Author Topic: Antares' Short Summations  (Read 280199 times)

Offline Antares

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #510 on: February 25, 2021, 12:41:36 AM »
'Doc' (1971) 62/100 - I thought I had seen every offering of the OK Corral shootout, but this film popped up on my YouTube suggestion page. If you can suspend disbelief in regards to the historical aspects, and that suspension would be have to be strong enough to build a bridge with, this was an OK movie (pun intended). There’s only one aspect of the film that is truthful, and that’s that Holliday suffered from tuberculosis. And in sporadic moments of the screenplay, that fact is tossed in to pad out the narrative. There’s really no stand out performance and Dunaway is wasted on a clichéd and poorly written character. She really only gets one good line in the film, but it is the best line of dialogue in the movie. When one of the Earp wives comes to the house where she lives "in sin" with Holliday, to talk her into becoming more “respectable”, her retort of “If I’m kneelin’, I’m definitely not prayin’”, is priceless.

Teal = Masterpiece
Dark Green = Classic or someday will be
Lime Green = A good, entertaining film
Orange = Average
Red = Cinemuck
Brown = The color of crap, which this film is

Offline Antares

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #511 on: March 05, 2021, 03:01:42 AM »
Sergeant Rutledge (1960) 50/100 - For the life of me I cannot understand the amount of respect and admiration afforded to John Ford by cinephiles around the world. For every good film he made, you have to endure half a dozen mediocre or truly bad films. This one falls somewhere between mediocre and bad, the only saving grace being Woody Strode's performance as the title character. The rest of the cast have all kicked up an extra notch in histrionics and over the top melodramatics. One of the key roles in the film is the prosecuting attorney Captain Shattuck, played by Carleton Young. The name may not sound familiar, but two years later, in a much better Ford western, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, he utters the best line of dialog in the film; "No, sir. This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend." But here it seems like he had spent a few too many nights with a grandchild watching Snidely Whiplash from the Dudley Do-Right segments of the Rocky & Bulwinkle Show. If he had worn a mustache, I expect he would have twirled it a few times when he hurled accusations at Rutledge on the stand. While I applaud Ford for taking a stance against racial inequality, all while segregation was the standard in a good portion of the country, one has to wonder why he felt the need to have one of the minor characters seem as if he was one of Stepin Fetchit's ancestors. It was as if Ford just couldn't go all in on the storyline and had to have one minstrel type character to appease those with small minds. As the film was winding down I felt myself asking the question, "How could he make such a seminal western two years later, when it appears his directing abilities are on life support here?" I have six more Ford westerns to sit through in the next few weeks and I thought that this was going to be the best of the bunch. Well, you know what they say about one rotten apple in a bunch. I hope I'm wrong.

Teal = Masterpiece
Dark Green = Classic or someday will be
Lime Green = A good, entertaining film
Orange = Average
Red = Cinemuck
Brown = The color of crap, which this film is

Offline Antares

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #512 on: March 18, 2021, 02:55:22 AM »
The Big Country (1958) 84/100 - When one hears western film fans talk about the great films of the genre, William Wyler's grand epic is very rarely mentioned. I've watched this film on very many occasions, because it has a few things I deem necessary for a film to be considered a classic. I'll start to watch it, with no intention of sitting through the nearly 3 hour running time, but I get drawn in. Not only does it have a good screenplay, but you get to watch two supporting actors steal the film whenever they are onscreen. I can't think of any other actor who so richly deserved an Academy Award for a performance as Burl Ives did in this film. Each time I watch it, I marvel at how at ease he is and how much depth he pours into his portrayal. The other actor would go on to lasting fame on the small screen on the seminal TV western, The Rifleman. In that show, Chuck Connors played a righteous man who shared a ranch with his young son. In this film, he plays the opposite kind of character, a drinking, womanizing, lying and in the end, cowardly cowboy. The scenes and the dialog between Ives' and Connors' characters are the most electrifying moments in the story. With each successive viewing, I bump it up a bit in my rating. More people should see this, it's one of Wyler's best.

Teal = Masterpiece
Dark Green = Classic or someday will be
Lime Green = A good, entertaining film
Orange = Average
Red = Cinemuck
Brown = The color of crap, which this film is

Offline Antares

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #513 on: March 21, 2021, 12:51:43 AM »
The Right Stuff (1983) 55/100 - A great film when it focused on Yeager and Edwards Air Force base. Then it starts to take liberties with the truth when it switches to the seven Mercury astronauts. At this point, it downgrades from great to a good film. After Alan Shepard's sub-orbital flight into the upper atmosphere, it assassinates the character of a man who died in Apollo 1 and wasn't around to defend himself after the film's release. There's a reason why Gus Grissom was selected as the commander of the first Gemini and Apollo flights. He was regarded by the other six Mercury astronauts as the most talented pilot and engineer of the group. And it is here where I found the film reprehensible. The last hour becomes a bloated mess of garbage.

