Paul Thomas Anderson's captivating epic saga and intriguing character… MorePaul Thomas Anderson's captivating epic saga and intriguing character study of the murderous, soul-dead oil pioneer Daniel Plainview, played brilliantly by Daniel Day-Lewis, in one of the greatest screen performance in history; for which he won a richly deserved Academy Award for Best Actor. Plainview was a former silver miner in 1898, who soon discovered oil which began his life-long consuming mania for the" black gold," a wicked man who is lacking anything resembling a conscience, he hates most people and only sees the worst in them. His is obsessive about only one thing and that is oil. He begins to manipulate and exploit the small-town landowners into selling him their property so he can dig for oil. He starts hitting it big and striking oil and becoming increasingly more paranoid as his accumulation of wealth and power grows. Tensions build between Plainview and a charismatic teenaged evangelist preacher named Eli Sunday, played by Paul Dano, in a superbly impressive performance, he wants money from Plainview for his church, Plainview most endure the opposing whims of Eli who legitimacy is very questionable, which will eventual push Plainview dangerously over the edge. Phenomenal direction by Paul Thomas Anderson, this atmospheric masterpiece has a mesmerizing score by Jonny Greenwood, and stunning Oscar winning cinematography by Robert Elwit. Exceptional supporting performances by Ciaran Hinds, Kevin J. O'Connor, Dillon Freasier, Sydney McCallister, and David Willis. But it is the overwhelming power of Daniel Day-Lewis's extraordinary performance that totally domiates this motion picture. Highly Recommended.
Frank Capra's cherished cinematic classic from the Golden Age of… MoreFrank Capra's cherished cinematic classic from the Golden Age of Hollywood, tells the tale of a naive and idealistic leader of the Boy Rangers, Jefferson Smith, played by brilliantly by James Stewart, who richly earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his memorable turn here. He has been hand-picked to be appointed senator of his state by a corrupt political boss named Jim Taylor, played impressively by Edward Arnold. The great Claude Rains delivers a magnificent Academy Award nominated turn, as the senior senator and Smith's troubled colleague, a good man gone bad by the power of politics. Smith later learns that a pending appropriations bill will fund a graft project, a dam backed by his powerful sponsor. To prevent the bill from passing before this plot can be revealed to the public, Smith takes to the Senate floor to stage a filibuster and speaks for hour after hour, a lone hero standing up for what's right on the floor of the United States Senate is one of the greatest showdowns in the history of the cinema. Masterful Academy Award nominated direction by Capra, with tremendous performances by Jean Arthur, Thomas Mitchell, Harry Carey, Eugene Pallette, Beulah Bondi, and Guy Kibbee. An intelligent and witty Academy Award winning screenplay by Sidney Buchman, with beautiful black & white cinematography by Joseph Walker, and striking art direction by Lionel Banks, that features a meticulous-crafted and perfect replica of the U.S. Senate chamber, which is an uncanny set. Nominated for 11 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director: Frank Capra. A timeless classic! Highly Recommended.
Paul Thomas Anderson has marvelously written and directed an… MorePaul Thomas Anderson has marvelously written and directed an extraordinary modern epic masterpiece, that is a compelling drama dealing with the turbulent behind the scenes story of an extended family of pornographers during the mid 70s & early 80s in the San Fernando Valley. It is also the tale of Eddie Adams, brilliantly played by the versatile Mark Wahlberg, in stunning career-making performance, who is a 17-year-old disaffected youth with a formidable 13 inch sex organ, that helps him become an overnight porn film sensation known as Dirk Digger. He was a busboy who was discovered working in a disco/ nightclub by an idealistic veteran porn filmmaker & director named Jack Horner, masterfully played by Burt Reynolds, in a brilliant Oscar nominated and Golden Globe winning performance. Horner truly believes that his films are an art form and along with his new porn superstar Dirk Digger, and the backing of his moneyman partner the Colonel James, played superbly by the late Robert Ridgely, his hardcore empire becomes an enormous success. But Diggler's rise to fame has its costs, and soon Driggler finds himself addicted to cocaine and involved in crime and violence. The magnificent ensemble cast all give impeccable performances they included Juilanne Moore, John C. Reilly, Don Cheadle, Heather Graham, the late great Phillip Seymour Hoffman, William H. Macy, Luis Guzman, Alfred Molina, Ricky Jay, Phillip Baker Hall and Thomas Jane. Slick storytelling with terrific dialogue, thanks to Anderson splendid original screenplay, and exquisite cinematography by Robert Elswit. The film also features a remarkably nostalgic soundtrack. A provocative and intriguing motion picture, which is quick-witted, richly layered and deliriously entertaining, a must-see! Highly Recommended.
