Author Topic: Riches Random Reviews  (Read 216204 times)

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #60 on: January 30, 2009, 10:41:04 AM »
Strangers on a Train



STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, based on the Patricia Highsmith novel, quickly became one of Alfred Hitchcock's most successful thrillers and remains one of his most popular films. En route from Washington, D.C., champion tennis player Guy Haines (Farley Granger) meets pushy playboy Bruno Anthony (Robert Walker). What begins as a chance encounter turns into a series of morbid confrontations, as Bruno manipulates his way into Guy's life. Bruno is eager to kill his father and knows Guy wants to marry a senator's daughter (Ruth Roman) but cannot get a divorce from his wife, Miriam (Laura Elliot). So Bruno suggests the men swap murders, which would leave no traceable clues or possible motives. Though Guy refuses, it will not be so easy to rid himself of the psychopathic Bruno. The film is tightly paced and disturbing from beginning to end, an effect heightened by Hitchcock's inventive camera work, including a terrifying sequence shot through a pair of eyeglasses that have been knocked to the ground.

Wonderful Hitchcock drama, with an unfamiliar cast who all punch above their weight. Robert Walker in particular is absolutely superb as the disturbed Bruno. Although this was not one of his supposed classics, it is one of my favourites.
Exquisite camerawork, character building by intelligent dialogue, and as in many of his films A1 music accompiniment.
This has lost nothing over the years, and with a script that performs like clockwork you can't go far wrong
 ;D
« Last Edit: February 01, 2009, 06:14:29 PM by Rich »

Offline Achim

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #61 on: January 30, 2009, 04:06:17 PM »
I started to watch the dvd but had to switch films when my partner arrived and said she didn't want to watch some old crap  :bag:
Excused! (just wanted to make sure you don't forget)

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #62 on: February 01, 2009, 06:25:59 PM »
Paul Merton In China



Comedian Paul Merton ventures into the unknown as he embarks upon a six week tour of China. Paul¿s trip will take in the major cities of China, as well as the most breathtaking countryside and remote backwaters that this vast country as to offer.

4 part series originally shown on Channel 5, of interest to those who enjoy travelogues such as Palins adventures. Clearly by choosing comedian Merton as the presenter the producers had hoped to make this slightly more entertaining than other similar shows. However with what was clearly a punishing schedule, and Merton having 'stomach' trouble after tasting local cuisine such as donkey cock and sheeps testicles, he came across a lot of the time as grouchy and an ungrateful tourist.
There was also some restrictions on his access in China, and it was clear that he was minded by several government officials during his trip. I found his dry humour, which works well on his various TV appearances, just fell flat at times and was disappointed he was very unadventurous in various scenarios.
I don't want to totally lambaste the series, it was entertaining, but did not get near the quality or appeal of several similar genre exploits.
 :D


richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #63 on: February 01, 2009, 06:41:33 PM »
Max Payne



Coming together to solve a series of murders in New York City are a DEA agent (Wahlberg) whose family was slain as part of a conspiracy and an assassin (Kunis) out to avenge her sister's death. The duo will be hunted by the police, the mob, and a ruthless corporation.

Disappointing adaptation and possibly the 2nd worst film I've watched Wahlberg in.
The noir film setting, the effects (especially the hallucinations), and the principle of the film taken from the video game are wonderful, sadly it doesn't make much sense and is way too far fetched.
At one point he faces up to about 20 security guards who are armed with machine guns, whilst he has just a pistol, and only 10 feet between them. Somehow they shoot about 1000 times and miss him, whilst his never ending magazine picks them off with little trouble as he 'dramatically flees' the scene. And then his pump action shotgun that allows him to fire it with the speed of an automatic?? And let's not even get to how the star was shot so many times without bleeding or getting hurt. Maybe the director thought this was a game and not the movie, made with easy mode chosen.
I finished the film thinking why end here?, what happened?, and was it worth it?
 :-\
« Last Edit: February 01, 2009, 06:43:08 PM by Rich »

Najemikon

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #64 on: February 01, 2009, 07:00:20 PM »
Maybe the director thought this was a game and not the movie, made with easy mode chosen.

I reckon you've hit the nail on the head. I have no wish to see this film as I haven't seen one decent comment (poor old Whalberg, after this and The Happening), but I bet half the problem with this and other game adaptations is that the director has not played the game, or even any other game since 1987. So he has no idea how sophisticated they actually can be now and thinks he's making it for action junkies who don't give a shit about even the tiniest hint of realism.

