It is currently Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:21 pm



Reply to topic  [ 1375 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 ... 28  Next
 Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018 
Author Message
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

Takoma1 wrote:
A film in a country you've never visited: Hitchhike

So I thought I'd be cute because when I was looking for The Hitch-Hiker on Amazon, this popped up in the search results and I was like "Fun! Two movies with similar titles that fulfill back-to-back categories!"

Okay, this movie was horrible, offensive, exploitative hot garbage.

The basic plot is that an awful, abusive man and his meek wife are on some sort of a road trip. They pick up a hitchhiker who turns out to be a psychopath who just robbed an armored car. Thus ensues a fight for survival.

I mean, this movie is just a series of violent acts and rapes (yes, plural) strung together by a barely-there plot. It's so gross it's hardly worth talking about. There isn't any action to speak about, just some awkwardly staged scenes of people being shot in the head. The angles and framing of the rapes of the wife are borderline pornographic. The movie's cover and plot summary portray it as a "meek woman finds the will to fight back", but that is horribly inaccurate.

The nicest thing I can say about it is that it is really short (~70 minutes). By the time yet another rape scene was happening I just started half watching while putting most of my attention on a YouTube video called "10+ best cat tweets!". If it weren't for my stupid compulsive need to finish movies I start, I would have bailed on this about 10 minutes in.

Awful, awful movie. Like something a misogynistic 14 year old would write. Not even good for an ironic laugh.


I could have warned you away from this complete garbage. Awful movie in every way.


Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:42 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

crumbsroom wrote:

I could have warned you away from this complete garbage. Awful movie in every way.


It was like someone set out to make a rape-revenge movie and forgot about the revenge part.


Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:48 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

Takoma1 wrote:
A film noir: The Hitch-Hiker

"You guys are gonna die. That's all. It's just a question of when."

This movie was highlighted in a Film Noir that I (and Thief!) took a few years ago on the TCM website.

Long story short, I thought this one was great! It does really different things with a very common hostage-scenario plot and also has some interesting things to say about masculinity.

This one is on Prime right now and I highly, highly recommend it.


Seconded. William Talman is soooo good as the hitch-hiker.

_________________
--- UNDER CONSTRUCTION ---


Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:17 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

A film made in the 1920s

Battleship Potemkin

A rebellion gets started on a ship when sailors are given meat with maggots on it (don't worry, the brine will wash it off) and when they refuse to eat borscht, the captains decide to cut things off at the pass.

Meanwhile, inspired by the rebellion on the ship, some citizens of Odessa decide to do something similar. But czarist troops might have their own say about it.

This film has an energy and vitality about it that is impressive considering its age. It works as a thriller and a propaganda piece that crackles.

I'm not sure what is fact and what is just myth. But I know the sequence with the Odessa steps is outstanding especially when you know that moment happened.

THAT moment.

Very good film.


Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:20 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

Apex Predator wrote:
But I know the sequence with the Odessa steps is outstanding especially when you know that moment happened.

THAT moment.

Very good film.


It's one of those movie moments that you hear about over and over and you think "It can't live up to the hype." But boy does it!


Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:31 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

Hell yeah. Awesome film

_________________
--- UNDER CONSTRUCTION ---


Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:33 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

A horror film: Let Her Out

For a while, because of some very similar cover design, I kept confusing this movie with Nina Forever, a film I'm really excited to watch. And while this movie had an interesting premise and some memorable images, it definitely did not live up to the potential of its story.

The film begins with a woman who is working as a prostitute out of a motel room. One night a man appears in her room and when she tells him she is no longer working he violently rapes her. Cut to months later and the woman is very pregnant and very depressed. She tries to kill herself on the bed of the motel room.

Years later, Helen (the baby who survived her mother's suicide attempt) is a bike courrier living with her actress friend, Molly and quasi-dating an artist. Helen has to fend off the attentions of Molly's boyfriend, Ed. After an accident while riding her bike, Helen is plagued by memory lapses/blackouts and sudden spurts of aggression and erratic behavior. Molly finally forces Helen to go to a doctor, where a scan shows that Helen has a mass in her brain. This mass is a "vanished twin", the physical remains of a twin who died in-utero and now resides in Helen's brain.

As the film goes on, Helen's blackouts grow longer and her memories from them more disturbing. Helen is determined to endure the three days until her brain surgery, but her "sister" might not wait that long.

I really wish that this movie had been just a little better. The begin with what works: there's a really lovely tension about whether or not Helen really has a "sister" in her head, or if it's just an outlet to which she is attaching her own neuroses. At one point Molly tells her "It's not what's in your brain it's what's in your mind!". Helen's "sister" especially tends to act out against men who are sexually aggressive or overbearing toward Helen, so it begs the question whether Helen has just subconsciously found an excuse to get aggressive with these guys.

There's also some memorable (and gross!) violence, especially a scene where Helen pulls stitches out of her own arm and some Hellraiser-esque flesh tearing at the very end.

I think that what ultimately lands this film in the "decent" category instead of "good" is the lack of good characterization of most of the characters. With Helen it's hard to criticize her actions because we know that she is distressed and is literally mentally unwell. But it's still hard to watch her try to keep herself and others safe by tying herself up by, like, winding some leggings around her feet.

