Author Topic: Riches Random Reviews  (Read 212670 times)

richierich

  • Guest
Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #75 on: February 06, 2009, 10:36:55 AM »
Madagascar - Escape 2 Africa



Your favorite castaways are back - still together and still lost! One of the top movies of the year, DreamWorks Animation's MADAGASCAR: ESCAPE 2 AFRICA is "even better than the first!" (Mark Hyman, Fox-TV). You'll laugh out loud as this outrageous comedy takes you on an African adventure like no other.

Below par and an inferior film to the original offering. Not saying it's not fun, for the right age they will love it I'm sure! Several belly laugh moments but the storyline lacks originality and is cliched. For this old viewer I got bored soon after the plane crash, and just hung on for the best parts of the film that involved.....
The penguins , who are by miles the funniest part of the film, just watching them for 90 minutes would be great, they rock!
Move over Dreamworks, Pixar still have the edge.
 :D

richierich

  • Guest
Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #76 on: February 06, 2009, 10:51:37 AM »
Academy Award Best Picture winner 1954

On The Waterfront



Marlon Brando gives one of the screen's most electrifying performances as Best Actor in this 1954 Academy Award® winner for Best Film. Ex-fighter Terry Malloy (Brando) could have been a contender, but now toils for boss Johnny Friendly (Lee J. Cobb) on the gang-ridden waterfront. Terry is guilt-stricken, however, when he lures a rebellious worker to his death. But it takes the love of Edie Doyle (Eva Marie Saint), the dead man's sister, to show Terry how low he has fallen. When his crooked brother Charley the Gent (Rod Steiger) is brutally murdered for refusing to kill him, Terry battles to crush Friendly's underworld empire. Directed by Elia Kazan (A Streetcar Named Desire) and written by Budd Schulberg (What Makes Sammy Run?), this unforgettable drama about Terry's redemption is among the most acclaimed of all films.

Enjoyable movie made brilliant through charismatic Brando's improvisation in the role of Terry Malloy, he literally brings the character to life and you feel yourself totally absorbed in the film. I am not a Brando mega-fan, but watch this performance and you can see the influence he made towards later stars such as Pacino and DeNiro.
The storyline is fairly run of the mill, but the settings away from studios were much more realistic and brought the film to life, unusual locations from what I have seen of this period of Hollywood, and a major plus for the viewer.
If you don't own many older B&W dvds, you would not go far wrong in adding this to your collection.
"It coulda beena contender" for top marks, but not quite.
 ;D
« Last Edit: February 09, 2009, 10:16:34 AM by Rich »

richierich

  • Guest
Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #77 on: February 09, 2009, 10:30:13 AM »
Appaloosa



When two gunmen, Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch, arrive in Appaloosa they find a small, dusty and lawless town suffering at the hands of renegade rancher Randall Bragg. Bragg has not only taken supplies, horses and women for his own, but also has left the city marshal and a deputy for dead. In Bragg they find an unusually wily adversary who raises the stakes by playing with emotions. It is now up to Cole and Hitch to stand against the actions of the renegade rancher, which have already taken their toll on the town.

Felt like a break from my Oscar marathon and popped in this Western, a buy I had made simply because of Ed Harris being involved as Director and lead actor.
It had all the right ingredients in a currently unpopular genre with filmmakers, but it is not destined to be a classic Western. The storyline is very convincing, and with a very original final act was a satisfying finale. The actual 'two good guys defend a hapless town' premis is rather predictable, but the solid acting and sub-plots move you past this. Zellweger shines in her role as the flirty lady, and Mortensen from Lord of the Rings a surprising plus as '8-gauge' Everett Hitch.
However there are a few things that pull the film down, the direction is rather haphazard and blocky, Ed Harris was a bit too old to be a convincing hard man, the film is unnecessarily long, and Timothy Spall trying to cover his brummie accent and fashion an 'Old West' American accent was laughable, why would they cast him in this??
Overall an okay film, but I wouldn't recommend you break your neck to see it.
 :D


richierich

  • Guest
Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #78 on: February 09, 2009, 10:44:38 AM »
Goldfinger



Special agent 007 (Sean Connery) has just come face to face with one of the most notorious villians of all time. And now he'll have to outwit and outgun this powerful tycoon to prevent him from cashing in on a devious scheme to raid Fort Knox – and obliterate the world economy!

