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.
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.
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.
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)”
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.
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)”
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.
American Wedding (2003) is in a sense no different from the first two films American Pie and American Pie 2 although this one is about that sacred institution – marriage.
The 1989 sequel to Ghostbusters thirty years ago was perhaps darker than its 1984 predecessor—with some mild occultic imagery—but there’s a thematic focus on “being nice”, and say “I love you” to each other, which seemingly runs against the nature of New Yorkers in this film.
Circa 1970s Harlem drug lord Frank Lucas spearheads an illegal drug racquet after his boss dies. An honest cop, who is going through a child custody battle, almost single-handedly puts the pressure on to see Lucas arrested. Meanwhile corrupt officers are making money through Lucas’s drug syndicate.
Oppression reigns in a “galaxy far, far away”, and the Rebellion are fighting for freedom. The Rebels steal the technical readouts of the Death Star, an armoured space station belonging to the Empire, who have kept the galaxy under a firm leash and stranglehold with this weapon. The Rebels intend on finding a weakness inContinue reading “Star Wars (1977)”
Profound, moving, powerful and humanely Christian: The Elephant Man weaves a tapestry of skilled storytelling, and beautiful filmmaking, to show us how life was for John Merrick, the man who was called ‘The Elephant Man’, in the time of Victorian England.
What American Beauty shows is that family life can be not all it’s cracked up to be, and if that’s your experience, you still may find the consolation and solace you need. American Beauty is about finding beauty and hope beyond one’s circumstances. My review basically follows this train of thought as a main idea.
Chariots of Fire (1981) won Best Picture at the Academy Awards in 1982 and it still resonates almost forty years since it was released.
This is superbly acted, technically outstanding, densely literate, and challenging exploration of the dark side of the human soul, and the soul’s demise, involving one of history’s great composers.