Michael Mann's intelligent, engrossing thriller is a meticulously… MoreMichael Mann's intelligent, engrossing thriller is a meticulously crafted film that keeps you as the viewer interested throughout the whole running time, the credit for that must go to Michael Mann's brilliant Academy Award nominated direction, and the magnificent performances of both Al Pacino and Russell Crowe (especially the amazing Russell Crowe, who received his first Oscar nomination for Best Actor here). This true-life story concerns "60 Minutes" producer Lowell Bergman, played brilliantly by Al Pacino, who sniffs a story when a former research biologist and whistle blower for Brown & Williamson, Jeff Wigand, played by Russell Crowe, in a tour-de-force performance, won't talk to him. When the company leans hard on Wigand to honor a confidentiality agreement, he gets his back up. Trusting Bergman and despite a crumbling marriage, he goes on camera for a Mike Wallace, played flawlessly by a game Christopher Plummer, in an interview in which he risks arrest for contempt of court for exposing the secret chemicals added to cigarettes to make them more addicting. Westinghouse is negotiating to buy CBS, so CBS attorneys advise CBS News to shelve the interview and avoid a lawsuit. "60 Minutes" and CBS News bosses cave, Wigand is hung out to dry, and is now under attack with his life being threaten. Bergman is compromised, and the CEOs of Big Tobacco may get away with perjury. Will the truth come to light and win? A compelling drama all the way, which earned 7 Academy Awards nominations including Best Picture, Best Director: Michael Mann and Best Actor: Russell Crowe. Highly Recommended.
David Fincher's brilliant, hypnotically fascinating character study of… MoreDavid Fincher's brilliant, hypnotically fascinating character study of modern love gone terribly wrong, which is based on the runaway best selling novel of the same name by Gillian Flynn. It begins on the day of the fifth anniversary of a young couple, Nick and Amy Dunne. Nick, played tremendously by a superb Ben Affleck, who comes home to find the living room in disarray and his wife Amy, played by Rosemund Pike, in an amazing star-making performance, which earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress, is missing. The mystery ignites a media frenzy and suspicion falls on Nick. The police detectives on the case, well played by Kim Dickens and Patrick Fugit, are worrisome about Nick's abnormal reaction to his wife's disappearance. He doesn't seem to know much about his wife, and he seems like he's hiding something. Even Nick's twin sister Margo, played terrifically by Carrie Coon, has her doubts that Nick is telling the full truth. Amy's diary however paints a different portrait of her husband, a man prone to increasing anger, mostly stemming from the loss of his job, and a relocation from New York City to Missouri. Most of Nick's anger is focused squarely on Amy, enough that she fears for her life, and is looking to buy a gun. As various clues keep piling up and Nick's public behavior appears more and more suspicious, the media spotlight transforms him from victim to prime suspect. It soon becomes clear that not everything is as it seems, and it's probably safe to say that the story's controversial resolution will shock a large portion of the audience, and anger the rest. It is a magnificent thriller, thanks to David Fincher's meticulous direction, and the exceptional supporting performances by Neil Patrick Harris, David Clennon, Lisa Barnes, Missi Pyle, Emily Ratajowski, Sela Ward, Loia Kirke, with special kudos to Tyler Perry, for his wonderfully impressive turn as the defense lawyer Tanner Bolt. Jeff Cronenweth's cinematography is striking, and the score by Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross is sensational. One of the year's best and most entertaining films, a total triumphant. Highly Recommended.
Barry Levinson's colorful film about the legendary and beloved airman… MoreBarry Levinson's colorful film about the legendary and beloved airman radio DJ Adrian Cronauer, played by the late great Robin Williams, in a show-stopping, tour-de-force performance that earned him his first Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. He blows into Saigon in 1965, and turns armed forces radio inside out with his extraordinary comic delivery. Williams' brilliant manic monologues are so uproarious that they carry the rest of this film which is superb, but a little slow-paced. Fine direction by Barry Levinson, with wonderful supporting performances by Forrest Whitaker, Tung Than Tran, Chintara Sukapatana, Bruno Kirby, Robert Wuhi, J.T. Walsh, Noble Willingham, and Richard Edson. The film has impressive period detail, and a great movie soundtrack filled with classic popular 60s hits. But like i said before it's Robin Williams' supremely funny and charismatic performance that makes this film a must-see. Highly Recommended.
Christopher Nolan's gripping, moody thriller about an investigation in… MoreChristopher Nolan's gripping, moody thriller about an investigation in a small town in Alaska, a renown LAPD detective named Wil Dormer, brilliantly played by Al Pacino, travels to the land of the midnight sun with his partner well played by Martin Donovan, to help solve a grisly murder and find the killer of the 17-year-old female victim. Partnered with a rookie Alaskan police officer, played wonderfully by Hilary Swank, he is drawn too and suspects a local writer, played impressively by the late great Robin Williams, whose work was found near the body. Meanwhile, Dormer cannot sleep, thanks to perpetual daylight and guilt over his partner's death. Pacino really gets under the skin of his obsessed, psychologically tormented character, who is battling his own inner demons. But its Robin Williams, who is a revelation here, as the cool, calculated psychotic writer, especially when he brings to play his deadly game of cat and mouse with Pacino's character. Masterful direction by Christopher Nolan, with gorgeous cinematography by Wally Pfister. This is a brilliant and maddening remake of the superb 1997 Norwegian film, which is a intense and intelligent contribution to the cinematic thriller genre. Highly Recommended.