Watched with my son, both seen it several times, and for me the best Bond film I have enjoyed, we both loved it again despite nearly being able to quote lines, it is truly endlessly entertaining.
Why is this such a classic Bond film?
The major introduction of gadgets to 007
The Aston Martin
Gert Frobe as Auric Goldfinger - a great villain
Pussy Galore (is that not the best Bond girl name??)
Oddjob and his novel hat
The gold plated death
Guy hamiltons direction
The laser scene
Shirly Bassey belting out an amazing theme song
etc etc etc

I wanted to be Bond after seeing this film originally, it is truly superb, timeless, funny, taut, an example of a big budget well spent.

Very happy to have watched it yet again  :thumbup:


richierich

  • Guest
Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #79 on: February 09, 2009, 10:47:36 AM »
Academy Award Best Picture winner 2002

Chicago



Sexy stars Catherine Zeta-Jones ('Traffic'. 'High Fidelity') and Renee Zellweger ('Bridget Jones's Diary', 'Jerry Maguire') heat up the screen with Hollywood favourite Richard Gere  ('Unfaithful', 'Runaway Bride') in a dazzling spectacle that glides between the intrigue of rivalry and betrayal to sensational fantasies of music and dance!
At a time when crimes of passion result in celebrity headlines, nightclub sensation Velma Kelley (Zeta-Jones) and spotlight-seeking Roxie Hart (Zellweger) both find themselves sharing space on Chicago's famed Murderess Row. They also share Billy Flynn (Gere), the town's slickest lawyer with a talent for turning notorious defendants into local legends. But in Chicago, there's only room for one legend!


(This must be amazing on stage, I must get to see it soon in London, with the realisation that scenes and settings must be comprimised in comparison to Hollywood film)
Rather than just transporting the stage musical to the movie screen, Chicago uses techniques not available for the stage and as such is worthwhile viewing. The setting of windy 1920's Chicago is vivid, the mood dark and smoky, with a touch of razzmatazz through the main numbers. CZJ plays the perfect bitch, and Zellwegger is convincing in her role of Roxie and i wasn't sure if I loved or hated her at different times. But Richard Gere - seriously! He may have been a perfect cool cat for the role of Billy Flynn, but as soon as he opened his gob to sing I wished the hamster had climbed back in as that could only have improved his singing voice!
Overall I am glad to have finally watched this film, I am not sure how it plundered the oscars, perhaps in its sheer novelty. The music was first-rate and memorable despite some of the aforementioned poor singing, the slick direction is evident, and I have to admit CZJ does actually have some talent.
Despite not being a major musical fan, having suspended disbelief I did enjoy this.
 ;D

« Last Edit: February 10, 2009, 10:41:02 AM by Rich »

richierich

  • Guest
Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #80 on: February 10, 2009, 10:57:21 AM »
Miracle at St.Anna



From Touchstone Pictures comes the powerful and uplifting World War II epic Miracle At St. Anna, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee (The Inside Man). Stationed in Tuscany, Italy, four members of the U.S. Army's all-black 92nd Infantry Division, the Buffalo Soldiers, are trapped behind enemy lines after one of them risks his life to save a traumatized Italian boy. Separated from their unit, they find themselves in a remote Tuscan village where they experience the tragedy and the triumph of war. Based on the highly praised novel by James McBride, and filled with exceptional battle scenes and action, it's a gripping and inspiring story that will touch the goodness within us all and never let go.

Overly long but surprisingly good film, there were a number of positives for a film I began watching with little expectations.
Firstly the story is excellent and unpredictable, I may even invest in the book to delve into the characters more, and it has been adapted to film competently. The settings are perfect, once you accept that a few mistakes were made concerning some of the modern day background signs, roadways and markings which have slipped into the movie. It is entertaining and moving all in one, Omar Benson Miller is absolutely perfect in his role as the BFG soldier protecting the young boy, and I wonder if he is the new Forest Whitaker?
I am sure this will be described by many as a poignant film detailing the sacrifices and contributions made by African American soldiers during WWII, but avoiding the politics of the issue I purely enjoyed it on its entertainment value.
 :D

richierich

  • Guest
Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #81 on: February 10, 2009, 11:01:42 AM »
Academy Award Best Picture winner 1938

