1970's sensibilities.
Set, and shot in London, 'Frenzy' brings us a tale of 'The Necktie Killer' as London papers are calling him, a sadistic psychopath who rapes and strangles his victims, with his calling card neckties. Police are baffled, until Dick Blaney comes walking along. Just fired from a bar tending job, he walks the streets of London's fruit and vegetable market, depressed about his prospects, he meets of old friend Bob Rusk, a vegetable stand operator. Here's where things start going very wrong for Mr. Blaney.
Hitchcock's plot device of the innocent man caught in a web of lies, deceit, and murder is again focused on here, with a knot slowly twisting around the wrong man's neck. It is a joy to watch the cast, which is uniformly excellent as the story unfolds. Throw in a superb plot, excellent score, and the trademark Hitchcockian black humor and you have a winner. 'Frenzy' is a wonderful ride through London that shouldn't be missed!
Leaving the spaceship, they walk around a farm town circa Earth 200 years before their time. Trying to speak to the inhabitants, they realize that all of the natives are lifeless statues. Unsure of what to do next, they split up and explore. After reuniting, and learning that there is no life on this asteroid, a small man appears to them and explains what is really happening. They have found an outer space cemetery where the wealthy get to live out their fantasies as posed corpses. A man fishing, another elected mayor, and so on. Offering the astronauts a drink, he goes on to explain that Earth has been decimated by a nuclear war, and that he is the caretaker of this mausoleum.
As the astronauts ponder their next move, and explain that they just wish to go home, they realize their drinks have been poisoned and they are soon to join the dead townspeople as corpses, soon to be posed in there spaceship waiting to liftoff. 'Elegy' has just the right sense of doom and foreboding. It IS a creepy episode, that is very well done. My only complaint is that at the very end, the music adds a touch of whimsy to the proceedings. If it had stayed with its tragic, and haunting theme, it would have been an all time TZ classic. But, as it stands, it is still an impressive submission.
Alongside Holmes, is his ever present companion and house mate, Dr. Watson. Played by two separate but distinct actors, David Burke in the earlier series run, and later Edward Hardwicke. They both complement Holmes with the audiences' eyes and ears. They are Holmes' most delightful targets as they are confounded by Sherlock Holmes' amazing abilities to deduce the most incredible conclusions from the smallest details. Along the way, we watch with amazement as Holmes and Watson decipher some of the most ingenious criminal plots ever put onto paper courtesy of Mr. Arthur Conan-Doyle. What a pleasure this series is to watch, every detail is picture perfect, and you are taken away to Victorian London, to walk alongside Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. One episode that is a particular favorite is 'A Scandal in Bohemia' A classic if there ever was one ! Highly Recommended!