I remember my father coming home from the theater after seeing it in its initial run and he sang nothing but praise for it. But he really didn't know the history of early manned space flight like I did. Growing up in the sixties, I lived, slept, ate and breathed everything NASA. So when it came on HBO a year later, I sat and watched it with him. I didn't know much about Chuck Yeager, so I really liked that section of the film. But when it turned to NASA, I started pointing out the mistakes being made by the director, to him. When it got to Grissom's Liberty Bell 7 sub-orbital flight, I nearly blew a gasket. When the film was finished, I asked him if he still felt the same way about it as he did after seeing it in the theater. He shook his head and said no. I kind of felt bad for ruining the film for him, but if you're going to make a historical film, especially about something so special, you don't get to take "liberties" with the story. This film does not deserve the praise that is heaped upon it.

Teal = Masterpiece
Dark Green = Classic or someday will be
Lime Green = A good, entertaining film
Orange = Average
Red = Cinemuck
Brown = The color of crap, which this film is

Offline Antares

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #514 on: July 12, 2021, 01:23:17 AM »
A Film Unfinished (2010) 84/100 – It’s been a very long time since a film disturbed me as much as this one did. I’ve watched many films & television shows about the Nazi “Final Solution”, but those were made after the war had ended. The film used in this documentary, was shot by German photographers for an unfinished propaganda film about life in the Warsaw ghetto. Four reels of film without a soundtrack, just a silent testimony to one of the darkest moments in mankind’s history. The purpose of that propaganda film was to juxtapose the positions of the different classes of Jews living in the ghetto and the hypocrisy of the wealthy and their indifference to the suffering that surrounded them. It’s all manipulated by the SS and there’s a surreal sense of morbidity amongst the faces of the various Jewish “actors” who are forced to participate.

When the film focuses on the footage from the ghetto, it horrifies, nauseates and makes you squirm in your seat. When it turns to the actor re-creations of testimony from one of the cameramen who testified at war crime trials in the sixties, it loses its focus. The inclusion of these scenes doesn’t make any sense and really adds nothing to the narrative except a similar sense of manipulation on the director’s part. One of the most fascinating aspects of this documentary is the “found” footage of outtakes from the 30 day film shoot. It allows you to bear witness to the staging of scenes for the cameramen and just how much effort was spent on its production.

In the end, one has to wonder why Goebbels never had the film completed. If you look at it from the chronology, maybe Goebbels was finally told by Himmler about the Final Solution. The production and filming took place in May of 1942, five months after the Wannsee Conference. By then, there was no need to placate the thoughts and feelings of those Germans who still had a conscience. The Nazi juggernaut was still rolling, but soon to be slowed at Stalingrad. Or maybe Goebbels saw no need to add another layer of guilt upon the populace as the German tide was being turned.

As I mentioned earlier, the subject matter is extremely disturbing. And more than likely, this is a one and done for me. But there is one moment I have to share with you. It’s towards the end of the film and on the fourth reel, they’re showing what was done with the daily deliverance of the dead from the sidewalks of the streets. One of the survivors is shown watching the film. She averts her eyes many times as the bodies are slid down a makeshift slide into a mass grave. She finally thrusts her head forward and utters the following line as she bursts into tears, "I'm so happy I am human again and can cry.".

Teal = Masterpiece
Dark Green = Classic or someday will be
Lime Green = A good, entertaining film
Orange = Average
Red = Cinemuck
Brown = The color of crap, which this film is

Offline Antares

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #515 on: July 16, 2021, 04:37:13 AM »
Kansas City Confidential (1952) 75/100 - For 90 minutes this film slowly and methodically moved its way up to the top tier of the noir/crime films I've ever seen. But then, in the last 3 minutes, it shits the bed completely. I couldn't figure out how the story was going to play out and obviously, neither did the director or the screenwriter. Maybe it was the Hays office that made them tack on such a saccharine ending, and if that's so, then we the film loving community were robbed of what could have been considered a masterpiece if they could have kept the edginess that purveyed throughout the story, all the way to the end.

Teal = Masterpiece
Dark Green = Classic or someday will be
Lime Green = A good, entertaining film
Orange = Average
Red = Cinemuck
Brown = The color of crap, which this film is