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Author Topic: Jon's Alphabet Marathon 2010  (Read 15990 times)
Jon
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« Reply #90 on: July 23, 2010, 09:02:25 PM »

The Quiet American
4 out of 5



The acclaimed performances of Brendan Fraser (The Mummy, Bedazzled) and two-time Academy Award winner Michael Caine (Best Supporting Actor, The Cider House Rules, 1999; Hannah And Her Sisters, 1986) power a stylish political thriller where love and war collide in Southeast Asia. Set in early 1950s Vietnam - an idealistic young American (Fraser) becomes entangled in a dangerous love triangle when he falls for the beautiful mistress of a troubled British journalist (Caine). As war is waged around them, these three only sink deeper into an unsettling world of drugs, passion and betrayal where nothing is as it seems! Based on the classic novel by Graham Greene - you'll find yourself riveted by the fascinating intricacies and intrigue of this outstanding motion picture!

Sometimes the best way to learn about something big is to focus on something small. The Quiet American is a good old fashioned slab of intrigue about a British journalist Thomas Fowler (Michael Caine) stationed in Saigon during North Vietnam’s war with the French, but it concentrates on his relationship with a young Vietnamese girl Phuong (Do Thi Hai Yen) and his jealousy when a young American, Pyle (Brendan Fraser) falls in love with her. The plot starts with Pyle’s corpse following his murder and the story is told in flashback from Thomas’ jealous perspective, while the country heads for disaster.

It’s an old fashioned story in one respect, because Pyle is polite, ‘quiet’ and observes proper etiquette while openly trying to persuade Phuong to leave the much older Thomas, with whom he is actually good friends! Occasionally it borders on a very high quality soap opera, but that just strengthens the legitimacy of the story. Both elements are neatly offset by Philip Noyce’s direction and Craig Armstrong’s modern and incisive score. Noyce has a fluid, but workmanlike approach that disguises real skill. His recreation of a bomb attack on Saigon is fantastic, both in the confused execution and then in the extra little focused details Thomas remembers while relating what happened.

Of course, the story, based on Graham Greene’s 1950s novel is a metaphor and by all accounts, his book had an angry, ashamed tone, which comes through in this adaptation. Just think about the characters, all with good intentions, but still; Fowler represents colonial Europe, being manipulated while jealously trying to guard the innocent South Vietnam (Phuong). Meanwhile, in comes the idealistic America, with promises of democracy if only they abandon the Europeans, even though they understand very little... we all know how that turned out. It was filmed before, but as with many of Hollywood’s Vietnam stories, it was very pro-American! Ironic really when you see what Greene was trying to do.

The cast do an excellent job, especially Caine and Fraser. Both have hugely unlikable characteristics, yet they are likeable. There’s a sense they are doing what they think is right, while they can’t see how wrong things are going to go. Caine is particularly good, giving Thomas a haunted quality. I suppose the echoes of shame for what happened to the country coming from Greene’s original text.

The Quiet American is similar in some ways to The Constant Gardener (not just because it stars someone from The Mummy who turns out to be much better than you expect!) especially by starting with a death and running through a flashback, though more straightforward overall and perhaps a little more obvious, but that’s to the purpose of the story. It is challenging, yet a good mystery and drama, which I highly recommend.
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« Reply #91 on: July 23, 2010, 09:41:11 PM »

Junior Bonner
3 out of 5



Still recovering from being thrown from a bull called Sunshine, Junior Bonner is on his way home to join his family for the annual Frontier Days Rodeo. However, when he arrives, he finds his house abandoned and his father, Ace (Robert Preston) in hospital. Determined to prove that he still has all the makings of a champion, Junior challenges Sunshine once again but this time he is determined to beat the bull so that his father's dream of building a ranch in Australia can become a reality.

Junior Bonner is an uneven film that by the end might seem inconsequential, but you have to appreciate its considerable style, especially with some of the awesome touches Peckinpah brings and the great cast. On the other hand, the director did surprise me with occasional clumsiness, including the dated split screen titles that make it look like a TV movie and a cheesy freeze frame montage at the end.