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #65 on: February 01, 2009, 07:33:51 PM »
Academy Award Best Picture winner 2005

CRASH



Crash is a powerful, moving and provocative drama following the intersecting lives of a diverse group of people in Los Angeles. Using a sophisticated, layered structure to tell the stories of a multi-racial group of characters as their lives inter-connect through a sequence of events around a car accident, we see their prejudices, tensions and hopes…and how tough, yet uplifting life in the “melting pot” that is Los Angeles, can be.

An intricate and smart movie exploring the effect people have on one another as they come into contact in various scenarios in everyday life, stereotyping one another in terms of race, nationality, or wealth. It shows such an imperfect and complex world full of twists and turns, of good and bad, and the results of prejudging and assumptions.
Multi-talented cast portraying roles with excellent chararacterisation, they make a fine job of blending the film together and never outshining each other, and are shown enough that you become emotionally involved. The movie has much to say, predominently concerning racism, and it is told in a novel undepressing way, I actually finished the film feeling uplifted.
Top marks for the soundtrack, and hats off to Matt Dillon for proving he isn't a one trick pony.
A professional and well crafted film.
 ;D


richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #66 on: February 01, 2009, 07:35:36 PM »
Maybe the director thought this was a game and not the movie, made with easy mode chosen.

I reckon you've hit the nail on the head. I have no wish to see this film as I haven't seen one decent comment (poor old Whalberg, after this and The Happening), but I bet half the problem with this and other game adaptations is that the director has not played the game, or even any other game since 1987. So he has no idea how sophisticated they actually can be now and thinks he's making it for action junkies who don't give a shit about even the tiniest hint of realism.

Yep, thats the only conclusion I could also make  :cheers:

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #67 on: February 01, 2009, 07:37:51 PM »
Academy Award Best Picture winner 1952

The Greatest Show on Earth



Step right up for Cecil B. DeMille's spectacular Academy Award®-winning Best Picture - 'The Greatest Show On Earth'. The master showman brings the thrills, chills and exhilaration of the Ringling Brothers-Barnum & Bailey Circus to the screen via an Oscar®-winning story and an all-star cast that includes Betty Hutton, Cornel Wilde, Charlton Heston, Dorothy Lamour, Gloria Grahame, James Stewart and Lyle Bettger - plus a few surprises! It's action, romance, laughs and treachery all under the big top, culminating in an incredible train disaster that threatens the very lives and livelihood of the traveling troupe. Grab a bag of popcorn, take a ringside seat and get ready to experience the excitement and drama of 'The Greatest Show On Earth'!

How did this beat High Noon to the best picture?
Clearly made for the big screen, the cast of thousands and multiple scenes within one would no doubt have been better to watch in the cinema. It does come across rather lack-lustre and dated, and I was underwhelmed by Heston as the lead.
By far the best part of the film was watching the real circus performers, both human and animals, totally spectacular performances and something that must have been amazing to see live, in truth I would have preferred watching them without the piss poor editing and wet dialogue of the movie itself.
The worst part besides the corny acting, the appalling 'train crash' scene, Hornby must have been rubbing his hands together!
Seen once, you'd have to be a clown to see it twice
 :-\
« Last Edit: February 02, 2009, 09:35:24 PM by Rich »

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #68 on: February 02, 2009, 09:39:09 PM »
1st Academy Award Best Picture winner 1927 (Most Unique and Artistic Production)

Sunrise



SUNRISE chronicles the murderous desires--and ultimate repentance--of a wayward husband. Deeply attracted by a sophisticated vamp who worms her way into the couple's simple country existence, the man agrees to take his wife into the city by rowboat...with plans to drown her on the way. In the midst of their journey, however, he realises he cannot go through with the act. But the pure and innocent wife has already understood what he meant to do. Heartbroken, and with tear-filled eyes, she stumbles away from him through the city streets. Now he must find some way to win her back -- and prevent the fates from punishing him for his misdeeds...Director F.W. Murnau, and cinematographers Charles Rosher and Karl Struss, created stunning expressionist imagery that poignantly captures the characters' complex desires and points-of-view. This is one of the most visually gorgeous and emotionally rich silent films ever made.