Reflecting back on the movie, there are really only four characters: Helen, Molly, Ed, and Helen's artist boyfriend (who has like three short scenes). Ed is probably the most "realistic" in terms of behavior: he thinks of himself as the edgy artist, saying things to Helen like "You're the most real thing I saw tonight" and telling her that he's drawn to her because she seems damaged and crazy, but in a good way. As Helen rejects his advances (something confused by the fact that they have some sort of sexual encounter while she is blacked out), his "nice guy" routine falls away and his underlying sense of entitlement and aggression emerge. He is satisfyingly hateable.

The real problem, though, is the character of Molly. She is SO poorly written. I don't mind that her character comes off as kind of a jerk (she repeatedly chastises Helen for her behavior, despite knowing that she has a brain tumor; she cares more about her play premiere than her roommate's incredibly dangerous behavior), but she's also unforgivably stupid. In one sequence Helen chokes Molly, and Molly is like "What's wrong with you?!". But instead of calling the police or leaving, Molly continues to try to Helen, who chokes her AGAIN. By the time Helen has attacked Molly physically several times, it's just annoying to see Molly going to meet Helen alone, somehow still thinking she can cuddle away the crazy. A big part of the climax of the movie is supposed to hinge on the friendship between Molly and Helen, and that relationship just didn't feel at all real to me. Molly is a self-centered idiot when it's convenient for the plot, and she's a loyal, common-sense friend when that's needed.

Generally speaking I would recommend this one. It's got good enough performances and enough interesting horror to make it worth while. But I can't help but feel that a similar premise could have been much better executed if the writing had been more on point.


Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:25 pm
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

Torgo wrote:
That musical has the catchiest songs.
"Gonna use oil-based paint, 'cause the wood is pine..."
Image

_________________
Recently Reviewed


Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:24 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

A film with no CGI or special effects: If I want to whistle, I whistle

This is a Romanian film about a young man named Silviu who is serving time in a youth detention facility for an undisclosed crime. Silviu is on the verge of being released (within 9 days), but he learns that his absentee mother has returned from Italy and wants to take Silviu's younger brother back with her. Silviu believes that his mother's treatment of him (carting him to Italy then sending him home every time she got a new boyfriend) is why he ended up in prison. The thought of his brother being trapped in the same cycle triggers a crisis in him and he makes some poor, rash decisions in an attempt to force his mother to let his brother stay in Romania.

I really liked this film, and I felt that it was strong on several fronts. To begin with, it does a good job of showing the problematic nature of a prison system that is only interested in containing criminals. There is a subculture of violence among the boys, including implied sexual assaults, and they are also regularly engaged in physical confrontations with the guards.

The movie's best aspect is the way that it shows the types of irrational, desperate choices people will make when they are trying to exert control over a situation in which they have no power. Silviu repeatedly says that he is the one who has raised his brother, and the fact that he has no legal authority to control where the brother goes is heartbreaking to watch. As a viewer you know logically that if Silviu does anything violent or impulsive it will make it all the harder for him to help his brother, but Silviu is young and he thinks in the immediate present, not the near future and his decisions are based on that point of view.

In terms of thinking about the way that young people can get caught up in the prison system, and in the ways that upbringing can really predispose youths to be pushed toward those systems, this movie made me think a bit of Starred Up.

The main character is played by an actor who the IMDb says was cast as a "nonprofessional". Given that he's been in several other films since I'm not sure just how "nonprofessional" he actually was, but he has a flat affect that works surprisingly well for the character--someone who wants to hide his emotions and appear nonplussed even when he realizes that his actions might doom him to a lifetime (or close enough) in prison.


Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:28 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

Ooh, I've been tempted to see If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle for a while now. Your review may have helped me move it up the queue.

A film from Sweden

We Will Part

It's not a great sign when you struggle on deciding what you watched the night before.

Anyway, a woman named Zoe (Siham Shurafa) goes in to visit on her father's cabin in the woods in Sweden where she meets Taylor (Kerim Troeller, 13 Hours), a handyman who works for her father. Considering they spend a lot of time alone with each other, their relationship grows until a disagreement grows on just what kind of relationship they have with each other.

This film works best as a fly on the wall as we witness the twists and turns in the relationship. The dialogue feels natural and the actions for the most part feels like it makes sense.

Having said that, the second half also features several scenes where Zoe tries to push away Taylor, and watching her berate him over and over again is hard to watch.

To be fair, it's mitigated somewhat by the fact that she may have acquired the same terminal illness that killed her mother.


And another thing. The IMDb indicates that We Will Part is a shade over 1 hour and 50 minutes, but Prime's film was only 1 hour and 11 minutes long. I'm not sure what was missing/cut, but some scenes do feel a bit rushed particularly in the second half.

I guess I'll give We Will Part a C. Hoping my next go of foreign film does better.


Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:02 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

Apex Predator wrote:
Ooh, I've been tempted to see If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle for a while now. Your review may have helped me move it up the queue.


I've had it on my to-see list for quite a while now. It was really good. It's definitely a bit bleak and subdued, but not so much that you need to avoid it until you're in a good mood.


Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:05 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

A musical: The Singing Detective

This one was . . . okay. I have not seen the original mini-series, but given the layered nature of the plot and the way that some characters seem to disappear at points, I think that a longer running time would have served this story well.

Dan Dark is a detective/thriller novelist suffering from a severe skin/joint ailment that has left him crippled and in incredible pain. During Dan's stay in the hospital he frequently falls into fantasies or hallucinations. On one level we see scenes from a screenplay Dan remembers writing about a singing detective. On another level we see flashbacks from Dan's childhood. And on a third level we see hallucinated sequences (usually musical numbers) involving the people in the hospital like Dan's nurses, doctors, or therapist.

