Review older films here: 1979 and earlier - Page 43 - AVS Forum
First ... 41  42  43 44  45  ... Last
Movies, Concerts, and Music Discussion > Review older films here: 1979 and earlier
Josh Z's Avatar Josh Z 11:42 AM 04-24-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by wmcclain View Post

Criterion Blu-ray with a commentary track from the laserdisc days: Bowie, Buck Henry and the director. Artists talking: as is often the case, not necessarily the best use of their time. Is this a longer cut than I saw in the theater? I'm not remembering all the sex games, or the bit with the pistol loaded with blanks toward the end.

The movie had 20 minutes cut out by its U.S. distributor, including the "Hello Mary Lou" gun scene. That footage was restored for home video on the Criterion Laserdisc. The Criterion Blu-ray is also the longer cut.

kkl10's Avatar kkl10 06:12 PM 04-25-2014
The Wicker Man (1973) - 6
Already covered by Bill here.

Horror film directed by the British Robin Hardy. Interesting screenplay, but unrealized by a direction that left much to be desired, in my opinion. Not wanting to sound rude, this seemed like an amateur directorial work, this an insipid film, not capable of inspiring any reaction, feeling or mood in me, except when, inadvertently, it seems to mock itself, i.e., indulging in its own cinematic limitations and banality, in these cases it either amuses or unnerves me. The only positive things I could extract from here (besides the promising screenplay) were the female beauties, one or two wonderful folk songs and some comical moments (I'm not sure they were supposed to be so). The typical mediocre movie that never takes itself seriously and I usually try to avoid, but I understand why it has acquired the cult status. Major disappointment, to oblivion.
kkl10's Avatar kkl10 01:16 PM 04-29-2014
Double Indemnity (1944) - 8,5

The most secret intention of an experienced insurance salesman blends with the perverse desire of his lusted woman to put an end to her husband's life. The classic story about the extramarital affair that commits spousal homicide. One of the great classics from Hollywood's golden age, Double indemnity is a seminal film noir directed by Billy Wilder, based on a novel of the same name authored by James M. Cain, whose inspiration came from a real case dating from 1927. This realistic movie does not portray the mechanics of the real case, the story here is much more sophisticated, intelligent and still perfectly plausible to happen in the reality of that time. In Double Indemnity we know from the very beginning that things will end terribly wrong. However, we still afford the privilege to witness and experience the tribulations of the evil mind as it meticulously sets in motion the perfect crime. We also experience the emotional unrest of the perpetrator as he verifies the authorities proving him wrong as they slowly unravel the truth. In addition to the wonderfully crafted suspense, this movie is also a wide open window to the complex psychological canvas of the guilty subject who deceives his daily friend until the eventual confession.

This movie is notable for the excellence of the narrative craft, which is enough to wrap me in the thrilling and realistic story, the dialogues are superb. The naturalistic and effortless acting endows the movie with life and emotional power. Barbara Stanwyck's role stands in my memory as the archetype of the femme fatale, beautiful, lustful, sweet, but a true wolf in sheep's clothing! Fred McMurray and Edward G. Robinson are also at high-level. Except for some memorable scenes, I didn't find the visual style to be particularly notable, the camera work is clean and polished, but apart from the innovative light and shadow work of John F. Seitz, there are no other gimmicks to enhance the visual style, this is a thoroughly realistic and stripped picture. I also lament the less than perfect condition of the film's analog source when it was converted to digital format, a bit more visual integrity and Double Indemnity would be an immaculate cinematic experience for me. Another wonderful black-and white classic, highly recommended!
wmcclain's Avatar wmcclain 09:39 AM 04-30-2014
The Hidden Fortress (1958), directed by Akira Kurosawa.

More even than The Seven Samurai, this is an adventure film meant to appeal to a wide audience. A samurai costume picture the way John Ford would have done it. Both larger scale and lighter than the earlier film, with winks at modern viewers.

