A dark and stormy night on a lonely road. 5 strangers. A chance… MoreA dark and stormy night on a lonely road. 5 strangers. A chance meeting. A rendezvous in a mysterious diner, who's owner is more than preoccupied with the thought that he might be God Himself.
Okay, a lame-o setup. A dark and stormy night ... really? Is that all you got? Is that your opening gambit? Yep. That's it. And it never rises above that.
Thrilling? No. Thought provoking? Not even.
It's a family film. That I'll say.
A standard tale of addiction ramped up by the quality impetus of the… MoreA standard tale of addiction ramped up by the quality impetus of the storytellers involved, chiefly Denzel Washington and director Robert Zemeckis. Can a better craftsman deliver a better product?
And so two disasters loom: one, a pilot self-destructing on the ground, and two, a plane self-destructing in mid air. Together for the very last time ...
It works okay, only the knucklehead emphasis given John Goodman, a cartoon character played like a cartoon, and his musical cues, distract.
The best ghost stories ask what gets to be a pretty serious question… MoreThe best ghost stories ask what gets to be a pretty serious question if they are done right: "what do YOU think what happened?" or essentially, how much do you believe in yourself? Did you see that? Did you hear that? Is this really happening? All of these are better than the alternative which is never too far behind: "Or am I crazy?" So this is the foundation of Henry James immortal classic ghost tale, and its a beautiful piece of work. Deborah Kerr finds one of her best turns here as she begins to believe that much more is going on beneath the innocent surface of appearances (in a dark and gloomy deserted castle no less) that what seems readily apparent. Practically the father of this genre, the years not dulling the sharpness of the knife, no, not one lick at all.
I can't believe it took me so long to get to what was once must-see… MoreI can't believe it took me so long to get to what was once must-see viewing back in the day, but at least now I know what all the fuss was about. Jack Nicholson owns this bit about life in the free swinging early 70's, where "making it" was more important than keeping it, regardless of the consequences. Nicholson represents those as well, oblivious as to why he's so fuggin' miserable. The rest of the cast is good, but Ann-Margret rules as the woman trying to be all things in the maelstrom of changing paradigms those days embodied.
Burton creates the best homage to the Universal monster films of the… MoreBurton creates the best homage to the Universal monster films of the late 30's, early 40's that I've ever seen in this steroid-injected take on the old Washington Irving tale of a horse-riding phantom of doom. Not everything goes smoothly. Johnny Depp has to "do" scared wimpy guy a bit too much, making other actors have to react disgustedly too much as well. It gets old after the third or fourth time. Walken's ghost growls sometimes too long ("stop growling and do something, f'cryingoutloud!" I'd think). And Ricci ... was she only a stand-in for Winona Ryder? Whatever, despite these niggling concerns, the work succeeds in eliciting the romance those films of old simmered in, the mood and nuance. I loved it.
In a heavy handed bit of populist pandering the reliable Henry Fonda… MoreIn a heavy handed bit of populist pandering the reliable Henry Fonda plays a small town chap unimpressed with big city ways and given to "common sense philosophizing". Don Ameche is a savvy big city entrepreneur who needs a simpleton to improve in order to make his fortune. And Lynn Bari (watching fame pass her by with a dubious script) is the big city girl in between the two. As Capra-esque as a film could be w/o Capra, you watch everything happen two scenes before it actually happens, its as predictable as that. Oh well.
Where did this beautiful golden nugget come from? I'd never heard of… MoreWhere did this beautiful golden nugget come from? I'd never heard of it before. The damnable Nazis (again!!!) are stealing all the major art, the pride of France, right out of Paris, and the only thing standing in their way is the overmatched, overstressed, overwhelm French Underground. They've got more important things to get to on their plate too, but eventually are persuaded to see the art as more than simply decoration, and perhaps more important than guns, planes and even trains. What's Burt Lancaster doing in here then? Bad casting, but foiled but Lancaster's gravitas as a French railwayman fighting for the Resistance. So good, this film, so good. Jeanne Moreau is under used as only a love interest. Paul Scofield is perfect as the gentleman Kraut psychotic, one of only two people in the film who "understand" how important the art actually is, other than simply as a financial return.
Simply a wonderful take on the man-alone-in-a-harem theme, Clint plays… MoreSimply a wonderful take on the man-alone-in-a-harem theme, Clint plays a wounded Union soldier incapacitated in a Confederate seminary for young ladies. He's outstanding as the silver tongued cad who will say anything to bed a woman, woman who are desperate for the company of men in any case. Especially good is the decision to highlight the different approaches the ladies take to reach the same goal. Just a fun time at the movies.
An Englishman let loose amongst the filthy, ignorant natives, these… MoreAn Englishman let loose amongst the filthy, ignorant natives, these present of Jamaica, teaching them the right way of class and order. Connery is a fav to Bond fans for his smug condescension to absolutely everyone (no doubt a comfort to the boys at home), his only equal onscreen is an American CIA operative (winningly downplayed by Jack Lord) who is pleased as punch to learn from his betters. Forgetting the political underpinnings, its a decent actioner, but the politics are an essential part of the package, which begins to annoy like a leafblower on a quiet Sunday morning.
Really a fun actioner, recalling those glorious days of yesteryear… MoreReally a fun actioner, recalling those glorious days of yesteryear when Vikings strode the earth in all their contempt for civilization. Banderas' best film to my mind, concerns his efforts (as a representative of that sordid weaning place for girly men and intellectuals) to convince of his worth while faced with a enemy that shakes even the manliest of men, the eaters of the dead.