justifiably classic chiller ending; terrible everything else
the best cinema about cinema
Very interesting to think about in terms of Muslim cinema; it definitely challenges Western conceptions of the epic, about ways to tell history, about audience & action...a bunch of things. Partially funded by Gaddafi's Libyan government, it's an entertaining slice of nationalist propaganda, anchored by a commanding lead performance by Anthony Quinn, Hollywood's foremost "ethnic" white actor. A very complex film.
Some of the best filmed dialogue ever. Bette Davis hoists this movie on her shoulders and proceeds to do standing push-ups for 2+ hours. She is a BEAST.
Can I get a gin and capri sun? Performance art, something a little manic, a little impish; good camerawork. A funny aside from a brilliant comedian. Invokes the club atmosphere nicely.
It takes its time to get cooking, but once we get to the cultural revolution, things really pick up. Stylistically, it was hard for me to get into. Obviously, costumes and sets are top-notch. Leslie Cheung goes for the jugular, and it pays off. Not gay enough, but that's a minor gripe. Sometimes the direction is so staid, I was imagining what Wong Kar Wai would have done with the material.
Quite possibly the most moving experience of my life--inside or outside of a theater. Mind-boggling. Once you see it, it readjusts your entire outlook on cinema history, and you can't possibly imagine your life without it. Vivid, enthralling, riveting, jaw-dropping...any superlative you care to name. And then double it.
McDowell is really too good for the film; nice supporting turns from Reed & Bates, but Lester's staging of action-comedy is sometimes stupefying. Too often he undercuts the jokes, underplays the physical gags or altogether puts the damned camera in the wrong place. Nice costumes; but the failure of Royal Flash to become a Bond-like franchise of historical romps is obvious once you've seen it bungled so thoroughly.
The best girl, the best villain, some of the best action sequences, the best Bond? It's up for debate, but damn, the film's audacity, especially in a necessarily conservative money-making gig like the 007 franchise...it's something to be applauded. The casual outbursts of extreme violence, Bond's vulnerability, the way Hunt & Lazenby throw away most of 007's pithy lines...subversive, yet affecting. AND DIANA RIGG!
Zulawski's sweetest love story. Kinski swoops in, chews all the scenery and spits it up, providing the only Zulawksian grotesque in the whole movie. La Femme Publique goes father in exposing the perversity & exploitation of photography/cinema, actresses & directors. As Polish expat, Zulawski seems in love with French things--cafe, la theatre, menage a trois--at times, the film tries too hard to be capital F French.
If this movie were a drink it would be bourbon, neat.
film critics are assholes, and this film proves it.
Solid naval procedural, neither spectacular in acting or directing but scores some points for straight-faced, documentary realism and wartime accuracy. Bogged down by dated war cliches, especially Jurgen's disdain for the Fuhrer's "New Germany." Classic "good Nazi" whitewash--but he's good in the role. Filmed on a real US Navy destroyer. The German U-Boat sets are much too spacious and luxurious; real subs are hell.
It's not super horrible, and yes--Williams is good--but rather forgettable. Some light, cheerful moments but a trite script. Fun and pretty if you can ignore the historical inaccuracies and famous people caricatures.
Overlooked '70s gem that blends samurai and noir. Incredible creds involved: Schrader, Towne, Pollack, Mitchum, and in one of the baddest badass roles ever, Ken Takakura. Builds to an insane, violent finale with hanzo swords and sawed-off shotguns. Cool factor through the roof.
Between the younger Skarsgard's absurd Nordic beauty, Kirsten Dunst's crazy cleavage, the weird Vanity Fair photoshoot slow-mo cinematography, heaps of nihilistic despair, nerdy astronomy lessons, Jack Bauer and pancakes, there's a little in here for everyone. Plus, the whole planet explodes! THE TREE OF LIFE for assholes with a sick sense of humor.
Werzog makes it clear he's against capital punishment, but the film still comes across clear-headed and even-handed. Some extremely affecting interviewees. Sadness threatens to bog you down what with all the relentless, systemic white trash poverty and violence...until Herzog starts asking the death row chaplain about squirrels.
Builds tension rather nicely. DP Lipes is a major talent. Searing performance from Elizabeth Olsen. Hawkes dials up his sinewy creep factor to 11.
Somewhat of a disappointment. Maybe a little too good-natured. They brought the Muppets back (which is awesome!), but didn't give them much to do (which is less awesome!). Amy Adams underused, woefully.
Unfortunately, all the magic belongs to Melies. 3D effects are awkward, overstuffed vehicles for telegraphed w-h-i-m-s-y. Nevertheless, they're not particularly ill-used or annoying. Doesn't get interesting till the film nerd historian shows up and by then it's all a little ho-hum anyway. Kid actors were particularly bad.
Clooney acts the hell out of this with the seasoned professionalism of an actor who never seems to be "acting." Everything else is average. Teeters on the brink of eye-rolling for the rich, white people problems factor--a bit heavy, even for Payne.
Screen EDDIE COYLE with THE FRENCH CONNECTION if you want to shame every single "serious" cops & robbers drama made in the last 35 years. It doesn't get any more street. Mitchum gives one of his best performances: reserved, resigned, earning the world-weariness etched in the lines of his face.
Sincere but unfocused. Fun for Mitchum completists and drive-in/hillbilly pop culture enthusiasts. I mean, imagine with Nicholas Ray could have done with this material.
Other than the change in setting and time period, very faithful adaptation of Chandler with all the procedural beats intact. Mitchum, despite his age, cuts to the heart of Marlowe's stubbornness and sarcasm. Made-for-TV feel hampers what could otherwise be a player in 'best Marlowe adaptation' contentions.
lessss yyyyeux sanssss visaaaaaaage
Lifeless. A disappointment. Neither illuminates nor entertains, though it serves niftily as a cursory overview of Communism in 20th c. America.
A little dated, but the horror works on you long after the credits roll.
Awkwardly confessional in a distancing/annoying way that eventually wears you down and you end up liking and admiring the film at hand. The fact that Moullet's girlfriend (& co-writer/director) would not appear as his on-screen girlfriend tells you more about their situation than the constructed reality of 'Anatomy of a Relationship' ever could.
Prescient precursor to the recent local food movement of liberal social conscience. Runs into the same problems every affluent first world white person does when confronting their own inescapably oppressive capitalism, but as a documentary it's exhaustively well-researched, thorough, thoughtful, well-shot and edited with attentive precision. Moullet's humor a welcome balance to the bleak realities of labor/capital.
Dismantling the legend of the American Western outlaw, one dirt-splattered hissy-fit at a time. A nice feminist revenge flick emerges in the last 30 minutes. Gorgeous, surreal landscape photography. Terrible English dubbing but that's part of the absurd fascination.