But let’s focus on the good. Steve McQueen is great in this Autumnal, melancholy role and the chemistry with Robert Preston as his rebellious dad, Ace, is just wonderful. If you don’t know Preston, he looks like Joel McCrea and sounds like Burt Lancaster, with cheek to match either of them.

The dialogue is probably the best part of the production. It’s full of zingers, perfectly styled to the characters, yet has an understated realistic pitch. The whole thing has a laid back style; I liked how McQueen has rivals on the rodeo circuit, but they treat each other as casual friends. There’s no silly, predictable “villain” that McQueen has to beat. Oh, hold on. That is, apart from Sunshine. He’s the BFB...
Spoiler (hover to show)

The rodeo scenes are fantastic. Peckinpah’s use of slow motion and edits is peerless. While it started like a cheap TV film and might have descended into a pseudo documentary where the second unit just wandered around a real event getting stock footage, the tournament scenes have breathtaking power and lift it up a notch. Plus the lighter hearted “Milking” event is both very funny and impressively staged. Add in a classy cowboy barroom brawl, a lively cast, a poignant story and you have a passable couple of hours. And the film might keep coming back to you, despite its humble nature. Another overview I read claimed this was Peckinpah's favourite film of his own. While I think it is far from his best, I can well believe it. It has a good heart.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2010, 09:45:36 PM by Jon » Logged

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« Reply #92 on: July 24, 2010, 12:30:15 PM »

I remember thinking that I like Rachel Weisz, but Oscar? Really? The woman from The Mummy movies? But she is marvellous and she did earn it. I haven't seen Junebug, so I'm not sure how good Amy Adams was (I'm guessing 'very'? Cheesy), but this was such a tough role to balance. She has since gone to prove herself very much a 'proper' actress and I think she probably was all along.

Oh, I like her too. The funny thing is that the first time I saw her (around the time of those Mummy movies) was in the Winterbottom movie "I Want You". Well, not funny-ha-ha, but since I mentioned "A Mighty Heart"...
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« Reply #93 on: July 24, 2010, 05:07:49 PM »

The Road
4 out of 5



Academy Award® nominee Viggo Mortensen leads an all star cast including Guy Pearce, Academy Award® winners Robert Duvall and Charlize Theron and an incredible debut performance from Kodi Smit-McPhee. THE ROAD is a thrilling and deeply moving tale of survival as a father and his young son journey across a barren, post apocalyptic America. Respectfully adapted from Cormac McCarthy's hallowed novel, THE ROAD boldly imagines a future in which men are pushed to the worst and the best that they are capable of — a future in which a father and his son are sustained by love.

As post-apocalyptic stories go, there are no films quite like The Road. For one thing, we have no idea what caused the apocalypse or why it was so devastating. The world is completely dead and broken and there is no infrastructure at all. It doesn’t seem remotely retrievable. Survivors are just that and nothing more. There are no aliens to regroup against and fight; no Nirvana of a hippy commune to get to where a crude society is rebuilding. The man and his son keep moving (heading for the coast is their loose aim), scavenging for food wherever they can and avoiding the gangs of cannibals who are brutal and ruthless.

John Hillcoat, directing an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s bestseller (as he did for McCarthy’s The Proposition), delivers a relentlessly bleak looking film that is brought to life by the performances of a dedicated cast. It’s a strong realisation of a dying world...

[Please read the rest of the review at Find-DVD.co.uk]
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« Reply #94 on: July 25, 2010, 01:52:38 PM »

I have yet to watch this one but of all the people I've spoken with who have seen it I've been getting quite mixed reviews. Some have mentioned that it is quite depressing. One guy said it's like evolution in reverse. Some have said they liked it simply because they are fans of Mortensen, McCarthy's novels or both. I predict I will like it because of yes, Viggo's presence (always liked him) and I've always been partial to post-nuclear, end of world type movies.

