Author Topic: Riches Random Reviews  (Read 212453 times)

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #90 on: February 19, 2009, 11:17:34 AM »
Casino Royale



This swinging spoof of Ian Fleming's spy hero concerns an aging James Bond (David Niven), reluctantly dragged out of retirement to face down the evil crime clique called SMERSH. In order to confound the enemy, the Secret Service sends five other agents, also under the name "Bond," and all six converge on the titular casino. Woody Allen, as the retiring superspy's nephew, causes havoc, while a flood of famous faces (and directors) revel in the silliness. And there's a great Burt Bacharach score to boot.

Take a dash of a poor Austin Powers, some carry-on, a large helping of pink panther, and the names from an Ian Fleming novel, and you get this disappointing effort. It is a shame Niven did not secure decent films throughout his career, he ended up typecast as the aristocrat British gentleman, and this is a perfect example of that curse.
A chaotic disjointed affair, perhaps because of the various writers and directors involved, and a pretty shameless waste of acting talent. To classify this spoof as a James Bond movie suitable for our marathon is like comparing an apple with an orange, besides the title and character names there is no resemblence to Flemings books and the now familiar Bond movie formula.
 :yawn:
« Last Edit: February 20, 2009, 10:38:19 PM by Rich »

Najemikon

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #91 on: February 19, 2009, 01:44:23 PM »
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

Jump all over you? Never!  :P That was a very good review. It is old and creaky, which Hitchcock always avoided, but here he was trapped by the same producer of Gone With the Wind. On the Criterion DVD, there is an excerpt from the famous interviews with Truffaut. He asks Hitch what he thinks of Rebecca... "Well it's not a Hitchcock film, is it?", he answered  :laugh:

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #92 on: February 19, 2009, 03:35:56 PM »


Jump all over you? Never!  :P That was a very good review. It is old and creaky, which Hitchcock always avoided, but here he was trapped by the same producer of Gone With the Wind. On the Criterion DVD, there is an excerpt from the famous interviews with Truffaut. He asks Hitch what he thinks of Rebecca... "Well it's not a Hitchcock film, is it?", he answered  :laugh:

I was conscious that you gave this top marks 5/5, as you have most of the Academy Award winners. Maybe my marks have reflected more my personal leanings towards more modern films as a choice, as I struggle to get overly engrossed in many films over 30 years old. I appreciate them contextually more than enjoy them.  :hmmmm:

Or it may be that you are much older than I am and saw some of these films at your local picturehouse after the war?   :P


Najemikon

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #93 on: February 19, 2009, 04:28:12 PM »


Jump all over you? Never!  :P That was a very good review. It is old and creaky, which Hitchcock always avoided, but here he was trapped by the same producer of Gone With the Wind. On the Criterion DVD, there is an excerpt from the famous interviews with Truffaut. He asks Hitch what he thinks of Rebecca... "Well it's not a Hitchcock film, is it?", he answered  :laugh:

I was conscious that you gave this top marks 5/5, as you have most of the Academy Award winners. Maybe my marks have reflected more my personal leanings towards more modern films as a choice, as I struggle to get overly engrossed in many films over 30 years old. I appreciate them contextually more than enjoy them.  :hmmmm:

Or it may be that you are much older than I am and saw some of these films at your local picturehouse after the war?   :P



Looking at your avatar, Rich, I think I can safely assume you are the elder member by some margin! :devil: Read the first line of my One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest review... :D

I generally don't mark against a films age, because even if its dated, it evokes the period better for me and I find it very easy to get engrossed in any story. A story like Rebecca is inherently dated anyway. It's when the story doesn't make sense because of some poor element, be it the writing, direction or character, that I mark it down. Passion is another plus point for me and Rebecca was going to be a 4/5 or even a 3/5 before Hitchcock's sensibilites kicked in proper.

The one thing I always find hard to stomach in old movies is instant marriage. Not even after a whirlwind romance! It's a case of boy meets girl, girl says "hello", boy says "marry me", girl says "I thought you'd never ask"...  ???  It's obviously enforced by the Hays office: if a man says he loves a girl, then he should do the right thing and shag her senseless marry her as soon as possible. ;) As a plot device it frequently pisses me off. It crops up time and time again in the Fox Film Noir series, which is full of creaky old studio films. Rebecca does it, but it's handled better than most with an undercurrent of irony.

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #94 on: February 19, 2009, 04:44:33 PM »
He asked her to marry him when he was in the bathroom having a shit having a shave, just a few days after meeting her, and later used the immortal line sure to force a woman to put a kitchen knife between your ribs "Now run along, that's a good girl"

Najemikon

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #95 on: February 19, 2009, 05:43:02 PM »
Class! :hysterical:

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #96 on: February 20, 2009, 11:06:44 PM »
Academy Award Best Picture winner 1960

The Apartment



Winner of five 1960 Academy Awards®* including Best Picture, The Apartment is legendary writer/director Billy Wilder at his scathing, satirical best, and one of the "finest comedies Hollywood has turned out" (Newsweek).
C.C. "Bud" Baxter (Jack Lemmon) knows the way to success in business… it's through the door of his apartment! By providing a perfect hideaway for philandering bosses, the ambitious young employee reaps a series of undeserved promotions. But when Bud lends the key to big boss J.D. Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray), he not only advances his career, but his own love life as well. For Sheldrake's mistress is the lovely Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine), elevator girl and angel of Bud's dreams. Convinced that he is the only man for Fran, Bud must make the most important executive decision of his career: lose the girl… or his job.