The film is full of characters playing multiple roles. Carla Gugino plays both Dan's mother and a prostitute in his screenplay. Robin Wright plays his wife and a femme fatale in his screenplay. Jeremy Northam appears in flashbacks as a man who seduced Dan's mother, pops up as a villain in Dan's screenplay, and Dan frequently imagines that his wife is having an affair with him and plotting to steal Dan's money. (90% of what Northam does in the film is have absurd and/or vulgar sex). Adrien Brody and Jon Polito appear in Dan's memories and as heavies in his screenplay.

The actors are all very good in their roles (including Mel Gibson as Dan's therapist, which from me is saying something because these days I can barely stand to look at the man). Robert Downey Jr is excellent in the lead role as a man whose complicated relationship with sex and death and violence comes out in his writing but also physically manifests itself as a painful and crippling illness.

The problem with the film is that it feels rushed and at times there is a madcap energy that has no satisfying direction. Certain characters (like Alfre Woodard's doctor character) just kind of disappear as the film goes on and several of the small interpersonal relationships we see in the film simply get no closure. I have to imagine that this would be better in its original form of a miniseries, because that would allow the three different storylines/layers room to breathe and work through the different overlaps between them.

I'd be interested at some point to check out the BBC miniseries version of this.


Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:25 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

I don't mind Dedh Ishqiya so far, but I think it's pushing it to call it a musical.

Over an hour in and perhaps one full blown musical number so far (two other songs, but both involve one character either singing a poem or learning to dance again after a significant delay). May have to pick another one for that category.


Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:49 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

Apex Predator wrote:
I don't mind Dedh Ishqiya so far, but I think it's pushing it to call it a musical.

Over an hour in and perhaps one full blown musical number so far (two other songs, but both involve one character either singing a poem or learning to dance again after a significant delay). May have to pick another one for that category.


If you're going Bollywood, I recommend Kidnap, despite its crappy gender politics.


Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:27 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

Takoma1 wrote:

If you're going Bollywood, I recommend Kidnap, despite its crappy gender politics.


Nah, I'm too deep in to switch categories mid-stream. Also, this film involves kidnapping as well!


Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:42 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

Apex Predator wrote:

Nah, I'm too deep in to switch categories mid-stream. Also, this film involves kidnapping as well!


I'm saying that Kidnap is a musical, so it would work if you need something different for that category.


Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:05 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

Apex Predator wrote:
Ooh, I've been tempted to see If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle for a while now. Your review may have helped me move it up the queue.


As a huge fan of Eastern European cinema I'd say It's definitely worth watching.


Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:00 pm
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

A film that takes place in Britain: Retribution

I read "A man goes on a rampage through London . . ." and I was like "SOLD!!". I've been in an action mood this month so this was an easy sell.

Eh.

We talked recently about The Horseman and Retribution is basically the same movie but with not as good acting (a minus), less torture (a plus), and less interesting character dynamics (another minus).

Dan is some sort of enforcer or something for a criminal organization. The son of one of the power players rapes Dan's daughter which sets him off on a violent quest for revenge. The criminal organization calls in a professional killer to hunt Dan down before he can find them.

The real problem with this film is that nothing about it rises above just being okay. The acting isn't bad, but neither are there any strong performances. The action isn't awful, but neither are any of the sequences memorable. The dialogue isn't clunky, but neither does it rise above gangster cliche.

I appreciated that the movie kept a lot of the violence implied or off-screen, and in that way it manages to avoid feeling too exploitative. But on the other hand the two main emotional "charges" come from really heinous acts of violence against women (the rape of Dan's daughter and the violent torture of Dan's girlfriend by the hired killer). In both instances the weight of these acts is all about how they impact and inform the male characters. Twice the violence against women is examined only through how it hurts Dan or what it tells us about the men perpetrating the acts.

This one wasn't offensively bad or anything. It's a watered down version of The Horseman without much to recommend it.


Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:19 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

Takoma1 wrote:

It was like someone set out to make a rape-revenge movie and forgot about the revenge part.

Is this the David Hess movie? He's always bad news.

Image

Image

Seen above: Takoma's reaction to the movie.

_________________
"We're outgunned and undermanned. But you know somethin'? We're gonna win. You know why? Superior attitude. Superior state of mind." - Mason Storm


Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:56 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

Rock wrote:
Is this the David Hess movie? He's always bad news.

Image

Image

Seen above: Takoma's reaction to the movie.


No, it's a low-budget Japanese film. I mean, I should have known: just look at the cover of this thing. But I was tempted by (1) it filling the next category on the list and (2) the short run-time and (3) being cute with watching two movies with basically the same title back to back.

I'm currently watching a film called Rideshare and the reaction shots you show above are pretty accurate to how I feel. Every time it does something interesting it immediately shoots itself in the foot. And it's super sexist. This has been a weird month for movie viewing so far. I wouldn't have thought I'd find myself a third of the way through June, pining for the gender politics, self-referentiality, and plentiful Van Damme nudity of Universal Soldier, and yet here I am.


Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:16 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

My Hess faces were not in vain!

_________________
"We're outgunned and undermanned. But you know somethin'? We're gonna win. You know why? Superior attitude. Superior state of mind." - Mason Storm


Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:22 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

Rock wrote:
My Hess faces were not in vain!