I like the fact you mentioned it is somewhat vague and was pleased to see the trailer, while capturing my interest, did not reveal too much, unlike another of Cormac McCarthy's film adaptations, All The Pretty Horses. Yeeesh! Ever watch the trailer for that? If not, don't, otherwise you won't have to watch the movie as it tells you the whole story, ending included, in about 2 minutes and 30 seconds!  Slap my head

I shall have to move this one up my viewing queue. Great review!

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« Reply #95 on: July 25, 2010, 03:42:05 PM »

Thanks, KC. Well worth seeing.

When Mark Kermode reviewed Precious, they had a quick chat with the director about depressing movies and seemed to conclude, there is no such thing. If you think about it, you'd have to be one screwed up bastard to go to the trouble of telling a story for two hours, just so your audience is as miserable as you! There is always something to learn and if you get to the end of a film and all you feel depressed, it's worth thinking it through and considering why. May be something you missed.

With The Road, so long as you go into it not expecting a plot and you concentrate on the central pair, it becomes clear. From the start, the fact there is no apocalypse shown or explained, just the peripheral effect, is very important. It's a story about survival, not rebuilding.
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« Reply #96 on: July 29, 2010, 10:01:02 PM »

Doctor Zhivago
4 out of 5



A peerless filmmaker of substance and scale, David Lean directs Boris Pasternak's tumultuous tale of Russia divided by war and hearts torn by love. Epic images abound: revolution in the streets, an infantry charge into no-man's-land, the train ride to the Urals, an icebound dacha. Omar Sharif plays the title role, Julie Christie is his haunting, long-time love Lara and both are caught up in the tidal wave of history. Hauntingly scored by Maurice Jarre (who earned one of the film's five Academy Awards**) and full of indelible performances, Doctor Zhivago is a moviemaking wonder.


Doctor Zhivago has all the makings of a perfect David Lean epic. A broad, historical story, sweeping vistas, stunning photography, wonderful characters and a Maurice Jarre score as stirring as any. While it does have all of those, there is something not quite right and it is over-shadowed by Lawrence Of Arabia and The Bridge On The River Kwai.

The plot doesn’t help, as Lara might well be Zhivago’s great love, but their time together is fragmented, limited and actually, he already has a family. So he’s a bit of a bastard then, plus he rather meanders through the story. Things happen to him, while Lawrence made things happen.

Omar Shariff suffers nothing from these problems though and plays Zhivago as an honest and affectionate poet, the conflict in his life neatly mirroring the conflict in Russia as he is dragged into wars shaping the countries future. Shariff is marvellous, as are all the cast. Julie Christie has that captivating sexuality as Lara, while Geraldine Chaplin, as Zhivago’s wife Tonya, is hardly someone you’d kick out of bed for eating crisps either. Perhaps if she was a shovel-faced Russian body-builder pretending to be vaguely female, despite her beard, I would have empathised with Zhivago more! But no, she is gorgeous, so I found myself angered by his duality, despite its metaphor. Her father is played by the wonderful Ralph Richardson, who gives the film a lot of its humour as one of Russia’s high society being forced into a very different life when “The Party” take control. My favourite character and actor combination though is Rod Steiger. A very commanding and welcome presence in every scene he is in. Surprisingly, I found Alec Guinness almost the opposite. The man couldn’t give a bad performance if he tried (and I think he may have been trying in Star Wars!), but his is an odd character I couldn’t engage with.

It’s is still highly recommended. I mean, let’s get some perspective. The problems are fundamental, but you find the director, cast and crew at the height of their powers. The landscapes are incredible and the ice-palace an absolute stand-out. The Blu-Ray transfer is another eyeball melting one! The whole thing is a spell that will sweep you away for three hours.
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« Reply #97 on: July 29, 2010, 10:41:29 PM »

The Untouchables
5 out of 5



The critics and public agree Brian De Palma's THE UNTOUCHABLES is a must see masterpiece - a glorious, fierce larger-than-life depiction of the mob warlord who ruled Prohibition-era Chicago...and the law enforcer who vowed to bring him down. This classic confrontation between good and evil stars Kevin Costner as federal agent Eliot Ness, Robert De Niro as gangland kingpin Al Capone and Sean Connery as Malone, the cop who teaches Ness how to beat the mob: shoot fast and shoot first.