Wonderful script and totally polished performances by Jack Lemmon and beautiful Shirley MaClaine, this satire is absolutely timeless and the plot intricate and complex, full of coincidences and mishaps.
Punchy and brutally honest, the infidelity is rife amongst the cynical money-driven office workers, and there is sadness in this unsavoury merry-go-round. But tender and tough Fran and wimpy Bud dream of something better, and whilst the film depicts a dark subject the movie always feels bright and breezy.
For anyone that has ever loved somone who loves someone else, it is easy to relate to. For anyone else it is a Hollywood masterpiece, and perfect examples of Wilders directing skills and an ideal platform for showcasing Lemmons acting strengths and mannerisms.
 ;D
« Last Edit: February 20, 2009, 11:09:16 PM by Rich »

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #97 on: February 20, 2009, 11:49:26 PM »
Academy Award Best Picture winner 1977

Annie Hall



Thought by many critics to be Woody Allen's magnum opus, Annie Hall won* four Oscars®, including Best Picture, and established Allen as the premier auteur filmmaker. Annie Hall confirmed that he had "completed the journey from comic to humorist, from comedy writer to wit, and from inventive moviemaker to creative artist." (Saturday Review)
Alvy Singer (Allen) is one of Manhattan’s most brilliant comedians, but when it comes to romance, his delivery needs a little work. Introduced by his best friend Rob (Tony Roberts), Alvy falls in love with the ditzy but delightful nightclub singer Annie Hall (Diane Keaton). When his own insecurities sabotage the affair, Annie is forced to leave Alvy for a new life – and lover (Paul Simon) – in Los Angeles. Knowing he may have lost Annie forever, Alvy’s willing to go to any lengths - even driving L.A.’s freeways – to recapture the only thing that ever mattered… true love.


I started this film not liking Woody Allen films...

Annie Hall is a quirky, neurotic, self-indulgent, introspective and at brief moments amusing (lobsters in the kitchen and the cinema queue) movie. One assumes this is very much based on the directors life, with depressive humour, self-referencing and sketchy storyline. At times the film is best described as irritating, and the 'direct to camera' scenes tedious.
A plus point was Diane Keaton, she was perfect for the role of the dizzy but spirited actress girlfriend, and tried valiantly to lift this film from an obsessed bore to something more entertaining.
If this is supposedly the best this director/actor can do, I will remain clear of his work. It was only an hour and a half long, but it dragged!

I ended this film still not liking Woody Allen  :-\
« Last Edit: February 22, 2009, 08:47:17 PM by Rich »

Najemikon

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #98 on: February 21, 2009, 12:49:37 AM »
Academy Award Best Picture winner 1960

The Apartment



Winner of five 1960 Academy Awards®* including Best Picture, The Apartment is legendary writer/director Billy Wilder at his scathing, satirical best, and one of the "finest comedies Hollywood has turned out" (Newsweek).
C.C. "Bud" Baxter (Jack Lemmon) knows the way to success in business… it's through the door of his apartment! By providing a perfect hideaway for philandering bosses, the ambitious young employee reaps a series of undeserved promotions. But when Bud lends the key to big boss J.D. Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray), he not only advances his career, but his own love life as well. For Sheldrake's mistress is the lovely Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine), elevator girl and angel of Bud's dreams. Convinced that he is the only man for Fran, Bud must make the most important executive decision of his career: lose the girl… or his job.


Wonderful script and totally polished performances by Jack Lemmon and beautiful Shirley MaClaine, this satire is absolutely timeless and the plot intricate and complex, full of coincidences and mishaps.
Punchy and brutally honest, the infidelity is rife amongst the cynical money-driven office workers, and there is sadness in this unsavoury merry-go-round. But tender and tough Fran and wimpy Bud dream of something better, and whilst the film depicts a dark subject the movie always feels bright and breezy.
For anyone that has ever loved somone who loves someone else, it is easy to relate to. For anyone else it is a Hollywood masterpiece, and perfect examples of Wilders directing skills and an ideal platform for showcasing Lemmons acting strengths and mannerisms.
 ;D

Great review, Rich. I struggled a bit to say what I meant, but you've summed it up perfectly. :thumbup:

Najemikon

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #99 on: February 28, 2009, 08:40:49 PM »
Academy Award Best Picture winner 1977

Annie Hall


I started this film not liking Woody Allen films...