Our main characters:

  • The two comically squabbling peasants are moderns with nothing classically ennobling about them. Most of the film is seen from their perspective, and oddly enough they are the same petty scoundrels throughout, without any sort of reform or improvement. They show shocked chagrin at how it all turns out: will that last?
  • The General dressed as bandit (he is more or less Kent from King Lear) has to get the Princess to a friendly country, along with a huge amount of gold she will need to rebuild her clan. Under her influence he questions his unbending warrior code and becomes more humane.
  • The Princess is the heart of the story, with modern sensibilities projected into the past. Raised as a boy and showing fiery warrior spirit (and more leg than a real Princess of the period would do), she comes to enjoy their road trip in disguise, accepting her role as a mute as a challenge and having fun with it. She also breaks with feudal expectations, develops enlightened compassion and will be a fine ruler.

As in Throne of Blood, the General and the Princess are made up to suggest Noh masks, and their flute/percussion musical cues are from the theater.

This is mainly a story of escape and evasion in enemy territory, but we do have Mifune's swordfights, and an extended spear duel such as I have not seen elsewhere. This is Kurosawa's first widescreen film, and spear fighting makes great use of the scope ratio: the fighters are farther apart.

The desolate mountain images are gorgeous.

I'm sure everyone has heard of the film's influence on a certain space opera twenty years later:

  • peasants -> droids
  • General -> jedi master
  • Princess -> Princess

Criterion Blu-ray with excellent image detail. Valuable commentary track, emphasizing the camera work and film construction, but with good notes on the story as well.



-Bill
Kilgore's Avatar Kilgore 09:41 AM 04-30-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkl10 View Post

The Wicker Man (1973) - 6
Already covered by Bill here.

Horror film directed by the British Robin Hardy. Interesting screenplay, but unrealized by a direction that left much to be desired, in my opinion. Not wanting to sound rude, this seemed like an amateur directorial work, this an insipid film, not capable of inspiring any reaction, feeling or mood in me, except when, inadvertently, it seems to mock itself, i.e., indulging in its own cinematic limitations and banality, in these cases it either amuses or unnerves me. The only positive things I could extract from here (besides the promising screenplay) were the female beauties, one or two wonderful folk songs and some comical moments (I'm not sure they were supposed to be so). The typical mediocre movie that never takes itself seriously and I usually try to avoid, but I understand why it has acquired the cult status. Major disappointment, to oblivion.

I love this film.
MSchu18's Avatar MSchu18 10:10 AM 04-30-2014
both Bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia and Hidden Fortess are now available on Bluray
kkl10's Avatar kkl10 11:09 AM 04-30-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by wmcclain View Post

The Hidden Fortress (1958), directed by Akira Kurosawa.

I'm sure everyone has heard of the film's influence on a certain space opera twenty years later:

  • peasants -> droids
  • General -> jedi master
  • Princess -> Princess

-Bill

Damn... I didn't know that.
I hate to be a copycat but this one's a looker, so I have to give it a look.
Reminds me about a movie I saw long time ago, not sure if it's the same...
kkl10's Avatar kkl10 05:11 PM 05-02-2014
Playtime (1967) - 8

The wholly artificial environment of modern cities is an obstacle to natural social construct among people, it gives rise to alienation and strange behavioral patterns. The urban lifestyle is akin to life in a giant carousel or machinery, in a way, dehumanizing. So seems to suggest the comic choreography conceived by Jacques Tati. Subtle choreography, but complex and powerful. In Playtime, the singular cinematic language crafted by the French filmmaker departs from narrative conventions, this is fancy Cinema that relies heavily on technical rigor and prowess to make its point come across. Ironically or not, Playtime seems to be a cinematic product of the same dehumanizing and alienating phenomena that the film itself seems to mock about in human relations. A particularly eloquent proposal from such perspective, the notion of plot is very faint and the distance between the viewer and the human subjects within the film is so large that I almost feel like I'm watching a laboratory experiment where the effects of modern technology and architecture on human relations are dissected. But, on the other hand, it could be said that Playtime is going back to its roots, at times it is very reminiscent of Silent Cinema and it even brought me faint memories of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. It's a truly unique cinematic experience. The humorous pathos created by the numerous bizarre or absurd situations being represented is, possibly, the only narrative anchor that denounces the humanly persuasive premiss of this singular work. What's most impressive for me is the effortless way how this film immerses me in the cinematic experience despite being so unconventional. The aesthetical appeal fascinates me and the cinematography is beautiful. I haven't seen Playtime in a long time, but it maintains the same vitality in the way it intrigues, entertains and amuses me just like years ago when I first met this film. Jacques Tati deliberated the construction of a small futuristic city scenery just to shoot this work. Such ambition cost him dearly in his life, but the final product brought him deserved immortality. Playtime is a mandatory watch for any cinephile!
wmcclain's Avatar wmcclain 06:11 AM 05-04-2014
The Robe (1953), directed by Henry Koster.