If The Untouchables was released today, chances are you’d ask what comic it was based on. A serious historical story, played with an exuberant panache for audacious entertainment, it is possibly Brian De Palma’s finest work, with him channelling cinema heritage to produce a modern Gangster movie, in the way L.A. Confidential would do for Film Noir ten or so years later.

You might accuse it of naivety, which would be fair in several respects, but it’s played so smoothly and without a shred of shame that you get swept up in the enthusiasm of setting a Western in Chicago and there are moments that are truly magnificent. This is old school cinema.

De Palma is being rude, really. He has at least three iconic moments in one film, which is just greedy! Not least the baby’s pram and the train station steps, which prove the magic of unpredictability in film. That scene was supposed to be a big train crash, but running low on cash, they needed a quick replacement. One tribute to Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin later and we have an exhilarating lesson in action cinema.

Everyone is well cast, with Kevin Costner finding a perfect role for his movie star image in Elliot Ness, Andy Garcia with the world at his feet before Godfather Part III (oops) and Charles Martin Smith having great fun as Wallace. He said to De Palma that he wanted to embody the audience. As a shotgun wielding accountant, whooping as he rides horseback into a gunfight on a bridge, he definitely did that! Sean Connery rounds out Ness’ Untouchables in his most memorable non-Bond role. He is fantastic and the best of the lot, despite his wavering accent! Of course, Robert De Niro was born to play Capone. The “baseball” scene at dinner is just incredible.

It is sporadically violent throughout and I miss this sort of Brian De Palma film because he demonstrates such old fashioned skill in building these set-pieces that the violence is never gratuitous. He balances the brutality with suspense to make Hitchcock proud. The station steps, again, are a perfect example of this. The way the pram wheels squeak, pulling our attention during Costner’s slow-mo gauntlet run is very clever.

The whole production is brought together by the brilliant Morricone score. Brilliant though the film is, the music is half the winning formula. The four Untouchables, striding into a post office on a liquor raid, brandishing shotguns, while the music swells like a fifth member of the team, is an abiding memory.
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« Reply #98 on: July 30, 2010, 12:36:54 AM »

The Untouchables
5 out of 5

 Stars

Andy Garcia is one of the biggest scenery chewing actors of the last 25 years. I honestly believe he was salt cured and hickory smoked as a child, he such a glorified HAM.

This was the beginning of what I deem as De Niro's caricature stage. The actor who gave us a young, powerful Vito Corleone stooping to an over the top performance I would have expected from Al Pacino, not De Niro.

It's only a few steps above De Palma's other crime saga, Scarface. But unlike that film, you can't enjoy it for the camp factor.

I could understand you rating it 4 out of 5, but a perfect score?  Slap my head
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« Reply #99 on: July 30, 2010, 03:38:09 AM »

I wouldn't give Untouchables a perfect score either. The biggest detractor for me was Kevin Costner who churned out another movie from his 'pretentious' phase where he felt it incumbent upon himself to grace us all with portrayals of people with historical significance... Wyatt Earp, Robin Hood, Jim Garrison, Elliot Ness et al. His acting in those films, while good, was delivered with a certain amount of arrogance that just rubs me the wrong way.

I thought Andy Garcia was rather subdued in Untouchables when compared to many of his later films. De Niro was more of a ham, whooping it up as Capone in a role that I think was a bit of a guilty pleasure for him. Sean Connery was solid, likable and deserving of the Oscar he received. For me the star was Charles Martin Smith as the cherubic accountant who suddenly has a shotgun thrust in his hand and swells in confidence tenfold.  Clap

I'd give it 4 out of 5... just.
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« Reply #100 on: July 30, 2010, 05:46:04 AM »

I agree with KC and Antares on the rating.