Is there ever such a thing as a wasted Hess face?

A film from the current year: Rideshare

An Uber driver (okay, in the film the app is called "Hitch", but we all know it's Uber) journeys through the city, offing patrons who offend him.

This one was frustrating because it had some genuinely funny parts (the lead actor has an amazing deadpan and there were some funny secondary characters), but often a funny line would be immediately followed by a total clunker. At one point, the driver offers a group of young men water to drink. One of the men admonishes the other not to drink it, warning "It might be rape water!". Good delivery, funny line. But then immediately followed by another man saying "Don't blame me if you wake up with a sore butt hole!". Like . . . why?

Some scenes flow really well (especially an exchange between the driver and a police officer: "How old are you?" "I'm 42." "You don't look 42." "Thank you." "It wasn't a compliment."), but others are kind of painful. The main character clearly has issues with women, but at times the film seems to really lean in to the female characters--making them far more annoying than their male counterparts and going a lot further to suggest that they deserve what happens to them.

I find myself not quite wanting to recommend this one, but if you watch the first 10 minutes and laugh at all, you might enjoy the whole thing. It is funny watching passengers repeatedly accept the offer of off-brand, unlabeled bottles of water, as well as the justifications that people use for using the service even as word of a killer begins to spread through the news.

Tentative recommendation? I don't know--it's way past my bedtime and I think my critical judgement has been lowered by the general underwhelming context of Retribution.


Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:07 pm
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

Started late this month, but here we go...


A film in a country you've never visited
A film everyone has seen but you
A film with a Rotten Tomatoes score above 95%



Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

Quote:
"Lawrence, only two kinds of creatures get fun in the desert: Bedouins and gods, and you're neither."


Shortly after being sent deep into the Arab desert, Lieutenant T.E. Lawrence (Peter O'Toole) receives the above warning from his superior, Mr. Dryden (Claude Rains). Bedouins (desert dwellers) and gods are the only ones who would enjoy their time or feel comfortable in the harsh conditions of the desert. With time, it can be said that Lawrence became both.

Lawrence of Arabia follows the life of Lawrence as he joins the Arab forces of Prince Faisal (Alec Guinness) in order to provide help in their fight against the Turks. As he goes deeper and deeper into the desert, and into the Arab culture of his companions, Lawrence rises in power and becomes a key figure in what came to be known as the Arab Revolt. The film focuses greatly on Lawrence's infatuation with this power, and the cult-like following that surrounded him during his time in the desert.

This is only the second David Lean film I've seen, both within the last few months, and it might be one of the most visually striking films I've seen. Lean uses frequent panoramic and wide shots that showcase the vast landscape against which our "hero" has to fight. This "burning, fiery furnace", as Dryden puts it, that dwarfs most men that live in it. But not Lawrence. From the beginning, the film makes an effort not to portray him to be the typical "strong leader", but rather as a mild-mannered, ordinary man that uses his sensibilities and his ability to empathize with his companions and their culture to become one of them, and eventually become the central figure of their rebellion.

O'Toole's portrayal is great as he moves almost seamlessly between charming naivete and dangerous egotism. However, the rest of the cast isn't far behind with most of them having great performances. From Guinness' subtle turn as the manipulative Prince Faisal, to Omar Sharif's blunt but loyal companion. Anthony Quinn, who I also saw recently in Barabbas, has another great performance as the leader of one of the main tribes (and has probably my favorite line of the film), and my fellow Puerto Rican José Ferrer has a very brief, but great moment as a Turkish officer.

I'm pretty sure somebody here, or in another forum, once told me to see this film "widescreen and in the biggest TV you can". After seeing it, I can see why. Even if the story doesn't resonate with you, the film is worth seeing only for Lean's magnificent direction. Fortunately, he has a good story and great performers to match it.

Grade: A-

_________________
--- UNDER CONSTRUCTION ---


Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:49 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

Thief wrote:
Started late this month, but here we go...

Lawrence of Arabia (1962)



Grade: A-


Such a great film. The first time I saw it it took my breath away. There's no other way to say it. It's the kind of film that could make someone fall in love with cinema. I always keep my eyes peeled for a chance to see it on the big screen.


Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:40 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

It's truly a fantastic film. I loved Lawrence's haunting character transformation, the personalities of the other characters, the acting (I thought every main actor ranked from really good to amazing), and the brilliant cinematography. And despite its near 4 hour length, it doesn't feel boring at all.

_________________
Top 30 Favorite Films of All Time


Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:13 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

Still haven't seen Lawrence so I fear I'm going to have to...nah, you're good.

See a Bollywood film

Dedh Ishqiya (2014)

I realized about an hour in that this wasn't going to be the "typical" Bollywood film. There had been a nice dance sequence and one character had sang a decent song of poetry. But no big production values so my "dreams" of hitting two birds with one stone (also looking for musical) wasn't going to happen.

The film about an uncle and nephew pair of thieves has some good humor (a Mexican standoff that lasts all night is one of the better ones), some romance, and a nifty plot twist. Oh, and it reveals some LGBT characters without making it a big deal!

But it also features some relationship violence involving one of the thieves, it's about 30 minutes too long, and some jarring shifts in tone don't help matters.

It's just OK enough to earn a C+. But as far as Bollywood films go, I've seen better.


Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:58 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

Here is a freebie...