The Roman officer who crucified Jesus is driven mad by the memory, but then converts and faces persecution for his new faith.

This is reasonably opulent and features good color and decoration in the costumes and architecture. In older films Roman robes are plain white and the buildings are always pure white marble. I see a strong gold light shining on many scenes; is that an original part of movie, intentional or inadvertent, or has it been color graded by recent knob-twiddlers?

The devout scenes are very solemn. We find that Jesus was late to the Wedding at Cana -- and why -- and get a look at Peter's shame and redemption.

On the down side: the camera work is pretty static and features slow, ponderous movement, apart from some bits with chariots, possibly quoting the silent Ben Hur. This is the first CinemaScope release (although How to Marry a Millionaire was filmed first) and you can see "mumps" in the rare closeups. They stick to medium and long shots for most of the film.

The story is sedate, nothing like as lively as Ben Hur (1959) or even Barabbas (1961).

Richard Burton is fine when calm, but his impassioned eye-rolling madness is just embarrassing. Victor Mature is a more limited actor but actually acquits himself a bit better here.

Lovely Jean Simmons is slender and virginal. From years ago I remember a review of Jay Robinson as mad Caligula: "shrieking and mincing up a storm".

I thought it was a mistake to call Marcellus a "tribune", but now I read there were military tribunes, an entirely different position than the elected office.

Alfred Newman score. It goes oddly off-genre in the adventure music during the rescue from a dungeon.

Available on Blu-ray.



-Bill
wmcclain's Avatar wmcclain 08:44 PM 05-06-2014
Sorcerer (1977), produced and directed by William Friedkin.

A group of men, each hiding out in a remote South American village for reasons of his own (all involving death), sign up for the ultimate suicidal payday: driving junker heavy trucks carrying unstable nitroglycerin over crumbling mountain roads I wouldn't attempt with someone else's wheelbarrow.

This is a kick-ass, unsentimental tough guy adventure film without a moment of cuteness. The scenes of driving on the decaying rope bridge over the flooding river is the stuff of nightmares. I couldn't believe they found actors willing to do it. Even now, knowing the bridges were specially constructed and the trucks tethered to keep them from tipping over: it still looks dangerous as hell.

You know what separates real adventure stories from the wannabes? The emphasis on gear. Read H. Rider Haggard's account of how Alan Quaterman prepares for safari, the attention to detail. Here our crew -- apparently all expert mechanics and drivers -- assemble two usable trucks from junkyard parts. One of the trucks is called "Sorcerer", a needlessly obscure choice for the name of the film.

When I saw this in the theater I was confused by who some of the characters were and what they were doing in the jungle village. It's clearer now with subtitles, but I'm still not sure what the assassin is doing there or why he wants to go on the suicide mission.

Roy Scheider is a 70s favorite; I can't see enough of him.

Ignored at the time (Star Wars came out the same week) but fondly regarded since. The old DVD was cropped to 1.33 and the Blu-ray is very welcome.

I'll have to see The Wages of Fear again someday. I remember it being very French. I like this version better.