Although, I always enjoyed De Niro in this, as well as in a few others of his smaller roles at the time (Angel Heart being the most memoprable to me).

There is lots of fun to be had with Untouchables, but it has too many little faults to make it a 5/5, for me.

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« Reply #101 on: July 30, 2010, 09:08:58 PM »

Interesting. You seem to have all focused your faults of The Untouchables on the actors, yet in a film like this they hardly matter. It's so broad, they merely have to turn up, hit their marks and be efficient. Hence my comments it was "well cast" and "naive" (in a good way).

But to take your points:

Andy Garcia is one of the biggest scenery chewing actors of the last 25 years. I honestly believe he was salt cured and hickory smoked as a child, he such a glorified HAM.

This was the beginning of what I deem as De Niro's caricature stage. The actor who gave us a young, powerful Vito Corleone stooping to an over the top performance I would have expected from Al Pacino, not De Niro.

It's only a few steps above De Palma's other crime saga, Scarface. But unlike that film, you can't enjoy it for the camp factor.

I could understand you rating it 4 out of 5, but a perfect score?  Slap my head

Garcia: agreed; De Niro: agreed. Why does that detract from their characters? The Untouchables was the first film I saw either of them in. Garcia was a cocky gunman, but he played it quiet so he fit in, and De Niro was just scary as hell. Even now that explosion of violence is astonishing. He is definitely a caricature, but that was what was intended and it fit the story and the reasons I wanted to watch it. If he has failed to find his Godfather II/Taxi Driver mojo since, that is a problem worth criticising, but right then, it was a perfect choice.

I like Scarface, but find it overrated. It doesn't have this films enthusiasm.

I wouldn't give Untouchables a perfect score either. The biggest detractor for me was Kevin Costner who churned out another movie from his 'pretentious' phase where he felt it incumbent upon himself to grace us all with portrayals of people with historical significance... Wyatt Earp, Robin Hood, Jim Garrison, Elliot Ness et al. His acting in those films, while good, was delivered with a certain amount of arrogance that just rubs me the wrong way.

I thought Andy Garcia was rather subdued in Untouchables when compared to many of his later films. De Niro was more of a ham, whooping it up as Capone in a role that I think was a bit of a guilty pleasure for him. Sean Connery was solid, likable and deserving of the Oscar he received. For me the star was Charles Martin Smith as the cherubic accountant who suddenly has a shotgun thrust in his hand and swells in confidence tenfold.  Clap

I agree with your last point absolutely, but I will never understand the level of criticism Costner got. I don't find him remotely pretentious or arrogant. Off-camera, yes, but never on. He's no Steve McQueen, but I enjoy his movies and always felt sorry for him. Some people decided they didn't like him from act one and were waiting for 'inevitable' failure. Waterworld/The Postman happened and they have been used to bury him. Most actors are afforded one cock-up or two, but he's been considered untouchable (see what I did there? Tongue) by the studios ever since. Shame. He didn't deserve that. As it is, he's fine as Ness. Nothing special that someone else couldn't have done, but... good enough.

...

In any film I rate 5/5, I am not looking for perfection (which is incredibly rare), I'm looking at a four star film that didn't put a foot wrong and did that little bit extra to make it unique. 5/5 simply means it did what it set out to do, can't be repeated and a niggling sense that everyone involved kind of realised and upped their game. You've all talked about things you don't like in the film (mainly the actors), but should they be judged mistakes? I think not. Plus just as you use personal preference to mark it down, I use it to mark it up. I think I've justified it, but the bottom line is, I could watch it again right now.

In other words, every film I have ever rated 5/5 at some point was good enough to make me forget I was simply watching any old film, cause a goosebump or two, and never made me groan in disappointment.

So what is the little bit of extra push? Why can't it be repeated? Costner, Garcia... good enough. But there's only one Sean Connery and he isn't rushing to make a film like this again. And how many times can a film convince us that an accountant is a shotgun cowboy? That role was a one-off.