Clint Eastwood's brilliant, moving film concerns an aging, racist… MoreClint Eastwood's brilliant, moving film concerns an aging, racist Korean War veteran named Walt Kowalski, played magnificently by Clint Eastwood, in a career-crowning performance. Walt is a stubborn man who is set in his ways, he is recently widowed and is somewhat estranger from his self-centered grown children. Walt sets out to teach a teenage neighbor a thing or two after he attempts to steal Walt's pride and joy, his badass 1972 Gran Torino muscle car. The tension arises as Walt slowly builds an friendship with the boy of Hmong ethnicity, both of them whom live in a crumbling urban neighborhood. Walt sees the world around him falling apart in his eyes, but eventually comes to terms with his own prejudice through his actions towards the teenage boy's benefit. He becomes the boy's unlikely gun-toting protector, when the boy and his family are threaten by a brutal Korean gang of young thugs. Eastwood plays the crotchety curmudgeon with a natural ease, drawing a bit from Dirty Harry's own sense of charm and manners. It's great to see Eastwood expanding his storytelling craft into more meaningful films, while also embracing his advance age, which gives this film a stronger resonance. Beautifully directed by Clint Eastwood, who also composed the film's effective musical score. A hugely satisfying human drama. Highly Recommended.
James Cameron's stupendous, visually stunning, immensely entertaining… MoreJames Cameron's stupendous, visually stunning, immensely entertaining spy fantasy epic, is a brilliant double-edged mixture of action and comedy, with Arnold Schwarzenegger, delivering one of the finest performances of his career, he is utterly charming and physically imposing as special agent Harry Tasker, who works for the Omega Sector, an ultra-secret U.S. government counter-terrorist security agency. Tasker and his team are pursuing a radical group of Arab terrorists bent on setting off nuclear weapons in the United States, his wife Helen played by Jamie Lee Curtis, in a sensational performance, thinks he is just a boring computer salesman, but soon they will find themselves in the middle and in the clutches of these international terrorists fighting to save their marriage and their lives at the same time! Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis have a sweet chemistry together that make sparks fly. Tom Arnold turns in an impressive scene-stealing comedic performance as Tasker's agency partner. There is also a very memorable supporting performance by Bill Paxton as a sleazy car salesman named Simon, who is trying seduce Helen Tasker by making believe he is a secret agent, and the late great Charlton Heston makes a terrific commanding cameo as the head of the Omega Sector. Cameron's astute direction is flawless, and the action sequences are astounding, as are the eye-popping Oscar nominated CGI visual effects which are truly awesome. There is a thrilling Harrier fighter jet climax that will leave the audience gasping for air. This is one of Cameron's best films and a unforgettable classic 90s blockbuster. Highly Recommended.
Burt Reynolds stars and superbly directs this atmospheric, volatile… MoreBurt Reynolds stars and superbly directs this atmospheric, volatile cop thriller which is one of most engrossing and stylish of the early 80s, concerning a Atlanta cop named Sharky, played with a solid conviction by Burt Reynolds, who is at his charismatic best here. His gung-ho tactics on a narcotics case gets a civilian shot which gets him demoted to the Vice Squad, there he forms a colorful crew into a machine aimed at bringing down a powerful cimelord named Victor D'Anton, played with a silky elegance by the late Vittorio Gassman, who has his hooks into a gubernatorial candidate named Hotchkins, nicely played by Earl Holliman. The beautiful and super sexy Rachel Ward wonderfully plays Dominoe, a $1000 a night hooker that has enough dirt on both the crimelord Victor and his puppet Hotckins to put them away for good, which has put her life in danger. Sharky is staking out her penthouse apartment with his crew, he is protecting her but also slowly falling for her. The superlative supporting cast all deliver outstanding characterizations they include Brian Keith, the late great Charles Durning, Bernie Casey, Darryl Hickman, Richard Libertini, John Fiedler and Val Avery. Special kudos must be given to Henry Silva, for his truly creepy performance as Victor's psychotic, drug-addicted hit-man brother. Astute direction by Reynolds, with dazzling cinematography by the late William A. Fraker. There is a great amount humor along with some brutal and superbly-staged action sequences including shoot-outs, an all out fight with a pair of ninja assassins on a houseboat, and a hair-raising torture scene. The film also features a superb urban jazz soundtrack that includes songs and music by Sarah Vaughan, The Crusaders, Doc Severinson, Chet Baker, The Manhattan Transfer and Julie London. A gritty and riveting rollercoaster of a crime drama. . Highly Recommended.