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Author Topic: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  (Read 1766657 times)
drinkanddestroy
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« Reply #10230 on: February 23, 2012, 02:52:41 PM »


Anatomy of a Murder (1959) 11/10. First Blu-ray viewing. I avoided this film for years because it was a courtroom drama, but a couple summers ago I caught it on Turner and was blown away. It's not "a" courtroom drama, it's THE courtroom drama. Preminger did everything right on this one: he started with a good novel, based on a true case. He cast exceptionally well, hired an amazing cinematographer, took everyone on location to the actual places concerned (Upper Michigan)--Foster Hirsh says 100% of the film was shot there--used Saul Bass for his titles, and, coup of coups, got Duke Ellington to do an original score. Preminger made a lot of good films (and several turkeys), but this one approaches cinematic perfection.

I have little use for courtroom dramas, but as far as they go, this one is right up there.

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« Reply #10231 on: February 23, 2012, 03:14:49 PM »

Anatomy of a Murder (1959) It's not "a" courtroom drama, it's THE courtroom drama.


Better than Witness for the Prosecution? Bah, I'll check it. Here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4T-KBPP6ls&feature=related

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« Reply #10232 on: February 23, 2012, 03:27:02 PM »

The Mechanic (2011) 5/10

No sheaf of criticisms on its obvious Communist subtext?

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« Reply #10233 on: February 23, 2012, 03:32:15 PM »

No sheaf of criticisms on its obvious Communist subtext?

A Communist subtext in the 2011 version?

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« Reply #10234 on: February 23, 2012, 08:47:03 PM »

A Man for All Seasons (1988) - 6/10 - Very odd viewing this after innumerable views of the Zinnemann film. This is an almost-verbatim adaptation of the play, restoring elements (the Common Man narrator most notably) lost in the previous film. Frankly, most of this was better cut out; what works on stage or the page just means a long film. This being a TV production, it stands or falls on the cast, which is wildly uneven. Charlton Heston is an obnoxious ham; perhaps I'm spoiled on Paul Scofield but Chuck's mannered delivery comes off as laughable. Roy Kinnear's Common Man is a very welcome addition to the story. Benjamin Withrow's Cromwell, Richard Johnson's Norfolk and John Hudson's Roper best their counterparts in the '66 film. On the other hand, Vanessa Redgrave (Alice) is uncharacteristically over-the-top, John Gielgud (Wolsey) sleepwalks through his scene and Jonathon Hacket (Rich) overacts like a high school drama student. Watchable, but with a truly great adaptation out there why bother?

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« Reply #10235 on: February 24, 2012, 05:16:55 AM »

The Bridges at Toko Ri (1954) 7/10

Unfortunately, it seems this movie is only available in pan and scan.

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« Reply #10236 on: February 24, 2012, 06:00:14 AM »

The Count of Monte Cristo (1934) - 8/10. Supposedly the most faithful adaptation of the novel by Alexandre Dumas (pronounced "Dumb Ass"), this has a lot of story to get through so doesn't dawdle. Blink and you miss plot points. I've always liked Robert Donat, but Elissa Landi isn't my idea of a desirable female. Raymond Walburn, Sidney Blackmer, and Louis Calhern, though, make an excellent dasterdly trio. Less action-oriented than other films of this ilk, the one sword-fighting scene is a pip.

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« Reply #10237 on: February 24, 2012, 08:42:42 AM »

WAR HORSE: 2/10
I thought it was going to be a terrible movie with some great scenes/ideas. It's a terrible movie with (very very few) ok scenes.
Concerning the people who nominated John Williams for this score... Hang'hem high.

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« Reply #10238 on: February 24, 2012, 10:01:55 AM »

I found War Horse very underwhelming but it certainly isn't bad. I'll agree with you about the score, definitely Williams at his worst.

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« Reply #10239 on: February 24, 2012, 11:45:55 AM »

I thought almost Nothing worked. It certainly was a Spielberg film, but where everything is done too quickly to get a chance to work. Characters don't work, and we go from ca cliché to another. It could have been a really good movie with the same script, but transitions inside the scenes do not work, poor dialogues, poor editing (they should give some shots the time to be effective... I usually don't criticize fast paced edits, but in this film I often thought "hey! Don't cut to another shot, this one was going to be great!"). I was a bit harsh though, it's more of a 4/10.

But at the beginning we get the worst scenes Steven ever did.

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« Reply #10240 on: February 24, 2012, 03:30:13 PM »

No doubt, I absolutely detested the opening farm scenes. Look maudlin up in the dictionary and that damn horse will be staring you in the face.

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« Reply #10241 on: February 25, 2012, 06:29:22 AM »

London Boulevard (2010) - 7/10. Colin Farrell comes out of Pentonville after a 3-year stretch for GBH and is immediately recruited by Ben Chaplin, who in turn works for big boss Ray Winstone (who else?). Farrell is reluctant to turn gangster, however, and he luckily snags--on the very day of his release!--a plum job working security for a reclusive movie star, Keira Knightley. He'd rather do that job (especially since Ms. Knightly appears, not to put too fine a point on it, so needy), but, of course, Winstone insists he has the prior claim . . . The predictable plot is not what makes the film interesting, rather, its style, its pace, its cast, its cars, its suits, its locations, its great soundtrack (director William Monahan has explained he essentially made the film just so he could put a Yardbirds song under the opening credits).
A more comprehensive review is here: http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/London-Boulevard-Blu-ray/34948/#Review

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« Reply #10242 on: February 25, 2012, 06:46:21 PM »

Wagon Master (1950) 5/10

More discussion in the Wagon Master thread

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« Reply #10243 on: February 25, 2012, 07:37:10 PM »

Elizabeth: The Golden Age - 4/10 - 2nd viewing. I saw this in theaters four years ago and found it dull. Watching it on DVD I found it dull, dull, dull. I like the first Elizabeth even if it veers towards the soap operatic, but this sequel is a mess. Too many plot threads, a dumb love triangle and laughable anti-Catholic bigotry (what is this, the 1920s?) ruin what ought to be a slam dunk. Kapur's direction is sumptuous but, in this case, too much of a good thing. Cate Blanchett is good as always but she doesn't go the extra mile like Bette Davis and Glenda Jackson, i.e. looking old and unglamorous. The rest of the cast are ciphers: Clive Owen is annoying, Abbie Cornish bland, Groggy favorites Geoffrey Rush and Tom Hollander wasted. As King Harry himself might say: "I like her not!"

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« Reply #10244 on: February 25, 2012, 11:48:51 PM »

High Sierra (1941) 7/10

Bogart's first "leading" role (though Ida Lupino got first billing; the last time Bogart did not get first billing in a movie). Though IMO  he is just a tad below the more brilliant performances that would come in the very near future, he's still terrific here.

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