Sunday, 9 March 2014
This is a important movie. Quentin Tarantino's directorial debut has been hugely influential. The backstory device or as some call it the non linear narrative. The street level dialogue, and the bloody scenes and scenery. Last but not least perfect execution of the soundtrack.
This is a tiny movie, very few sets, all sets simple, the actual robbery is not even shown. With a totally character driven story where the action has to be carried mostly by conversation, the actors have to be terrific. The ensemble cast is fabulous. Harvey Keitel is good. Steve Buscemi is better, but Micheal Madsen's performance is spectacular. He gives the movie legitimacy. Not that Micheal has not had a respectable career but he should have been a superstar.
I watched the 15th anniversary edition. Only relevant because the remastering renders the movie magnificently. I saw the original release of the movie and owned the original DVD. Its been well over ten years since I last watched. Time has been mostly kind to this flick. Some of the dialogue seems more corny than I remember but overall still a great movie. It remains a critical success, and is a true classic for the ages.
Four point two stars
Thursday, 20 February 2014
I had no intention of watching The Company You Keep, but the DVD literally fell into my lap. I expected another Lions for Lambs. Which was not a bad movie but it was so treadworn. However I was pleasantly surprised to find The Company You Keep was a very good thought provoking movie.
Directed by and staring Robert Redford supported by an A list cast from 1972. Shai Le Beouf is actually believable as a smart ass reporter who pulls on a string that unravels an unfinished bit of weather underground business. Lots of drama, twists and turns and the intensity of a manhunt. While she only has a small role special mention to Brit Marling for being special, why is she not an A list star?
There is a powerful message well delivered for you lousy kids. I say you lousy kids because both you and the adults totally ignored this film. It did five million domestic, and double that worldwide. Rotten Tomatoes gave it 55% with the not unwarranted criticism that it burned slowly. It was a message movie but I loved the message and the medium.
You do not have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.
Three point eight stars
Tuesday, 21 January 2014
I thought the first movie was a mediocre made for TV movie from the seventies. Of course I am not a young girl for whom this franchise is made. The budget for catching fire was bumped from $80 spent on the first to $130 million. Jennifer Lawrence got bumped from a half a mill to ten mill. The look of the movie is much better and the story is also more interesting to a male adult. I maintain that the Predators franchise and Running man are better movies of the same type. However Catching Fire did lite me up. I look forward to Hunger Games 3. It was a huge box office smash and generally reviewed with more stars than I give.
Friday, 17 January 2014
Mostly due to terrible reviews, RT gave it 34% I had not watched it until now. That was a mistake I was missing at least a half an hour of gut busting laughter. If you liked the first, you will not be disappointed in number two.
Three point eight Stars
Based upon an extremely popular 1985 Sci Fi novel that was a bit of a crossover hit. Having won both the Hugo and Nebula awards needless to say it was a good book. Maybe it was not a good book to make into a movie.
For a 12 year old boy this may be the best movie ever. However adults and fans of the book are going to be Meh! The film never really generates excitement. The CGI, acting, and story are all great but the end product is nothing special. As was its Rotten Tomatoes rating of 61% . A box office bomb, unlikely even worldwide to make back its $110 million production budget. If you read the books see the movie, otherwise kids only.
Two point seven Stars.
Friday, 10 January 2014
Not really a spoiler but this is a true story. Most of the people in the movie especially Jordan Belfort who is played perfectly by Leonardo Di Capri are real characters. The real Jordan also has a walk on speaking part. According to the real Jordan what you see in the movie is all true. Some of this is easy to verify. My first reaction to the movie was that Martin Scorsese was doing a remake of Up in Smoke using Wall Street as a backdrop. I freaked later learning of the Tommy Chong connection. The direction is top notch Scorsese. I found this movie laugh out loud funny for at least an hour. American Hustle by comparison was a small movie, this was a spectacle. I still think Bale will beat Leo for Best Actor, but for best movie, screenplay, director its going to be a battle. Rotten Tomatoes gave it 79%. It cost $130 mil to make and is struggling to break 100 at the domestic box. I think its one of those love it or hate it movies, I totally loved it.
Five point five stars out of Five.
Thursday, 9 January 2014
Not to in any way be confused with the less than stellar 1993 Stallone Interpretation. The writing team includes the co creator of the Dredd comic character and writers behind 28 Day Later and the book A History of Violence which was adapted to make one of David Cronenburg's better movies. Two of this group also wrote the Stallone movie, I wonder if Sylvester has an unaccredited credit for the finished product. Danny Cannon a veteran TV director makes a heck of a rookie debut commanding the big screen.
The dystopian city of the future is perfectly realistic. Interesting that it was filmed in South Africa. Keith Urban was totally convincing. As was Lena Headey of GOT and the 300 fame.(playing a character inspired by Patti Smith) Relative newcomer Olivia Thirby steals the show.(playing a character inspired by Debra Harry) She reminded me of Starbuck at her best. I just finished my second viewing and liked it better the second time. The slow time improvement on bullet time was a significant advance in technique. One of the best comic book adaptation ever and a terrific Sci Fi movie that is totally captivating. It did not resonate with the mass audience making only about 40 million USA. Its on the bubble for a well deserved sequel. Rotten Tomatoes gave it 78% and it had widespread critical acclaim. I judge it to be a movie fans of female punk rockers, fans of Science Fiction and fans of good storytelling must see. Notable similarities to the equally well done The Raid Redemption, see them both.