A film to watch for historical and posterity reasons, it isn't by any means dreadful, especially considering it was made over 80 years ago and is silent, but of course it is so dated now to make it difficult to get in to.
Much fawning, over-acting, moody shots etc as one would expect, but also a surprising amount of at the time ground-breaking camera angles, moving shots, background techniques which you must marvel at.
The male lead is uncannily like Russell Crowe, and Janet Gaynor is gorgeous as the wife. The interesting element for me was watching the city behind the main shot, the architecture, fashion, automation etc, you really do get a great sense of atmosphere from Murnau's films, and his use of slapstick to lighten the mood is very well timed.
 :D



« Last Edit: February 02, 2009, 09:51:17 PM by Rich »

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #69 on: February 02, 2009, 09:54:40 PM »
Academy Award Best Picture winner 1980

Ordinary People



Devastated by the loss of their older son, Calvin (Donald Sutherland) and Beth (Mary Tyler Moore), a well-to-do suburban couple, are trying to rebuild their lives after their younger son, Conrad (Timothy Hutton), attempts suicide. While Beth, who always favored the elder son, retreats into an icy, emotionless shell, Calvin tries to draw Conrad back into the family and into life as a teenager. Conrad sings in the choir and returns to the swim team, but both his brother's death and his own experiences traumatize him. Conrad reluctantly begins therapy sessions with Berger (Judd Hirsch), which allow him some respite from the unbearable grief and guilt he carries with him. As Conrad makes strides, Calvin realizes that he no longer knows his wife and is both saddened and angered by how seemingly emotionless she has become. A classic portrait of family life in the face of tragedy, Robert Redford's award-winning directorial debut is moving and thought provoking. Based on the novel by Judith Guest, the film features the debuts of Timothy Hutton and Elizabeth McGovern as well as outstanding performances from Moore and Sutherland.


Moving and emotional, at times hard to watch, this tugs at a variety of your viewing emotions. Understated direction works perfectly, Timothy Hutton as the suicidal teenager seeking an understanding ear through therapy is brilliant. Redford developed the characters slowly and thoroughly through the film, and with such excellent writing and dialogue the storyline is poignant and recognisable.
This will not be to everyones taste, but I defy anyone not to be moved if they have the patience to see it through.
 ;D
« Last Edit: February 04, 2009, 11:40:59 PM by Rich »

Najemikon

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #70 on: February 03, 2009, 01:48:49 AM »
How did this beat High Noon to the best picture?
Clearly made for the big screen, the cast of thousands and multiple scenes within one would no doubt have been better to watch in the cinema. It does come across rather lack-lustre and dated, and I was underwhelmed by Heston as the lead.
By far the best part of the film was watching the real circus performers, both human and animals, totally spectacular performances and something that must have been amazing to see live, in truth I would have preferred watching them without the piss poor editing and wet dialogue of the movie itself.
The worst part besides the corny acting, the appalling 'train crash' scene, Hornby must have been rubbing his hands together!
Seen once, you'd have to be a clown to see it twice

Boooo!  :( Where did I leave my squeaky nose and size 19 shoes? It's a creaky old melodrama, but harmless. I've seen it loads of times and it's a decent film. James Stewart makes it for me.

As to picking it over High Noon, well that's easy enough. High Noon is a very political film made at a time when politics were playing too big a part in Hollywood. To reward it would have been... impossible. The writer would soon be blacklisted as a suspected communist by the ridiculous McCarthy witch-hunts and some see the plot as a metaphor for those who stood their ground against the House of Un-American Activities, even when their supposed friends turn witness (the towns people who stand by). Now John Wayne is one of my favourite actors, Howard Hawks a favourite director and I hold Rio Bravo in very high regard, but they made that film with pitchforks and lynch mobs, as a right-wing retort to High Noon.

I suppose it just proves the enduring magic of cinema that people can make something as good as Rio Bravo for all the very wrong reasons.

Quote from: Wikipedia
"John Wayne strongly despised the film because he felt it was an allegory for blacklisting, which he and his good friends Ward Bond and Howard Hawks actively supported. In his Playboy interview from May 1971, Wayne stated he considered High Noon "the most un-American thing I’ve ever seen in my whole life"[4] and went on to say he would never regret having helped blacklist liberal screenwriter Carl Foreman from Hollywood. He later teamed up with director Howard Hawks to make Rio Bravo as a conservative response. Ironically, Cooper himself had conservative political views, and was a "friendly witness" to the HUAC several years earlier, although he did not "name names" and later strongly opposed blacklisting,[5] and Wayne also accepted Cooper's Academy Award for the role as Cooper was unable to attend the presentation.