Available on Blu-ray with excellent color and detail, much finer than I ever expected to see for this obscure movie. Subtitles but otherwise bare-bones. A rumored commentary track did not appear. Digibook case with booklet.



-Bill
robnix's Avatar robnix 09:21 PM 05-06-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by wmcclain View Post

Sorcerer (1977), produced and directed by William Friedkin.

Good review Bill. The Bluray is really a fine release and worth having in any collection if only for the bridge crossings. It's simply amazing what Friedkin and his team accomplished without any computer aided help.
hitchfan's Avatar hitchfan 11:53 PM 05-06-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by wmcclain View Post

Sorcerer (1977), produced and directed by William Friedkin.

One of the trucks is called "Sorcerer", a needlessly obscure choice for the name of the film.

-Bill

Choosing that title was one of the all-time worst decisions for any filmmaker, studio exec or whoever made that decision for this particular movie, imo. You just don't follow up the gigantic box-office phenomenon of The Exorcist with a movie called Sorcerer unless it has something very directly to do with sorcery, witchcraft, the supernatural, whatever. It just reeked of filmmakers trying to pull in the earlier audience, bamboozle them, really, into buying a ticket on the false assumption that it was going to be another wild ride in the same genre. One could understand the shell game element of it if the movie they were promoting was a stinker without hope of scoring at the box office. But, as you wrote, Sorcerer is a kick-ass, unsentimental tough guy adventure film and should have been promoted straight up as such without the misleading title. I think the years' separation from that chronological context is what allows the closer attention and higher regard for it today.

I honestly believe that bait-and-switch title had more to do with derailing Friedkin's still early and remarkable critical and box-office roll than anything else. His career and standing in the industry never fully recovered from it and got back on track. Hell, they could have just called it Wages of Fear and it wouldn't have been as damaging to its box-office potential and Friedkin's career as a film director.
wmcclain's Avatar wmcclain 08:43 AM 05-07-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by hitchfan View Post

Choosing that title was one of the all-time worst decisions for any filmmaker, studio exec or whoever made that decision for this particular movie, imo.

According to the wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sorcerer_%28film%29#Title_and_themes) it was Friedkin's choice, "an intentional but ill-advised reference to The Exorcist":
Quote:
The Sorcerer is an evil wizard and in this case the evil wizard is fate. The fact that somebody can walk out of their front door and a hurricane can take them away, an earthquake or something falling through the roof. And the idea that we don’t really have control over our own fates, neither our births nor our deaths, it’s something that has haunted me since I was intelligent enough to contemplate something like it.

His working title was Ballbreaker.

-Bill
Mr.G's Avatar Mr.G 10:05 AM 05-07-2014
I was surprised to learn that Sorcerer was the third movie version of the Georges Arnaud's 1950 French-language novel, 'The Wages of Fear'. Howard W. Koch's American movie Violent Road (1958) was also based on the book. There was also a 1954 TV version.

And that Steve McQueen was the first choice for the lead in this movie but that McQueen did not want to leave Ali McGraw to go film in South America.

Everyone is probably familiar with all of the different edits of this film, the shorter and different sequences in the European and Australian versions.

The restored film has been (and will be) making the rounds of different film festivals around the country, overdue recognition for this great piece of film-making.

All of this makes me eager to see the new Blu-ray release.
wmcclain's Avatar wmcclain 11:32 AM 05-12-2014
Men in War (1957), directed by Anthony Mann.

Low budget, very gritty lost patrol story set in Korea, 1950. As you would expect it is a "and then there were none" story as the men are picked off one by one. A bit cliche? Perhaps, but still very powerful:

  • The always outstanding Robert Ryan is the old army Lt, competent but very, very tired, starting to forget the names of his men, who's living and who's dead.
  • Aldo Ray is "Montana", the Sgt Rock character with an attitude. He must have been doing this forever: he has the semi-psychic powers required for survival. Shoot first and forget about asking questions.
  • Robert Keith is the shell-shocked, catatonic Colonel who, seeing a kindred spirit in the Lt, comes to life again when the chips are down.