You Can't take it With You



Academy Award® winner James Stewart (1940 Best Actor, The Philadelphia Story and 1985 Honorary Oscar®), Jean Arthur, Academy Award® winner Lionel Barrymore (1931 Best Actor, A Free Soul) and Edward Arnold star in this classic screwball comedy. Based on the phenomenally successful Kaufman-Hart play, You Can't Take It with You was directed by Frank Capra and won two Academy Awards® (1938 Best Picture, Best Director) and garnered five more nominations. It was Capra's third Oscar® for directing.
Arthur stars as Alice Sycamore, the stable family member of an offbeat clan of free spirits who falls for Stewart, the down-to-earth son of a snooty, wealthy family. Amid a backdrop of confusion, the two very different families rediscover the simple joys of life.


A film where everything comes in small doses, at times funny, slightly uplifting, a touch moralistic, touching and vaguely inspirational.
I'd hoped for a great performance by James Stewart in this, but as the young stick thin drawling fiance, I was pretty underwhelmed with his performance. Fortunately it was bolstered by Jean Arthur, Edward Arnold and of course Lionel Barrymore.
Overall I found it a little bit disappointing, the so-called liberated characters came across as annoying, it is way too over sentimental, and I could not swallow the fact that big business and corporate greed can be beaten by sitting down playing a harmonica!
 :D
« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 10:12:36 AM by Rich »

richierich

  • Guest
Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #82 on: February 12, 2009, 10:23:07 AM »
Academy Award Best Picture winner 1963

Tom Jones



Winner of four Academy Awards including Best Picture, and featuring a cast of superb players headed by the Oscar-nominated Albert Finney and Susannah York, this wickedly funny classic has been hailed as the best comedy ever made.

No one has ever lived so freely and carelessly as Tom Jones. Abandoned at birth and raised by a wealthy squire, Tom romps through English society, leading a lusty life of brawling and bed-hopping...until his bawdy behaviour causes him to be sent away from his family, his home and the only woman he's ever truly loved. But some men never learn, and soon Tom's escapades land him in the company of reckless scoundrels, the boudoirs of more women...and, finally, in jail. Will Tom's charm save him... or will the gallows be his last swing?


Bawdy comedy that is meritable in places, but you continually get a feeling viewing the film that too many segments were like a carry-on film, or a Benny Hill sketch, without the laughs. It is notable for the lewd narration, which must have been an eye-opener even at this period of history in the early swinging 60's.
The direction, score and the actors talking and winking to camera all seemed ahead of its time, Albert Finney is a revelation to me as I have only seen him in recent films, but clearly at this stage of his career he was a heart throb actor.
Very easy to watch, entertaining if slightly overlong, and a costume period romp that was refreshing.
 :D


richierich

  • Guest
Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #83 on: February 12, 2009, 10:26:22 AM »
Academy Award Best Picture winner 1985

Out of Africa



Adapted from Isak Dinesen's novel, OUT OF AFRICA, this film plaintively tells the story of two troubled adults who meet and fall in love in the African wilderness. Karen Blixen-Flecke (Meryl Streep) is a modern woman, caught in the shortcomings of a practical marriage. Finch Hatton (Robert Redford) is a gallant British hunter, lonely, but unable to commit. As they two meet and begin a torrid affair, they set out on an epic adventure in the badlands of Africa--an adventure that real-life Karen Blixen-Flecke would later WRITE under the pen name Isak Dinesen. Sydney Pollack's opus, OUT OF AFRICA, is a full, visually compelling film. Its storyline evokes a plethora of emotions, ranging from fear and loathing to hope and the elation of love. Robert Redford and Meryl Streep are electric as the two damaged infidels in love. A key American film, OUT OF AFRICA is not to be missed.