The Left appreciated the film for what they believed was an allegory of people (Hollywood people, particular) that were afraid to stand up to HUAC. However, the film would eventually gain the respect of people with conservative/anti-communist views. Ronald Reagan, a conservative and fervent anti-communist, would appreciate the film because the main character had a strong dedication to duty, law, and the well being of the town, despite their refusal to help.
"

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #71 on: February 03, 2009, 10:39:45 AM »
Boooo!  :( Where did I leave my squeaky nose and size 19 shoes? It's a creaky old melodrama, but harmless. I've seen it loads of times and it's a decent film. James Stewart makes it for me.

I'll concede the Jimmy Stewart comment, he was head and shoulders above everyone else in the film, but I raise you the most ridiculous scenario of Betty Hutton 'singing' on the trampoline accompanied by a washboard and jug bottle  :tease:

Najemikon

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #72 on: February 03, 2009, 03:07:01 PM »
Yeah, you're probably right! :laugh:

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #73 on: February 04, 2009, 11:43:31 PM »
Academy Award Best Picture winner 1932

Grand Hotel



The creme de la creme of MGM's pantheon gathers at the luxurious GRAND HOTEL, where "nothing ever happens." Greta Garbo is at her most radiant and poetic as the melancholy ballerina who finds a reason to dance again after she falls for the down-and-out Baron (John Barrymore) who planned to rob her. In another room a ravishing young secretary (Joan Crawford) succumbs to the advances of an arrogant industrialist (Wallace Beery). In yet another, a fatally ill office clerk (Lionel Barrymore) spends his life savings in a desperate effort to derive some pleasure from this bleak and brief existence. Downstairs at the bar, a disfigured doctor (Lewis Stone) dispenses wry commentary as people come and go. This precedent-setting ensemble piece of frothy, bubbly, tear-jerking super soap cemented the A-list status of its director, Edmund Goulding. It's an oft-imitated, never duplicated spectacle; the old Hollywood star system lighting up the sky with all the wattage at its disposal.

For such an expensive Hollywood epic and an Oscar winner, this was pants. Yawnsville all the way through, 1932 must have been a very lean year for releases if this was the best offering. Even trying to put everything in context regarding when this movie was produced, I could not warm to it at all, neither was it a comedy or a drama.
The plot does not stand modern day examination, I found the storyline stiff, the acting wooden, Garbo wanders around in a trance looking depressed, wanting 'to be alone', and the murder scene laughable even considering the rules regarding showing violence at the time of production. Perhaps the only escapee is Crawford as the stenographer, who shines above the rest.
Most interesting part when watching this film was a phone call I received from a double glazing salesman trying to cold sell me new windows, I wouldn't let him go for fear of having to press play again to watch the rest of movie!
« Last Edit: February 05, 2009, 11:02:31 AM by Rich »

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #74 on: February 05, 2009, 11:08:33 AM »
Academy Award Best Picture winner 1948

Hamlet



Winner of four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor, Sir Laurence Olivier's 'Hamlet' continues to be the most compelling version of Shakespeare's beloved tragedy. Olivier is at his most inspired - both as director and as the melancholy Dane himself - as he breathes new life into the words of one of the world's greatest dramatists. Criterion is proud to present 'Hamlet' in a luminous black-and-white digital transfer.

Thoust twatched thine grandee purveyance beyond thy western star etc etc  :devil:

Broody short adaptation of Hamlet, in comparison to Branaghs which was several hours long. The B&W production, eerie music, and specifically the spirit of Hamlets father who stalks the castle make for an imposing movie. This is said to be the best acted Hamlet ever, I can't compare so I take their word for it, I can confirm that many scenes were compelling and the interactions at times superb. A little direction was annoying as we constantly were lead in POV mode down countless empty corridors.
I struggle to understand Shakespeare, and I don't really like it, but I would say this movie is pretty accessible and not particularly hard to follow, and does allow us to view possibly one of the best Shakespearian actors in his prime.
Not my cup of tea, perhaps I am a peasant?
 :-\
« Last Edit: February 06, 2009, 10:20:22 AM by Rich »