Also with Nehemiah Persoff, James Edwards, the very young Vic Morrow and LQ Jones, and others we don't get to know very well.

The territory is an eerie, deserted, scrubby wilderness; no buildings, just lurking death and strange, inexplicable phenomena like the incoming pattern of artillery shells blocking the road. The enemy is crafty and can kill silently. Originally I said they were practically invisible, but with the Blu-ray you can see faces and they become individuals.

As a kid, it was always the mine field scene that scared me. My father had mine stories from WW2 and I know they scared him, too.

It has a striking minimalism, harsh and unsentimental. The suicidally heroic "let's take that hill" scene at the end would seem out of place if it weren't for the "we're too tired to give a damn" attitude. Good thing they lugged the flamethrower all that way.

Mann's only war picture. Elmer Bernstein score.

Available on Blu-ray. A typical Olive Films bare-bones disc, no subtitles. The old DVD had been cropped to 1.33, so we are thankful for a widescreen version.

Although the image is often rather good, there is no sign of film restoration and we have lots of scratches, other film damage and static on the soundtrack. I really don't mind: it makes it more real.

Available for rent from ClassicFlix.



-Bill
wmcclain's Avatar wmcclain 08:39 AM 05-16-2014
The Omega Man (1971), directed by Boris Sagal.

I have an inordinate fondness for this one because I saw it at the theater when I was in high school. It also helps to be a fan of science fiction, Charlton Heston, and "siege" stories. There is something exciting about a siege, probably due to childhood nightmares: "they're out there, trying to break in and get us." You can make fine films about that, for example The Seven Samurai.

The best scenes are the early ones of the dead city, with the semi-mad scientist in his "honky paradise", arrogant and callous. The rest looks very 1971 (as it should, of course!): jogging suits, proud afro hairstyles, hip racial banter, discreet female nudity. The light action music is lush and sometimes strangely chosen.

It's something like a zombie apocalypse plot and we have more childhood survival fantasy: the apocalyptic joys of the deserted city, where would I live, what gear would I need, how to generate electricity... Exciting stuff.

The director did mostly TV work and the film has that look, despite the wide aspect ratio. I suspect Heston had become undirectable by this point, just doing it the way he wanted: shirtless and bitterly sarcastic, much like Taylor in Planet of the Apes.

Still his star power provides mythic energy: the army scientist cracking up from loneliness and guilt ("There are no phones ringing!"). His final tragedy is that in the end, he would rather suit up and exterminate The Family than escape with the survivors.

Misc notes:

  • Remember this one when you make lists of your desert island films: Neville wants Woodstock. All those people.
  • Why is he immune? Did he really inject himself with the serum after the helicopter crash? It has always looked to me like he didn't.
  • The Family is multi-racial and evil.
  • I noticed a Rear Window quote this time: like Miss Lonelyhearts, he can't convince himself an imaginary companion is real.
  • What's with his leisure clothes: puffy sleeves, silk scarves, flamboyant smoking jacket? Well, why not? End of the world and all. Maybe it is a reaction to the dour robes The Family favors
  • The good guys were ready with the stadium lights pretty quickly.
  • Why is Lisa sad when she looks at the calendar?
  • Mathias tells him: "Your bad dream is over". And The Family vanishes as he dies. That's weird.
  • Final scene: do none of the survivors wonder what happened to Richie?

I reviewed this previously, early in the thread, and thinking of "last man and woman" stories was hoping for The World, the Flesh and the Devil on disc. It has since become available on DVD, and I found a better edition of The Last Man on Earth with Vincent Price, like Omega Man based on Richard Matheson's I Am Legend.

Available on Blu-ray.



-Bill
wmcclain's Avatar wmcclain 11:09 AM 05-20-2014
Foreign Correspondent (1940), directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Days before the start of WW2, a New York crime reporter is sent to Britain so he can blunder into some news. "Well how about Hitler? Don't you think it would be a good idea to pump him? He must have something on his mind."

