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Member's Reviews

Rear Window, a review by Antares


Rear Window (1954) 4/5 - I avoided this film for the longest time because I've never been a fan of the hoity-toity warbling of Grace Kelly when she speaks, it's like nails on a chalkboard to me. But I think I've finally found a film she's actually quite good in. In fact, taking away Thelma Ritter's scene stealing proficiency, Kelly could be the best part of this story. I didn't quite see the chemistry between her and Stewart, but she just radiates like a nuclear reactor every moment she is onscreen. Now to the film itself...I liked it, but I don't consider it a masterpiece, as it tended to lollygag at times. Where the film shines is when it focuses on the voyeurism which is pretty much inherent in all of us. So much has been written about this film, that I'm not going to go any further. But I do want to mention one scene that I thought was quite subtle and quite brilliant. In the beginning of the film, Jeff is going out of his way to try to talk himself out of becoming serious with Lisa. He sees themselves as polar opposites, and that she could never conform to his adventurous, hand to mouth lifestyle. But when Lisa returns from Thorwald's apartment after delivering a note questioning the whereabouts of Thorwald's wife, and she is all agog at the adrenaline rush she is experiencing after almost being caught, Hitchcock does a quick shot of Jeff smiling in heavenly bliss. The shot only lasts for about two seconds, but at that moment, the viewer, as well as Jeff, know that she is the perfect soul mate for him. For me, that was the best part of the film, but if you blinked, you missed it.

(From Antares' Short Summations on July 10th, 2012)

Member's Reviews

Across the Universe, a review by goodguy


   Across the Universe (2007)
Directed by: Julie Taymor
Starring: Evan Rachel Wood, Jim Sturgess
DVD: R1-US 2-Disc-SE Sony (2008)

I'm not a Beatles fan. For me, great bands from the '60s are Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead and the like. That's a good thing though, because I can take the cover versions in the movie at face value and don't have to cringe at the "sacrilege" of the sometimes heavily changed renditions. In fact, many of them are far more interesting than the originals.

Still, I wouldn't have bothered with a Beatles musical if it weren't for Julie Taymor. She is one of the most imaginative directors both in movies and on stage. Her look at the '60s through more than 30 Beatles songs should be an interesting ride.

To be honest, the first half hour is a bit of drag. It isn't really bad, but very conventional and rather cliched in its simultaneous depiction of Liverpool working class guy and American rich girl. The only exception during this is the introduction of the Prudence character and her take on "I wanna hold your hand". Visually still not out of the ordinary, but great interpretation.

After half an hour, the movie slowly becomes more inventive in its visual storytelling. I suppose it makes kinda sense, as it matches the character arcs. But even later on it seems that for each strikingly original scene (the dancing suits, the Uncle Sam poster, the statue of liberty, the hospital, etc.) one has to suffer through so-so parts that are well-crafted, but not much more.

I realize that I'm a bit harsh here. Overall, the movie works and it is enjoyable. It is probably the most mainstream thing Taymor has done so far. And since it is inspired by some pop songs and not by Shakespeare (Titus) or a Mexican painter (Frida), one cannot really blame her for that.

The movie ends with a rooftop concert. Rather fittingly, because such a concert was the last public Beatles performance. I had to look up this fact on Wikipedia though, because I knew only the rooftop concert by Jefferson Airplane (one year earlier and filmed by Godard). As I said, I'm not a Beatles fan.


(From Across the Universe on June 11th, 2008)

Member's TV Reviews

Tom's Buffy and Angel Marathon, a review by Tom


17. Passion (1998-02-24)
Writer: Ty King (Writer)
Director: Michael E. Gershman
Cast: Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia Chase), David Boreanaz (Angel), Anthony Stewart Head (Giles), Kristine Sutherland (Joyce Summers), Robia LaMorte (Jenny Calendar), Richard Assad (Shop Owner), James Marsters (Spike), Juliet Landau (Drusilla), Danny Strong (Student), Richard Hoyt Miller (Policeman)

A great episode! With a few scenes I always found very powerful: Angel killing Jenny. Giles finding Jenny. The phone call were Buffy and Willow learn that Jenny is dead. And the scene outside of the factory after Buffy saved Giles.

Rating:

(From Tom's Buffy and Angel Marathon on February 15th, 2009)