I just do not understand why this film has been slated by so many critics: it is great fun and it is Bond. I have read too frequently that this is too far removed from traditional Bond formula, but this is utter nonsense. Permit me to explain why: it has a car chase; a boat chase; an aeroplane chase; various foot chases; scantily clad women in the opening title sequence; vodka gin martinis (6 of them in one sitting – a series record I believe); sexy women; gruesome death; wry humour and quips (“I think she has handcuffs,” says Mathis. “Hope so,” replies Bond dryly); exotic locations; bad baddies; men who strive for world domination; explosions – lots of them; great banter between Bond and M; a dry, ruthless and driven Daniel Craig; and even a henchman with a silly haircut. What more could you want? Okay, well maybe you could want a little more plot. The idea of the arch-villain craving control of the world’s water supply so he charge exorbitant fees seems like something Dr Evil would come up with. And Fields’ sardonic apology when she trips the (awful fringed – so bad it needs mentioning twice) henchman down the stairs is, unfortunately, a dreadful piece of acting. But as complaints go, that it is. This is not as good as Casino Royale (not much is to be honest), but it is a worthy sequel and I am still loving this resurrection of the franchise and its gritty real world resurgence. Daniel Craig IS James Bond.
Iconic moment in cinema, sadly surrounded by fluff.
Talked about as one of the greatest films of all time. I just don’t see it. Yeah there is some amusing cocksure banter between Hans and Leia, yeah the special effects are impressive for the time, yeah the moment on the bridge when [spoiler alert if you have been living in a coma for 30 years] Vadar tells Skywalker “I am your father” is as iconic a moment as you can get in cinema, but one of the best films of all time? Better than Casablanca? Rear Window? Sunset Boulevard? The Shining? Not a chance. Far too much actually annoys me. For instance, the battle when the Jedi tried to bring down the giant mechanic camels was prolonged, poorly paced and just portrayed the Jedi as complete twits. They got the first one down easily enough by using a cable and tying its feet together – but then decided to fanny around, get shot at and never repeat the successful methods of the first kill. WHY NOT USE THAT SAME SUCCESSFUL METHOD FOR ALL OF THEM? It would’ve been over in no time. But no, they had to try new things and get shot at and killed. And why does Luke, having cut the arm off the abominable snowman and rendered him fairly (h)armless (sorry) decide to run out into -50° temperatures instead of remaining in the relative safety of a cave? And why would anyone want promotion when Darth Vadar keeps killing his Generals? Much better to remain an anonymous Storm Trooper and hope to blend into the over-starched backgrounds of the ship’s interior design. A nostalgic movie that brings memories of childhood and youth? Sure. A Sci-Fi nerd’s wet dream? Sure. One of the greatest films of all time? Sorry, but a galaxy far far away.
I am almost ashamed for writing this, but I do not dislike this film. Not at all. Costner nails the aloof, edgy, principled bodyguard and gets the audience on his side – right before he goes and nails Whitney. After that it is all rather more formulaic. Rather bizarrely, I’ve always liked eating apples with knives since I first saw this film many years ago. It makes me feel tough. Like Kev. The soundtrack will definitely appeal to all those wannabe divas out there… Oh I feel dirty writing this, but it is good. “And I-eee-I Will Alllllllwaaaays Loooooooooove yoouououoooouoo…” Well, you get the drift.
Michael Moore would once again have his audiences believe that he is just a regular guy, like them. A good old-fashioned regular American, yes Siree. Well, in that he is opinionated and obese I guess he’s right. Whilst Moore may have perfected the (biased, propagandising) documentary film genre – and here he does portray an excellent case for Universal Free Health Care, to go with the American Dream and French Fries – it also must be noted, that he is also a facetious, irritating git. He thinks it is clever and brilliant to go to Cuba with 9/11 heroes and demand they get the same medical care as Al Qaeda. But it is not. It is a stupid, self-righteous prank (PRank, not Yank). And if I hear one more sympathetically, softly spoken voice over, accompanying the image of another tearfully sobbing victim of Capitalist HMOs, then I may be tempted to arrange a rather more necessary meeting for Moore in the Emergency Room.
The shock! surprise! gasp! ending that would have (and indeed did) enthral audiences back in 1968, was not a bombshell at all for me as 40 years after its release it has become a flagship for ‘twist in the tale’ endings. That and a classic Simpsons rip off. So at Taylor’s ghastly revelation, where I should have been shouting, “damn them all to hell!” along with poor old Charlton, I was actually singing along with Troy Maclure, “Oh my God, I was wrong, it was earth all along, you’ve finally made a monkey out of meeee!” This, however, is not the fault of the filmmakers and should not detract from my enjoyment of it. Apart from Heston’s irritating – almost mock hero, ham – acting, it was a captivating film that should be seen 412 times more than the abysmal tripe that Tim Burton threw together in 2001.