The first 30 minutes are pretty slack, but then he blunders into news in a big way and it's off to the races: assassination, the chase through a sea of umbrellas, road trip with gunfire, cat and mouse in the spooky windmill, walking on ledges and avoiding being pushed out of a cathedral, and on and on.

The last act is a spectacular plane crash and survival at sea. You can see why Hitchcock's audience expected him to deliver the thrill goods in every film thereafter. We close with a hyper-patriotic appeal for Americans to support the British, who were getting hammered in the early years of the war.

By instinct we trust neither Herbert Marshall nor George Sanders at first sight, but sometimes our instincts are only 50% correct.

This is pretty straightforward filmmaking by Hitchcock, without the conflict of character and motivation we find in his other movies.

Notes:

  • Again, he said he couldn't get the stars he wanted because American actors looked down on thrillers at that time.
  • Gary Cooper turned down the lead and later said he regretted it.
  • Joel McCrea: "likeable but too easy-going".
  • Saucy bit: Laraine Day's reputation is compromised when half-dressed McCrea is discovered in her hotel bedroom. She gets all the shame but none of the pleasure.
  • The plane crash involved both a rear projection screen and a tank of water breaking through it without a cut.
  • Dr. Goebbels ("Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945, one of Adolf Hitler's closest associates and most devoted followers") was said to be a fan of this film. Was he on drugs? Probably.

Criterion Blu-ray.



-Bill
kkl10's Avatar kkl10 12:54 PM 05-22-2014
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927) - 9

Lust, betrayal, failed conspiracies, redemption. This silent pearl portrays a romantic tale where true love and loyalty overcome the strongest lust subversions. Nameless characters are archetypes in a universal and touching story. How bewildering it is to witness the changes undergone by Cinema through only one generation! Pedantic pathos, naïve mindset and technical rawness seem relics of prehistoric times, and turn this movie into a living fossil predating civilization and even time itself. In large degree, it's the wonderfully accomplished vision of Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, and the numerous cinematographic innovations that support it, what contributes to the timeless and surreal quality of this work. And despite the age, Sunrise is still emotionally gripping, suspenseful and occasionally hilarious, even if unwittingly so. In fact, this is one of the few masterpieces able to offer me a cinematic experience almost as riveting as a waking dream. First movie directed in Hollywood by F. W. Murnau, one of the leading figures of German Expressionism in Cinema. This masterpiece is mandatory watch for any cinephile!
Kilgore's Avatar Kilgore 07:16 PM 05-22-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkl10 View Post

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927) - 9

Lust, betrayal, failed conspiracies, redemption. This silent pearl portrays a romantic tale where true love and loyalty overcome the strongest lust subversions. Nameless characters are archetypes in a universal and touching story. How bewildering it is to witness the changes undergone by Cinema through only one generation! Pedantic pathos, naïve mindset and technical rawness seem relics of prehistoric times, and turn this movie into a living fossil predating civilization and even time itself. In large degree, it's the wonderfully accomplished vision of Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, and the numerous cinematographic innovations that support it, what contributes to the intemporal and surreal quality of this work. And despite the age, Sunrise is still emotionally gripping, suspenseful and occasionally hilarious, even if unwittingly so. In fact, this is one of the few masterpieces able to offer me a cinematic experience almost as idiosyncratic as a waking dream. First movie directed in Hollywood by F. W. Murnau, one of the leading figures of German Expressionism in Cinema. This masterpiece is mandatory watch for any cinephile!

What exactly do you mean..."despite the age"...? Were you honestly surprised that people in the 1920's were capable of this degree of emotional depth? Go watch and review Dreyer's "The Passion of Joan of Arc" (1928) and witness one of the greatest performances in the history of cinema.

Also, to quote Inigo Montoya in reference to your use of the word idiosyncratic: "I do not think it means what you think it means."
kkl10's Avatar kkl10 05:21 AM 05-23-2014
You shouldn't interpret my review as if I had a lower or condescending view of people in the 20's. It's not at all about that. I wasn't referring to emotional depth, in fact I find that this and other silent movies have has much emotional depth as any other masterpiece. By "despite the age", I was basically meaning that the pathos still works and the movie is still persuasive today, despite the contrast against contemporary cinema. But now I see this line might be redundant seeing I already pointed out the intemporal quality in the previous sentence... convoluted crap. Well, I won't bother about it now.
Anyway, Sunrise ages very well.