The Rocketeer (1991)

Quote:
"Jenny, prepare yourself for a shock: I'm the Rocketeer."
"The Rocke-who?"


The Rocketeer first appeared in 1982, as a backup feature in the Starslayer series from Pacific Comics. In the relatively short time since its creation (30+ years), it has jumped around through multiple publishers, ultimately settling on IDW Publishing. Like its comic counterpart, the film adaptation had a rocky road as multiple studios turned down the project because, as creator Dave Stevens once said "in those days, no studio was interested at all in an expensive comic book movie." Despite the troubles to make it through, the comic continues and the film, although not the blockbuster they expected, has achieved a very healthy cult following.

Set in the 1938, The Rocketeer follows Cliff Secord (Bill Campbell), a stunt pilot that stumbles upon a prototype jet pack that was stolen from Howard Hughes (Terry O'Quinn). In search for it are the FBI, a local crime gang, and a group of Nazi sympathizers. With the help of his mechanic friend (Alan Arkin), Secord assumes the identity of the Rocketeer to protect the jet pack. Meanwhile, he also struggles to keep his relationship with aspiring actress Jenny (Jennifer Connelly) afloat, as he is wooed by movie star Neville Sinclair (Timothy Dalton).

The first time I saw The Rocketeer was probably 20 or so years ago, but I've always held it close to my heart. What it lacks in star-power and budget, it makes up for in fun and charm. The film doesn't feel as pretentious or overtly serious as some recent comic films, but instead, is enjoyable, adventurous, and breezy. Campbell manages to strike a perfect balance between heroic will and charming naivete, while Dalton is perfect as the hammy Sinclair. Finally, Connelly makes the most of a somewhat underwritten role, while Arkin is solid as Secord's friend.

If I were to hold anything against the film, it would be that the last act has its fair share of contrivances. Fortunately, the script never takes itself too seriously and director Joe Johnston moves things along at a nice pace. The film doesn't intend to be too deep, and it is never that groundbreaking, but what it does, it does extremely well. I heard that there have been attempts of a remake. Let's hope that if it does come out, it's as entertaining as this one.

Grade: B+

_________________
--- UNDER CONSTRUCTION ---


Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:44 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

Thief wrote:
Here is a freebie...


The Rocketeer (1991)



The Rocketeer first appeared in 1982, as a backup feature in the Starslayer series from Pacific Comics. In the relatively short time since its creation (30+ years), it has jumped around through multiple publishers, ultimately settling on IDW Publishing. Like its comic counterpart, the film adaptation had a rocky road as multiple studios turned down the project because, as creator Dave Stevens once said "in those days, no studio was interested at all in an expensive comic book movie." Despite the troubles to make it through, the comic continues and the film, although not the blockbuster they expected, has achieved a very healthy cult following.

Set in the 1938, The Rocketeer follows Cliff Secord (Bill Campbell), a stunt pilot that stumbles upon a prototype jet pack that was stolen from Howard Hughes (Terry O'Quinn). In search for it are the FBI, a local crime gang, and a group of Nazi sympathizers. With the help of his mechanic friend (Alan Arkin), Secord assumes the identity of the Rocketeer to protect the jet pack. Meanwhile, he also struggles to keep his relationship with aspiring actress Jenny (Jennifer Connelly) afloat, as he is wooed by movie star Neville Sinclair (Timothy Dalton).

The first time I saw The Rocketeer was probably 20 or so years ago, but I've always held it close to my heart. What it lacks in star-power and budget, it makes up for in fun and charm. The film doesn't feel as pretentious or overtly serious as some recent comic films, but instead, is enjoyable, adventurous, and breezy. Campbell manages to strike a perfect balance between heroic will and charming naivete, while Dalton is perfect as the hammy Sinclair. Finally, Connelly makes the most of a somewhat underwritten role, while Arkin is solid as Secord's friend.

If I were to hold anything against the film, it would be that the last act has its fair share of contrivances. Fortunately, the script never takes itself too seriously and director Joe Johnston moves things along at a nice pace. The film doesn't intend to be too deep, and it is never that groundbreaking, but what it does, it does extremely well. I heard that there have been attempts of a remake. Let's hope that if it does come out, it's as entertaining as this one.

Grade: B+



That's a fun movie. Dalton is great as the villain and I love when the mob and the FBI guys team up against the Nazis.

"I may not make an honest buck, but I'm 100% American."


_________________
She's been dying and I've been drinking and I am the Rain King


Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:15 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

A musical
A film with less than five major characters
A film from the 1920s
A film made for less than $5,000,000



The Broadway Melody (1929)

Quote:
"Oh, that don't mean nothin', Hank. Those guys are not going to pay ten bucks to look at your face; this is Broadway!"


This month I'm focusing on musicals as part of TCM's online course "Mad About Musicals". One of the first musicals in which we focused was this one, which was one of the first musicals released, and ended up being the first sound film to win an Oscar. However, time hasn't been kind to it. The Broadway Musical follows performing sisters Hank (Bessie Love) and Queenie (Anita Page) as they arrive to New York with dreams of becoming Broadway stars. They are met by Eddie (Charles King), Hank's boyfriend who ends up being smitten by Queenie, whom he hadn't seen since she was a child. In addition, Queenie becomes very popular as a solo performer, which causes additional friction with her sister.