It was made in a certain style that nowadays is only handled so well by comics. To pull off a film like that in the 80s was special. Some of De Palma's other work fits that bill too, but doesn't have the pace and confidence of The Untouchables. Plus you have unnecessary touches he always uses. He could get away with less, but the Orson Welles depth of field trick or his regular uses of the "Creeper" or top down shots add to the craft. Actually, he's overdone them since, probably why we see so little of him.

The movie peaks several times: the lift scene, the stairs sequence and Connery's apartment ("you Dago bastard!"). In between there are several more worthy of mention. This is action cinema not only at its best, but setting the bar very high. There have been other films since with arguably better staged set-pieces, but films with three or four of that standard in one? Nah. The last truly great pure action movie was The Bourne Ultimatum, but that has a relentless style that doesn't afford contrast like De Palma uses.

An then there's the score. You could get away with using anything and it might be considered good enough. But Morricone is a huge contribution. Again, a special something.

Let's try and put it in perspective. This is the only film of De Palma's I would rate so high. This is one of two, maybe at a push, three, Costner films I would rate so high.

Remember, I consider films an optimistic art form so I don't look for faults, they have to find me. And a good portion of why I watch films at all is down to film-makers who simply want to entertain. That's what gets me to films like Bicycle Thieves or Vertigo or There Will Be Blood (review coming soon!) or anything you might consider more worthy.
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« Reply #102 on: July 30, 2010, 10:21:01 PM »

The Prestige
4 out of 5



Is there a secret you would kill to know? In this electrifying, suspense-packed thriller from director Christoper Nolan (Batman Begins, Memento), Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale play magicians whose cut-throat attempts to best each other plunge them into deadly deceptions. Scarlett Johanssen also stars as the stage assistant who's both a pawn and player in their rivalry. A brilliant supporting cast (including Michael Caine and David Bowie). An ingenious story. An astonishing payoff. Once you see The Prestige, you'll want to see it again. Watch closely.


Christopher Nolan’s Inception is currently receiving deserved plaudits for being the most intelligent and original blockbuster for years. For one thing, it isn’t based on anything else. But while The Prestige is adapted from Christopher Priest’s book about obsession and fame, it is no less intelligent and places absolute faith in the audience.

To say too much would spoil the film, even when talking about the cast, who seem to have all upped their game. Michael Caine brings an easy quality to the role of Cutter, a constant for both leads and a man carrying weight of responsibility. The captivating and charming Scarlett Johansson has never been better and that isn’t a back-handed compliment as she is excellent. Hugh Jackman seemed born to play Angier and he finds levels of emotional honesty other roles have denied him. Christian Bale as Borden is also arguably at his best and delivers an intriguing performance that may only truly come to light on a second viewing, even more so than Jackman’s Angier. But then that’s the best thing about Nolan’s work. It has substance that lets the film feel fresh even when you have seen it before. While I say I don’t want to spoil it, it’s important to note there are no twists as such. A reveal here or there, but no contrived plot point that the film has to balance on. “Look closely”, we are told in the opening scene by Cutter. In fact, you are better off taking a step back!

Jonathan Nolan’s screenplay cleverly folds the story in on itself, which is unnecessary to the plot, but brings a new dimension to the relationships between Angier and Borden, their women, and their obsessions that cost them so much. Those familiar with both Nolans’ themes will find them easily enough here. Love, death, grief and madness, all present and correct! Yet all their films feel so individual.

Although it is a period setting, there is no concession to that period in how it is presented. It feels very modern, with the meticulous detail not being allowed to linger just for the sake of it being there. And there is no grandstanding or empty theatrics, which in a story about performing magicians, could have been forgiven. It is first and foremost a character piece. In fact, considering the dangerous science and the body count has apparently been upped from the original book, this is actually a remixed Horror film in the British tradition of Hammer. It’s subtle and disturbing.