And I know very well the meaning of the word idiosyncratic, in fact I spent around 10 minutes searching for the right word for what I was trying to express there. Sometimes I might not use words according to their literal meaning or to their normal use on a sentence, I might want to bend them a little. I thought it was relatively clear to the reader, I was trying to say that the cinematic experience of Sunrise has a certain "quality" or "uniqueness" that is reminescent of a waking dream... hell, dream to myself, it's particular to me. But again, I see how it might seem a bit convoluted... I could had just writen "visceral" or "powerful" or "riveting" and it would be simpler. EDIT: I went ahead and replaced that word for peace of mind sake.

You wouldn't believe how much time I spent writing that little text, it's shameful!

I've heard great things about that Dreyer masterpiece, I'm ashamed I have never seen it, but I know I will.
By the way, I admit I was to harsh with The Wicker Man, it was an honest effort and I'm thinking about revaluating to 7. Even though I really don't enjoy it...
robnix's Avatar robnix 10:14 PM 05-23-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilgore View Post

What exactly do you mean..."despite the age"...? Were you honestly surprised that people in the 1920's were capable of this degree of emotional depth? Go watch and review Dreyer's "The Passion of Joan of Arc" (1928) and witness one of the greatest performances in the history of cinema.

Also, to quote Inigo Montoya in reference to your use of the word idiosyncratic: "I do not think it means what you think it means."

For people that aren't interested in the fantastic Criterion release, TMC shows The Passion of Joan of Arc occasionally, it's also available on Hulu Plus.
kkl10's Avatar kkl10 04:31 PM 05-25-2014
The Bridge (Die Brücke, 1959) - 8

Final days of WWII, nearby U.S. troops tighten the siege to a small German city. The apprehensive atmosphere of the city contrasts with the cheerful tranquility of seven teenagers. Boys with a faint grip of reality, who still nurture patriotic warfare utopias. They face the incoming enemy forces with naïve excitement and even celebrate the call to join the army, it's their opportunity to show service for the Führer. From school directly into the army combat training, they go. But negligence and unforeseen setbacks determine fate and only one day after they joined the army, the seven boys get what they craved for. Events unfold, pre-warnings and shocking displays of the horrors of war set the mood for the living hell looming on the horizon. Soon they are at the epicenter of warfare, fighting the enemy, but this goes beyond what they are remotely prepared for. The boys are alone against an onslaught of enemy forces and, one by one, they learn, the hard way, that war is not what they nurtured in their moony minds. Only one survives the massacre. Movie directed by Austrian Bernhard Wicki, based on a real event from which only one boy survived to tell the story. The Bridge is usually described as an anti-war movie and I agree. This is one of the most persuasive and desolating war movies I've ever seen. It starts in a neutral tone, but ends loaded with horror and desolation. The cinematic style is slightly bland, but works well to enhance the rawness of the experience, the excellent black-and-white cinematography contributes to the effect, it's a sin to not watch this movie in HD. Good directing and acting. This rare work deserves more attention, in fact, I think it should be regularly screened as part of schools' curricula all around the world to disseminate awareness and disillusionment among the youth about the true nature of warfare. Recommended!
wmcclain's Avatar wmcclain 05:15 PM 05-25-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkl10 View Post

The Bridge (Die Brücke, 1959) - 8

I've had this backordered for months at Amazon UK. In a discussion group many years ago, it was recommended by actor/author Jim Beaver.

At the same time he suggested Johnny Nobody (1961), which as far as I can tell is not available on home video.

-Bill
rdgrimes's Avatar rdgrimes 09:06 PM 05-25-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by wmcclain View Post

I've had this backordered for months at Amazon UK. In a discussion group many years ago, it was recommended by actor/author Jim Beaver.