Laughable. Completely laughable. But the tragedy is that it is totally unintended by director Sidney Furie (how did he find work again? and was this really the same man that brought us The Ipcress File?). This was made as a serious piece of filmmaking – not a tongue or a cheek in sight. It is ghastly. Truly I cannot think of a positive thing to say about it. Previously Reeve and Hackman have brought gravitas to this comic book series, but even for them this is a paint-by-numbers charade. What is also pitiful and laughable is how the special effects managed to be considerably worse than the original Superman Movie made ten years earlier. A 7 year old with a set of crayons could have done better. A real embarrassment to all concerned.
* (only because I can’t give minus ratings)
The OST artwork is probably the best thing about this film.
Not memorable. And considering it contains Morgan Freeman and it is me saying this, that says a lot. Put it this way, I watched this film about a week ago and I can’t even remember how it ends. I remember finding Forrest Whitaker’s character annoying, and thinking that he looked a lot like a huge bumblebee with that fuzzy beard; I remember thinking that Morgan can do much better than this; I remember thinking that Lance Henriksen was rather reptilian… Oh and I thought, ‘Mickey Rourke is big’. Not in a metaphorical or transcendental sense, just in the ‘he is quite tall’ sense. This is, of course, rather a bizarre thing to remember, as just having looked it up, he is only 5’ 11”. Anyway, Walter Hill has made much better films than this. See them instead.
These young Potter actors, who started out in this business way back in 2001 have really developed into rather good performers. Particularly impressive are Radcliffe and Watson as Harry and Hermione and the fact that they are backed up by such an wonderful ensemble of British acting greats is a real treat: Jim Broadbent; Michael Gambon; Alan Rickman (absolutely superb, as always – truly the perfect incarnation of Severus Snape); Maggie Smith; Julie Walters; Helena Bonham Carter; Robbie Coltrane and David Thewlis to name a few. Unfortunately the exception is Tom Felton – he seems to stumble and spit out half his lines and I just don’t think the poor chap can act. Perhaps he needs a few spells to help him. These films are getting darker and David Yates is the man behind this transition – and it is absolutely the right feel for the films – after all, they are dark times in Hogwarts, but bright times indeed for the good financiers at Warner Bros with this film taking in close to $US 1 billion in worldwide sales. Abracadabra!
Having been slightly underwhelmed by so many classics in the past few months, I was reserved about revisiting a film that I hadn’t seen since I was 16 years old and of which I expected so much. Boy how I misjudged that one: Films just don’t get much better than this. Humphrey Bogart is the king of cool and he is chasing one of the most attractive and alluring film stars of all time in Ingrid Bergman. The screenplay is spot on with witty banter and quick paced dialogue (justly winning the ‘Best Writing’ Oscar), particularly between Bogie and Bergman and Bogie and Claude Rains – in fact, between Bogie and anyone he talks to. It is no wonder that this film has coined no less than six of the AFI’s Top 100 Movie Quotes. The storyline too, keeps you guessing, with twists and turns aplenty – right down to the final line. There are many truly memorable scenes, but of particular note is when ‘Marseillaise’ is sung drowning out the German’s bullish, insensitive and antagonistic rendition of ‘Watch on the Rhine’: stirring, impassioned and extremely powerful. This is bloody good cinema, a true classic. Thank God that for film that 'We’ll always have Casablanca'.
Drive is very good - if not quite 5 star. First and foremost, it is a very controlled film. Refn has created something new and different. because most directors - given that storyline and script - would have made it into a mindless, run-of-the-mill testosterone action vengeance movie, with car chases and explosions galore. Something akin to The Fast and the Furious. How grateful am I that this not that. Not even close. Instead what Refn has done is make a film that is as much a work of art as it is entertainment. It is neither ‘Hollywood Blockbuster’, but neither is it your typical ‘Independent Indie Art-House’ fare. It flirts with both genres and becomes an interesting hybrid. The scene in the elevator is perhaps the best example of this. The tenderness shared between Driver and Irene, in the midst of danger, is poignant and the slow motion, combined with the soft, warm lighting gives the moment a very emotional yet vulnerable quality to it. And then our eponymous hero collapses a man’s skull with his boot in a moment of stark and almost unrivalled brutality. The tenderness juxtaposes extremely effectively with this hard core violence. The savagery is all the more repugnant because of the moments of tenderness throughout. Life is not a fairy tale romance it seems to say.
I really enjoyed both the camera work (smooth, steady and capturing discreet glimpses into their lives) and the 80s retro soundtrack. The acting was also controlled - and Gosling has a very interesting future.
Another lonely voice on the internet.