Absorbing and fascinating true storyline based on an extraordinary and enchanting backdrop, with top-rate cinematography squeezing out amazing African scenes at every opportunity.
It is a warm romance, sad in places, and with the underlying message that you cannot change people how ever much you love them. It was overly long at nearly 3 hours, but the ending was worth waiting for. Streep is at her best in this role, but for me I felt there was a lack of chemistry between her and Redford.
Captivating, top rate musical accompiniment, and a glimpse at a bygone era, this I would recommended for those with a compassionate nature  :D

« Last Edit: February 16, 2009, 10:12:20 AM by Rich »

richierich

  • Guest
Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #84 on: February 16, 2009, 10:21:52 AM »
Body of Lies



"Body of Lies" is based on "Washington Post" columnist David Ignatius' 2007 novel about a CIA operative, Roger Ferris, who uncovers a lead on a major terrorist leader suspected to be operating out of Jordan. When Ferris devises a plan to infiltrate his network, he must first win the backing of cunning CIA veteran Ed Hoffman and the collegial, but perhaps suspect, head of Jordanian intelligence. Although ostensibly his allies, Ferris questions how far he can really trust these men without putting his entire operation--and his life--on the line.

Topical film, overly long, slow to start, and the trailer was misleading regarding the storyline.
DeCraprio plays a similar portrayal he mastered in Blood Diamond, Crowe acting mainly in a different timezone could literally have been a telephone operator.
But when the film warmed up it did become engrossing, at times brutally violent and gory (torture scene) it did a very good job on how I assume tracking and capturing a terrorist cell would really be like. It also attempted to portray the terrorists viewpoint, and also the daily lives of those innocent people caught up in these 'war' zones.
This film ticked all of the boxes, but just does not have the X factor that makes you drool for more.
A special mention for actor Mark Strong, who played Jordanian security chief Hani, very impressive in his role.
 :)

richierich

  • Guest
Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #85 on: February 16, 2009, 10:26:43 AM »
Thunderball



The thrills never stop as Agent 007 (Sean Connery) goes above the call of duty - and to the bottom of the ocean - to track down a villainous criminal who's holding millions hostage and threatening to plunge the world into a nuclear holocaust!

Overboard on the gadgets with this outing, and the plot suffers accordingly, but this is still a fun movie which i enjoyed. It is not a personal Bond favourite for me, the villain was not as convincing, the bad girls not as bad, although Claudine Auger is eye candy of the highest order. Connery seemed to become a parody of the Bond character, the lines too predictable and delivered with an apparent monotone disinterest, and the underwater scenes never-ending.
However despite the cheesy one-liners, sexual innuendos, exotic backdrops etc, I find as with the other early 007 films more realism in the storyline and characterisation than in later attempts. The music as always is top notch, and although the action is somewhat dated, in context to production year it is easily appreciatable.
  ;D
« Last Edit: February 17, 2009, 10:18:45 AM by Rich »

richierich

  • Guest
Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #86 on: February 17, 2009, 10:27:37 AM »
Bottle Shock



In 1976, a small American winery bested the exalted French wines of the time and sent the wine industry into a tizzy--putting California wines on the map for good. Based on a true story, "Bottle Shock" chronicles the events leading up to the famous "Judgment of Paris" tastings, told through the lives of father and son, Jim and Bo Barrett. A former real estate attorney, Jim has sacrificed everything to realize his dream of creating the perfect hand-crafted chardonnay. His business, however, is struggling, and he's not only trying to overcome differences with his slacker son, but is also fighting off the creditors. Meanwhile in Paris, unwitting British wine shop owner Steven Spurrier hopes to revive his own failing business by sponsoring a competition which will pit the traditional French powerhouse against the California upstarts. Little did Steven and Jim realize that they were both on course to change the history of wine forever.

Enjoyable tale based on a true story, this was a pleasant yarn with a 'feel-good' after-view factor.
The storyline meanders on a comfortable path, the acting is solid from all the cast besides a disappointing Bill Pullman, who looks like he would rather be somewhere else. I wasn't aware of the history of Californian wine, and how it became so well renowned in Europe, but the movie clearly explains the history from the 70's in a very entertaining way.
This is not an 'amazing' or 'groundbreaking' film, it is however a goold old fashioned story-telling that educates and entertains all in one.
 :)

richierich

  • Guest
Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #87 on: February 17, 2009, 10:41:54 AM »
Screamers: The Hunting



It’s been thirteen years since the robotic killing machines known as Screamers destroyed the human population of Sirius 6B. But now a distress signal brings a team of rescuers to the supposedly abandoned planet. Can it be a long-lost colony of human survivors? Or have the Screamers evolved into something even more sinister…a half-man/half-machine hybrid that needs to escape Sirius 6B to finish its mission: the complete annihilation of the human race?