At the same time he suggested Johnny Nobody (1961), which as far as I can tell is not available on home video.

-Bill

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B0000646UM/ref=dp_olp_0?ie=UTF8&condition=all
kkl10's Avatar kkl10 03:54 AM 05-26-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by wmcclain View Post

I've had this backordered for months at Amazon UK. In a discussion group many years ago, it was recommended by actor/author Jim Beaver.

At the same time he suggested Johnny Nobody (1961), which as far as I can tell is not available on home video.

-Bill

I use torrents to download most movies.
wmcclain's Avatar wmcclain 05:44 AM 05-26-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkl10 View Post

I use torrents to download most movies.

If you are talking about pirated films: discussion of such is not allowed at AVSForum.

Discs are my life anyway.

-Bill
kkl10's Avatar kkl10 12:44 PM 05-26-2014
Oh, I apologise, wasn't aware...
kkl10's Avatar kkl10 10:26 AM 05-28-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkl10 View Post

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927) - 9

In large degree, it's the wonderfully accomplished vision of Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, and the numerous cinematographic innovations that support it, what contributes to the intemporal and surreal quality of this work.

You guys are nuts!
How come no one accused this silly mistake?
Grrrr...
wmcclain's Avatar wmcclain 12:43 PM 05-28-2014
The Masque of the Red Death (1964), produced and directed by Roger Corman.

For the Blu-ray I'll comment on an earlier review.
Quote:
When a virulent plague ravages the countryside, accomplished satanist Prince Prospero seals off his castle and revels with his noble guests, staging sadistic and degrading entertainments. He has a pure young Christian woman from the village who he intends to debase, defile, corrupt and perhaps convert to his side.

I see Prospero differently this time. He seems to be falling in love with innocent Francesca (Jane Asher, age 17). Much as he mocks her faith, he admires her courage and steadfastness.
Quote:
He has made one terrible miscalculation: he believes that his dark worship gives him power over death, but as it turns out Death does not work for the Devil...

I presumed this implied Death actually works for God, but as the commentary track points out, the film doesn't say that. In this dark vision, it could be that Death rules the entire universe. It is the only thing that terrifies Prospero.
Quote:
This must be Corman's most ambitious and colorful Poe adaptation. It has some good scenes and a quality of dark fable about it. A memorable setup is a sequence of differently colored rooms used in several scenes.

And yet: it was better in memory and seemed much more ominous in my youth. Vincent Price is very broad; I don't remember many subtle performances from him after he became a horror specialist.

That's harsh. Seeing more of the Corman Poe-cycle recently has made me appreciate Price's style as part of the genre.
Quote:
The revelers seem contemporary and cardboard. And yet I rewatch it from time to time.

I fear I am still not buying the dress-up costumes and modern hair-care of the extras. On the other hand: the Red and other "Deaths" are quite fine and elevate the film to an almost Bergmanesque level.
Quote:
Patrick Magee is always reliably sinister and is good at these maliciously decadent roles (A Clockwork Orange: "Food good? Try the wine!")

Photographed by Nicolas Roeg. Made in the UK.

...made in the UK to save money. Filmed in Pathécolor (= Eastmancolor).
Quote:
The plot is a combination of the title story and Hop-Frog, both by Poe.

Available on Blu-ray. It has a fact-filled commentary track, although a lot of the time is spent on background, biographies and unrelated films.



-Bill
wmcclain's Avatar wmcclain 04:36 PM 05-28-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkl10 View Post

You guys are nuts!
How come no one accused this silly mistake?
Grrrr...

"Intemporal": I think most readers would recognize this as meaning "timeless". Like the coinage (or Anglo-saxon revival?) of "inwitting" to mean "conscience".

-Bill
Tags: Reviews , Blu Ray Movies , Aliens Blu Ray , The Godfather Collection The Coppola Restoration Blu Ray
First ... 41  42  43 44  45  ... Last

Up
Mobile  Desktop