I ended this film still not liking Woody Allen  :-\

 :hysterical:

Sorry, Rich, I hadn't noticed you'd edited this post. I wanted to ask you, as you are now the closest to a Woody Allen expert out of the two of us ;), if you were to remove Woody Allen from this film and swap him for another actor/character even, would it improve?

I don't like the guy as a character. As a person, he's very funny when being interviewed and clips I've seen of Manhattan suggest I wouldn't be completely against his style of directing, but not when he's in them! I'm just not convinced by him at all and even less convinced by all the fawning that goes on around him as if he's some svengali.

I ask because I really like the clips I've seen of Vicky Christina Barcelona with Penelope Cruz. And because he now resembles a damp walnut, Allen wisely stays behind the camera and hopefully keeps his navel gazing neuroses with him. :-X

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #100 on: March 02, 2009, 10:04:28 AM »
This movie did not warm me to Woody Allen at all, I think his nasal rantings and narrative are extremely annoying.
I have seen a feature where he was doing a one-man stand-up act, and that seemed to be more acceptable for me personally, I'd even go as far as saying it was funny.
Another actor in the role would have been more plausible, and as a non Woody fan a major improvement.

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #101 on: March 02, 2009, 10:15:01 AM »
Stargate Continuum



Following SG-1 and The Ark of Truth, Stargate: Continuum is the latest chapter in this incredible series. The venerable Richard Dean Anderson returns to the fold, whilst the late Don S. Davis makes his final appearance as General George Hammond.

While SG-1 attends the execution of Ba'al, the last of the Goa'uld System Lords, Teal'c and Vala inexplicably disappear into thin air. Carter, Daniel and Mitchell race back to a world where history has been changed: the Stargate program has been erased from the timeline. As they try to convince the authorities what's happened, hundreds of Goa'uld motherships arrive in orbit, led by Ba'al, his queen Qetesh (Vala), and his first prime, Teal'c. The remaining SG-1 members must find the Stargate and set things right before the world is enslaved by the Goa'uld.


I enjoyed the first Stargate film, and hoped this was a direct carry-on from that. But clearly this movie has taken a lot from the regular TV series, which I've never seen, so i was lost on most of the characters for some time. Despite some lead actors looking a bit jaded (Beau Bridges appeared plastic), this is a good film in its own right and the effects were out of the top drawer.
The time travel return to earth to change history plot has been overdone in Hollywood, right back to ST First Contact of course, and it would of been nice to see a storyline with more originality. I also did not think they used the opportunity of the shifting timeline on earth well enough.
The Ark of Truth film still stands head and shoulders above this offering, but for fans of the TV series I am sure they will love it, others like myself can appreciate it as a reasonable sci-fi flick.
 :D

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #102 on: March 02, 2009, 10:52:14 AM »
As a fan of the series it's the other way around. I loved it to see every good and bad guy of the series once again. On the other hand Arc of Truth was the conclusion to the series Ori storyline and I hated to see the Replicators again which have been overused in the show.
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Najemikon

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #103 on: March 02, 2009, 08:33:55 PM »
I watched the original Stargate only recently and I think it was a good idea that wasn't executed very well. The TV series, what little I've seen of it, seems to make a much better job. Apparently though, Emmerich is still planning a Stargate 2 that will completely disregard the series. Horse? Bolted? Stable door, anyone? ;)

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #104 on: March 04, 2009, 09:56:24 PM »
The Right Stuff



Epic and glorious were America's dreams to master the sky and journey into space. Also epic and glorious is this landmark movie about one adventurous test pilot, seven brave astronauts and the colorful era that forged their heroism: Philip Kaufman's spectacular film of Tom Wolfe's 'The Right Stuff'.
Winner of four Academy Awards®; 'The Right Stuff' chronicles the story of the pioneering Mercury astronauts: men named Shepard, Grissom, Glenn, Carpenter, Schirra, Cooper and Slayton, the first Americans to ride a primitive spacecraft solo into a new frontier. Preceding them in the history books was the legendary Chuck Yeager, who far removed from the awesome media spotlight that would focus on the "spacemen" a decade later, became the first man to break the sound barrier piloting the fabled X-1.
Sam Shepard (as Yeager), Ed Harris, Dennis Quaid, Barbara Hershey, Fred Ward and others in a marvelous ensemble cast make this sweeping saga funny, touching and bracingly human. Like the movie that contains them, they embody 'The Right stuff' of exciting entertainment.


First outing for this commercial flop, I found some great moments of tension & excitement within this space race biopic, and a reasonable factual account of the Mercury project. As heroic pilot after pilot try to break the air speed and space records, good characterisation techniques are employed to help you understand some truly brave men, and their equally courageous families. Pretty standard Oscar stuff, overly long (3 1/4 hrs), it has all the elements to keep you watching - satire, adventure, human interest, tension and action.
Decent acting and generally impressive effects which stand the test of time (amazing cockpit shots), and a refreshing tongue-in-cheek approach to avoid the ludicrous patriotic macho BS often found in similar films, I think this is a majorly underrated film.
 ;D