The Blu-Ray transfer is gorgeous. I recently said that Sherlock Holmes was the best modern film I had seen on the medium, but I think this pips it. It could have even been an influence on Guy Ritchie’s film as they both feature a period setting and meticulous detail, but Nolan’s photography is richer. The snowbound Colorado sequences in the snow -with a wonderful partnership between Andy Serkis and David Bowie- is very striking.

I find it incredible that Christopher Nolan’s grasp of technique and showmanship is so strong he can afford to twist and bend something rather ordinary into such an intriguing spell, yet never lose sight of the drama. So much so that he seems to inspire the best work of those around him. He is possibly the finest of this generation of film-makers and his work should be reassuring to anyone interested in the future of film.
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« Reply #103 on: July 30, 2010, 11:39:49 PM »

In any film I rate 5/5, I am not looking for perfection (which is incredibly rare), I'm looking at a four star film that didn't put a foot wrong and did that little bit extra to make it unique. 5/5 simply means it did what it set out to do, can't be repeated and a niggling sense that everyone involved kind of realised and upped their game. You've all talked about things you don't like in the film (mainly the actors), but should they be judged mistakes? I think not. Plus just as you use personal preference to mark it down, I use it to mark it up. I think I've justified it, but the bottom line is, I could watch it again right now.

In other words, every film I have ever rated 5/5 at some point was good enough to make me forget I was simply watching any old film, cause a goosebump or two, and never made me groan in disappointment.

I understand why you rate that way. I guess it all boils down to this...

I respect your opinion when it comes to film, but I feel that you do yourself a disservice by rating films in this manner. If someone joins this forum or reads your blog and you rate a film such as this (a film I would be hard pressed to rate above 4) with the same rating as Ikiru, Casablanca or M, and they watch and it doesn't live up to the quality of the films I've mentioned, then you lose credibility with that person in any further review you write.

I spend a lot of time reading reviews all around the web, (Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic) but I find most of the reviewers to be either condescending or pretentious. You on the other hand, are like me, a person who watches films purely for entertainment value. I enjoy reading your opinions on a film, and place a lot of stock into what you see, but it disappoints me when the prose is well written, but the rating has no sense of balance when compared to other films in that particular genre or other exceptional films in cinematic history.

I know that I could easily name 10 films in the gangster genre, and probably an additional 5 more that are better than this film. There has to be balance when someone is going to put the effort into writing film reviews, so that the reader has some way of discerning what is the cream of the crop or something good that doesn't quite reach that strata.

Maybe we write reviews for a different purpose, but foremost in my mind when I write one, is to have a person who reads it and watches the film say...He's right, I'll trust his judgment on further films.
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KinkyCyborg
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« Reply #104 on: July 31, 2010, 01:27:19 AM »

Maybe we write reviews for a different purpose, but foremost in my mind when I write one, is to have a person who reads it and watches the film say...He's right, I'll trust his judgment on further films.

If that is the expectation you have from the readers of your reviews you could be setting yourself up for disappointment. 

I gave up long ago trying to write 'likable' reviews in the hopes of receiving glowing acknowledgment. Even in some tight knit forum communities where I have engaged in movie discussion the opinions and tastes vary so immensely that it becomes impossible to predict who and how many are going to share my sentiments on a film... if any! I have written reviews that I was confident would appeal to certain members whose own reviews I very much enjoy and respect only to have those individuals rip my analysis to shreds.  Sad  On the flip side I've looked down my nose at some whom I've considered to be 'hack' reviewers who give glowing reviews to movies I thought were atrocious! Then during one of our group movie studies where we all watched the same movie and shared our thoughts afterwards, these same 'hacks' would give their assessment and it was like they read my mind.

What I now hope to achieve through my reviews is to convey to you all my own personal tastes which I concede are not for everyone! For those who share a common train of thought with me on a film I now have laid the groundwork for some talk to compare, reflect, dissect... whatever. For those who have an opposing view to my review... let the vigorous debate begin! Some of those debates have swayed my opinion in the past.  Shocked   It's all good. It's what us true movie lovers do.  Thumb up !

KC
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