There are times you finish watching a film and regret wasting your time, and others where you purchase a dvd with a lot of expectations and anticipation, only to rue wasting your hard earned dosh. Sadly, this dvd leaves you with both feelings.
It is truly one of the worst cases of a sequel cashing in on the successful original film that I have seen, the actors are second-rate, effects largely unimpressive, storyline non-existent, action sedated, and the suspense rare.
The only highlights were some of the killing shots by the robot/humans, trully gruesome fist in head shots that were impressively delivered.
By far the worst part of the whole movie is the ending, which is so BAD and predictable, that it is nearly funny, the shame is I fear it is a stepping stone for another sequel - god forbid!
Avoid this dismal movie  :yawn:



richierich

  • Guest
Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #88 on: February 17, 2009, 10:45:34 AM »
Academy Award Best Picture winner 1940

Rebecca



"LAST NIGHT, I DREAMT I WENT TO MANDERLEY AGAIN."
Rebecca's haunting opening line conjures the entirety of Alfred Hitchcock's romantic, suspenseful, elegant film. A young woman (Joan Fontaine) believes her every dream has come true when her whirlwind romance with the dashing Maxim de Winter culminates in marriage. But she soon realizes that Rebecca, the late first Mrs. de Winter, haunts both the temperamental, brooding Maxim and the de Winter mansion, Manderley. In order for Maxim and the new Mrs. de Winter to have a future, Rebecca's spell must be broken and the mystery of her violent dead unraveled. The first collaboration between producer David O. Selznick and Hitchcock, Rebecca was adapted from Daphne du Maurier´s popular novel and won the 1940 Academy Award™ for Best Picture and Cinematography


Distant looks, pouting, meaningful glances, crap backgrounds, orchestral crescendos, stiff acting, sharp intakes of breath etc etc. There is a lot wrong with this film 70 years on, it is almost at times the perfect example of why so many people today would not sit through an old movie.
However...(and before Jon jumps all over me) scratch underneath and persevere, and you are treated to an atmospheric drama with a touch of romance, with enough suspense and plot twists to keep you guessing.  Hitchcock creates a melancholy, perhaps dark?, mood for this classic, and Judith Anderson is memorably outstanding as the spooky (lesbian??) Mrs. Danvers. Joan Fontaine is convincing as mousy Mrs De Winter part 2, but I was never sure if Olivier was the right choice as lead actor?
It is tame by todays standards, at times the acting is comical, Hitchcock made better films that didn't win an Academy Award for best picture, but once you overcome the negatives all the positives filter through to a film that is definately worth watching and I whole-heartedly recommend it.
 :D
« Last Edit: February 19, 2009, 10:50:18 AM by Rich »

richierich

  • Guest
Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #89 on: February 19, 2009, 11:15:01 AM »
The Changeling



Clint Eastwood directs Oscar® winner Angelina Jolie and Oscar® nominee John Malkovich in a riveting and unforgettable true story.
Los Angeles, 1928. When a single mother Christine Collins (Jolie) leaves for work, her son vanishes without a trace. Five months later, the police reunite mother and son; but he isn´t her boy. Driven by one woman´s relentless quest for the truth, the case exposes a world of corruption, captivates the public and changes LA forever.
This emotionally gripping story illustrates the profound power of a mother´s love in "a mesmerizing film that burns in the memory" (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone).


Wow - can this really be true?? It is so difficult to comprehend one humans ability for evil, and a whole police departments ability to be so corrupt, uncaring and downright despicable in its actions. You question did this happen, and not that many years ago either.
It is a surprisingly powerful film, as a parent you find yourself swapping places and imagining how awful these tragic events must have been. Jolie proves that underneath all the gloss is a truly talented actress, and she dominates the film with some very moving and emotional scenes. Seasoned director Eastwood displays once again his ability to adapt a true story into a credable, immersing and harrowing movie, sure to weather well with age. With the settings reminiscent of LA Confidential, the whole feel of the film is absorbing and convincing, attention to detail was superb. The trial scenes at the end were the only disappointment, a little bit too 'Americanised' for my personal taste.
A disturbing movie, a storyline that I have not stopped thinking about, and some performances both on and off the set that make this production stand apart.  :thumbup: