The recent Clash of the Titans and Wrath of the Titans films in the early part of the decade didn’t hold the sense of wonder that the 1981 original had. This despite the recent films being action, visual effects spectaculars and the 1981 film being somewhat smaller in scale.
In At Eternity’s Gate (2018), artist Vincent Van Gogh (Willem Dafoe) wants to follow his instincts and ‘follow the light’. It’s a noble quest that seeks beauty in the world. The mild mannered Van Gogh goes to Arles, in the South of France (a lovely place!), on the suggestion of a fellow artist, the intenseContinue reading “At Eternity's Gate (2018)”
Eerie music, saturated dunes, dusty desert plains, and restless primates mark the opening of the ethereal 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) a science fiction film from director Stanley Kubrick who wrote the screenplay with sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke, based on Clarke’s book.
Little Dorrit (1987) is very long. The production design is mostly indoors, and the costumes are from the 1800’s, and it only has the occasional flare for cinema. The dialogue and interactions may be sophisticated and require one’s full concentration, but impressive is the scale of the storytelling, based on Charles Dickens apparently satirical novelContinue reading “Little Dorrit (1987)”
Rocky IV (1985) is a sports film that inspires.
A pleasingly leisurely and ultimately worthwhile slice of life drama set in the 1930’s—if one can manage sitting through the slow troughs.
I was in the mood for something light and I was reminded of the trailer of the Pokemon movie which was quite a bit of fun. So I watched the actual feature film. I’m aware that Pokemon is a video game but I know nothing about it. I relied on the film I saw, PokemonContinue reading “Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019)”
Warren Beatty’s movie is a stylish film version of the Dick Tracy comic strip from the 1930’s, where emboldened detective Tracy is onto organized crime like a bolt.
Brazil (1985; Warnings: occasional profanity, some violence and sexuality) has a powerful ending but is an uninvolving, clinical satire.
This was the movie that started a trend: the slapstick, nonsensical spoof of disaster movies of the 70s. Jim Abrahams, David and Jerry Zucker wrote and directed this landmark comedy treat in 1980 and more of the same came from their stables (1984’s Top Secret, which starred Val Kilmer, is one such film I rememberContinue reading “Airplane! (1980)”
A Saturday High School detention brings students together with different reasons for being there, in the infectious comedy The Breakfast Club (1985). The students are played by Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy, who were all recognizable Hollywood names in the 1980’s, with this film landing many of themContinue reading “The Breakfast Club (1985)”
The Color Purple (1985; Warnings–profanity, domesticated violence) is based on Alice Walker’s diary-formatted novel—which I used to own as a kind of sentimental attachment to the movie, although I read less of it than I would have liked—about life for African Americans during the early 1900s in the American South.
It’s thirty years since this Academy Award winner for Best Picture was released and now there is even a driving service for seniors seemingly inspired by this film.
The events around the murder of Sergeant Waters (Adolph Caesar), in a Louisiana military training unit, circa 1944–in the film drama A Soldier’s Story (1984)–unfolds in interviews and conversations and dramatized in flashback. The murder victim becomes a clear-as-crystal character, a boozy, spit and polish, good hearted sergeant, and his demeaning attitude towards his ‘brothers’Continue reading “A Soldier’s Story (1984)”
The first shot in A Streetcar Named Desire of the exterior of a two-storey house, where most of the action takes place in the two-hour length of the film, underscores the psychological conflicts of the characters and the intensity of their relationships. The house is claustrophobic, and this accentuates how the characters explode (read: Brando)Continue reading “A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)”
Following the strong Gangs of New York (2002), Director Martin Scorsese takes on another ambitious, heavily-budgeted epic, with The Aviator (2004), a classy, sumptuous and somewhat intimate bio-pic of movie mogul and entrepreneurial billionaire Howard Hughes, who was making films and inventing commercial aircraft during the Golden Age of Hollywood.
For me, the most resonant parts of Superman (1978) come in the profound prologue and a stunning dual performance from Christopher Reeve as Daily Planet reporter Clark Kent and his alter-ego Superman. Can’t forget John Williams’ music, either.
Oscar better sit up and take notice of this powerful, moving, beautifully captured adaptation of the Ian McEwan novel about the repercussions of a 13-year-old girl’s jealous action leading to the downfall of two people in love (played by James McAvoy and Keira Knightley).
Director Brain Levant is a veteran of family movies having helmed forgettable flicks The Flintstones and Problem Child 2, among others, during the 1990s. His last movie was Snow Dogs which is only significant because of what it reveals about its star Cuba Gooding Jr’s flagging career since impressing in Jerry Maguire. In Levant’s latest,Continue reading “Are We There Yet? (2005)”
The Ant Bully (G) is an animated adaptation of the John Nickle book about Lucas, a young boy picked on by the bigger guy. But Lucas picks on an ant colony in his family’s garden. (The logic of the connection sits better as a thematic device than storytelling). The family are going away while he’sContinue reading “The Ant Bully (2006)”
President of the United States John F Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, in Dallas, Texas. The traumatic event and the aftermath are recreated through the eyes of Kennedy’s wife, Jackie Kennedy (Natalie Portman). Jackie (2016) is buoyed by Natalie Portman’s portrayal complimented by strong male support.
In Anger Management (2003) box office drawcard Adam Sandler plays Dave Buznik, a designer of cat apparel, who continually loses out on a job promotion to a guy who is creatively his junior. While travelling via plane he is apprehended for assaulting an airline hostess, although he denies it, and sent to 30 days ofContinue reading “Anger Management (2003)”
Crime drama with a meaty role for Indiana Jones’ Harrison Ford.
Not a nice prospect, but a fascinating one, if you’re the viewer of The Fly (1986), a remake of the 1958 film. It’s all a bit of tremendous fiction.