Now, the reason's behind Queenie's fame can be summed up in the above quote. It has all to do with her body and her looks, and not with much else. This pretty much encapsulates what you have to tolerate if you decide to watch this film. The bottom line is that the gender politics of it are a mess, and have not dated well at all. From the male audiences oogling at Queenie and rising her to stardom just because of that, to Eddie's blatant disregard of her long-time relationship in favor of his new flame. That last point is perhaps the most irritating one, which lends itself to some awkward moments and ultimately an extremely awkward ending.

In addition to all this, the musical numbers are not that memorable. That is not good, considering it's a musical. Some of the songs are repeated several times during the first act, which makes them more dull than they are; and the only truly charming song ("You Were Meant for Me") is marred by the baggage of the plot, at least for me. The film's saving grace is Love's performance, which rises above the rest of the mediocre/adequate cast. If you ever feel the need to see it, just remember yourself it's a sign of the times and enjoy it as if you were opening a time capsule.

Grade: C-

_________________
--- UNDER CONSTRUCTION ---


Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:09 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

Thief wrote:
The Rocketeer (1991)
I remember catching bits and pieces of this on TV a long time ago (like, maybe all the way back in the 90's, which feels like an eternity by my standards), but I don't remember many details, or even just whether I enjoyed what I saw or not, that being before I really started thinking critically about movies, but I enjoyed reading Tom Breihan's retrospective on it for Age Of Heroes, his ongoing history of superhero movies on The AV Club, for what it's worth. Anyway...
Thief wrote:
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
...glad you finally watched (and liked) it, Thief! I just rewatched it myself a couple of months ago for the first time in over a decade, and it was just as great then as it was the first time I saw it; such an amazing, wonderful blend of old-school Hollywood spectacle with one of the most powerful character arcs in film history, without a single doubt. One of the greatest!

_________________
Recently Reviewed


Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:14 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

Thief wrote:
A musical
A film with less than five major characters
A film from the 1920s
A film made for less than $5,000,000



The Broadway Melody (1929)



This month I'm focusing on musicals as part of TCM's online course "Mad About Musicals". One of the first musicals in which we focused was this one, which was one of the first musicals released, and ended up being the first sound film to win an Oscar. However, time hasn't been kind to it. The Broadway Musical follows performing sisters Hank (Bessie Love) and Queenie (Anita Page) as they arrive to New York with dreams of becoming Broadway stars. They are met by Eddie (Charles King), Hank's boyfriend who ends up being smitten by Queenie, whom he hadn't seen since she was a child. In addition, Queenie becomes very popular as a solo performer, which causes additional friction with her sister.

Now, the reason's behind Queenie's fame can be summed up in the above quote. It has all to do with her body and her looks, and not with much else. This pretty much encapsulates what you have to tolerate if you decide to watch this film. The bottom line is that the gender politics of it are a mess, and have not dated well at all. From the male audiences oogling at Queenie and rising her to stardom just because of that, to Eddie's blatant disregard of her long-time relationship in favor of his new flame. That last point is perhaps the most irritating one, which lends itself to some awkward moments and ultimately an extremely awkward ending.

In addition to all this, the musical numbers are not that memorable. That is not good, considering it's a musical. Some of the songs are repeated several times during the first act, which makes them more dull than they are; and the only truly charming song ("You Were Meant for Me") is marred by the baggage of the plot, at least for me. The film's saving grace is Love's performance, which rises above the rest of the mediocre/adequate cast. If you ever feel the need to see it, just remember yourself it's a sign of the times and enjoy it as if you were opening a time capsule.

Grade: C-

I liked this one a lot more than you did. Some of that may have been, though, that I fell intensely in love with Anita Page almost instantly. I may not have been totally paying attention to what was going on around her. Perhaps that is actually the point you are making about the movie.


Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:31 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

Wooley wrote:
I liked this one a lot more than you did. Some of that may have been, though, that I fell intensely in love with Anita Page almost instantly. I may not have been totally paying attention to what was going on around her. Perhaps that is actually the point you are making about the movie.


I just couldn't get past the awkwardness of the conflict between Eddie and the sisters. I mean, the film makes an effort to show Hank as being smart and charming, with lots of charisma, while showing Queenie to be lovely, but more juvenile and not so bright. And to have Eddie just brush Hank aside, even though there was no fight between them, in favor of the "lovely" Queenie was just too much for me. And the thing is that the film also makes an effort to showcase that awkwardness, from Eddie and Hank's last goodbye, to her body language in the last scene as she is leaving... it was too much for me to just put that aside and enjoy.

_________________
--- UNDER CONSTRUCTION ---


Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:30 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

Thief wrote:

I just couldn't get past the awkwardness of the conflict between Eddie and the sisters. I mean, the film makes an effort to show Hank as being smart and charming, with lots of charisma, while showing Queenie to be lovely, but more juvenile and not so bright. And to have Eddie just brush Hank aside, even though there was no fight between them, in favor of the "lovely" Queenie was just too much for me. And the thing is that the film also makes an effort to showcase that awkwardness, from Eddie and Hank's last goodbye, to her body language in the last scene as she is leaving... it was too much for me to just put that aside and enjoy.

Oh, I didn't like the relationships or Eddie, but I didn't mind the movie so much overall.
And it introduced me to Anita Page.
I watch so many of these random old movies, just letting TCM run in the background on the weekends all day, I've come to filter out a lot of stuff.


Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:35 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

A film made for less than $5,000,000: Even Lambs Have Teeth

I've been relentlessly trawling Amazon's low-budget offerings. It took me a minute to figure out why three movies I'd watched in a row had some similar dynamics (namely women being abused and taking revenge) before realizing the recommended row was just pulling from the last thing I'd watched and offering up similar films.

Anyway.

This is one of those just-below-okay movies that there just isn't much to discuss. Not good enough to recommend, but not bad enough to enjoy tearing down or joke through ironically.

The basic plot is that two friends, Sloane and Katie, decide to spend a summer working at an organic farm. On their way they are kidnapped by two men and forced into a rape/forced-prostitution racket, something that apparently the whole town (or at least all the men) are in on. After a series of humiliating and traumatizing experiences, the women escape and take revenge on those who wronged them.

I guess I can praise the fact that most of the sexual violence takes place off-screen, though the movie seems to have a bit too much fun with the dialogue and staging leading up to the multiple assaults. There is a scene I really liked (that I posted about in the Horrorcram): through the first half of the movie, one of the men holding the women hostage seems less keen on the whole thing. There are several shots of him looking sympathetic or uncomfortable as the women are abused. When the women find him after they escape, he begs them for forgiveness, apologizing and saying he knew it was wrong. One of the girls says something like "That's right, Katie! Out of all the men who kidnapped and raped us, he was the nice one." Then she shoots him in the head. Movies with groups of men abusing women often have one of them be the "nice one" and even try to evoke some sympathy for him. I liked seeing this trope solidly rejected.

On the down side, this is a movie with bad acting, stilted camerawork, and nothing to actually say about the horrible acts perpetrated on the women. There are a lot of horrifying images and implications, but they feel mostly like someone sat down and thoughts "What's something disturbing a man could do to a woman?" and then just wrote down a handful of scenarios. The plot itself stretches plausibility at several points.

I do love the title, though.


Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:02 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

A musical
A film from the 1920s
A film made for less than $5,000,000



Hallelujah (1929)

Quote:
"I don't want to give in... but he just keeps on a-clawing and a-pulling after me all the time ... Just won't let me be."


The struggle between "flesh and spirit" is perhaps as old as mankind. In Matthew 26:41, Jesus urges his apostles to "watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." That conflict is somewhat transposed to the early years of the 20th Century in King Vidor's groundbreaking musical.

Hallelujah follows Zeke (Daniel L. Haynes), a young cotton picker who works along with his poor family. When he and his brother Spunk (Everett McGarrity) go to town to sell their crops, Zeke finds himself lured by the charms of Chick (Nina Mae McKinney), a seductive con artist who ends up getting Zeke in over his head. Even when Zeke decides to change his ways to become a minister, Chick continues to harrass and seduce him.

This is the second film I watch as part of the TCM course "Mad About Musicals", and there are a couple of interesting things about it. First, director and co-writer King Vidor put it upon himself to make a film to show "the Southern Negro as he is". To do this, he used a group of non-professional black actors, most of which never had acted before. This brings up one of the first impressive things about the film. Considering the experience of the actors, the performances are quite solid, with McKinney in particular being the standout.

Most of the songs and dances portrayed are quite lively and, according to Vidor, taken from his own experiences while living in the South. Haynes' first rendition of "Waiting at the End of the Road" is beautiful, and McKinney's bar room "Swanee Shuffle" is great. There are also several musical bits after Zeke becomes a minister which I've read are quite faithful to the music of the times. Haynes' performance during this act is a bit too exaggerated for my tastes, but when one compares it to how preachers usually speak to the audiences, it's not that far out.

Unfortunately, Vidor and the script are more focused on taking Zeke from point A to point B than they are in the journey. Zeke's inner spiritual struggle takes a backseat as Vidor focuses on just speeding through the events and taking him where he wanted him to be in the end, rather than show us the whole journey. As a result, the events of the last act feel rushed and abbreviated. Zeke's relationship with Missy Rose (Victoria Spivey) is also underdeveloped. Still, there is a particularly unsettling chase towards the end that seemed like it was taken from another film.

Overall, I enjoyed this film more than I did The Broadway Melody. There's a beauty in the rawness of the film, and the more accessible nature of the characters than there was in the Broadway stars of that other musical. What the film lacks in polish, it more than makes up for in spirit.

Grade: B-

_________________
--- UNDER CONSTRUCTION ---


Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:57 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

A film noir
A film with less than 5 major characters (I'd argue for 2)


The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)

Frank Chambers (John Garfield) is a vagabond with itchy feet. His latest stop is a small California diner owned by Nick Smith (Cecil Kellaway) where he gets hired as a burger cook. But before his first day can start, trouble walks in from the horizon.

Nick's wife Cora (Lana Turner) drops her lipstick and Frank decides to get it. He's in deep even though they just met.

Over the months, the passion starts to grow over the unsuspecting eyes of Nick. But then she gets an idea (inspired by one of his jokes), a terrible idea.

I liked how the film played with light and shadows throughout. In particular, note Cora's white dress. Director Tay Garnett keeps the story moving throughout. Garfield and Turner displayed potent chemistry (even though they weren't able to replicate that in real life) that steams up the screen. Kellaway, Hume Cronyn (as a defense attorney) and Leon Ames (as a dogged district attorney) lead up the supporting cast.

Another thing to note is that most, if not all, of the characters are fairly unlikable. But pretty much all of them are relateable, such as Cora's idea of wanting to be somebody, Frank's dream to not be tied down, and the drive of both lawyers to succeed. I think that's one of the keys here. Maybe you disagree with their methods, but if the characters are at least relateable, then you'll be interested in going down the path they're going.

Excellent film noir, among the best I've seen and of its class. The Postman Always Rings Twice earns an A.


Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:48 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

A film with a child protagonist
A film written by a novelist or playwright
A musical
A film made for less than $5,000,000
A film with a Rotten Tomatoes score above 95%



The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Quote:
"If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own backyard."


For most people, happiness seems like an elusive thing. We tend to think that our situation is always dire, and that other people always have it better than us. "The grass is always greener on the other side", people say, so we strive to reach that other side in hopes that it would bring us the happiness we desire. That is the situation in which young girl Dorothy (Judy Garland) finds herself in, and which leads her to a magical adventure to that "other side".

For those of you that live under a rock, The Wizard of Oz follows Dorothy, a young girl from Kansas that finds herself at odds with an angry neighbor that threatens to take her dog Toto away. After trying to run away, Dorothy and Toto find themselves trapped in the fantasy world of Oz. Desperate to return home, she sets on a quest to the Emerald City to meet the titular wizard. On her way, Dorothy is joined by Scarecrow (Ray Bolger), Tin Man (Jack Haley), and Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr), while also being pursued by the Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton).

Even though I don't have the nostalgic "baggage" that some might've regarding this film, from the first time I saw it (2009, according to my records), I found it to be a lovely and funny film. The combination of a whimsical and magical world, paired with solid, earnest performances from the cast makes for an immensely gratifying experience. The chemistry between Garland and his companions is almost perfect, and their musical performances are fun and lively. Some people might consider the story to be too "on the nose", but I still think it works extremely well, even today.

As the third musical I see for the TCM "Mad About Musicals" course, it is evident the amount of growth and evolution that has taken place from 1929 to 1939. The Wizard of Oz is a perfect example of what filmmaking should strive for. The grass can't be much greener than this.

Grade: A+

_________________
--- UNDER CONSTRUCTION ---


Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:43 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

Thief wrote:
A film with a child protagonist
A film written by a novelist or playwright
A musical
A film made for less than $5,000,000
A film with a Rotten Tomatoes score above 95%



The Wizard of Oz (1939)



For most people, happiness seems like an elusive thing. We tend to think that our situation is always dire, and that other people always have it better than us. "The grass is always greener on the other side", people say, so we strive to reach that other side in hopes that it would bring us the happiness we desire. That is the situation in which young girl Dorothy (Judy Garland) finds herself in, and which leads her to a magical adventure to that "other side".

For those of you that live under a rock, The Wizard of Oz follows Dorothy, a young girl from Kansas that finds herself at odds with an angry neighbor that threatens to take her dog Toto away. After trying to run away, Dorothy and Toto find themselves trapped in the fantasy world of Oz. Desperate to return home, she sets on a quest to the Emerald City to meet the titular wizard. On her way, Dorothy is joined by Scarecrow (Ray Bolger), Tin Man (Jack Haley), and Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr), while also being pursued by the Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton).

Even though I don't have the nostalgic "baggage" that some might've regarding this film, from the first time I saw it (2009, according to my records), I found it to be a lovely and funny film. The combination of a whimsical and magical world, paired with solid, earnest performances from the cast makes for an immensely gratifying experience. The chemistry between Garland and his companions is almost perfect, and their musical performances are fun and lively. Some people might consider the story to be too "on the nose", but I still think it works extremely well, even today.

As the third musical I see for the TCM "Mad About Musicals" course, it is evident the amount of growth and evolution that has taken place from 1929 to 1939. The Wizard of Oz is a perfect example of what filmmaking should strive for. The grass can't be much greener than this.

Grade: A+



Great casting all around, but Frank Morgan really stole the movie in the four or five roles he plays, especially Professor Marvel.

Great write-up. I've been watching this movie probably since I was 5 years old. It's refreshing to see that someone who has seen it only recently can still be entranced by the magic and filmmaking.

_________________
She's been dying and I've been drinking and I am the Rain King


Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:19 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

Death Proof wrote:


Great casting all around, but Frank Morgan really stole the movie in the four or five roles he plays, especially Professor Marvel.

He does and I've been finding more and more as I see more films that he's in, that he does that to most of them.


Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:43 pm
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

Wooley wrote:
He does and I've been finding more and more as I see more films that he's in, that he does that to most of them.



Any other major films with him you'd recommend? As much as I enjoyed him in Oz I'm not familiar with his filmography.

_________________
She's been dying and I've been drinking and I am the Rain King


Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:15 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

I should've mentioned him in my review. My bad. He was really good, but I wish we could've seen more of him.

_________________
--- UNDER CONSTRUCTION ---


Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:35 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

Death Proof wrote:


Any other major films with him you'd recommend? As much as I enjoyed him in Oz I'm not familiar with his filmography.

The Shop Around The Corner, which everyone should see anyway. The one I watched the other day was Henry Goes To Arizona, which really showcases him (in the lead role). Hullabaloo is another.


Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:55 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

Wooley wrote:
The Shop Around The Corner, which everyone should see anyway. The one I watched the other day was Henry Goes To Arizona, which really showcases him (in the lead role). Hullabaloo is another.



Thanks, Wool - gives me something to do this weekend.

_________________
She's been dying and I've been drinking and I am the Rain King


Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:38 am
Profile
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

I agree with you, Thief. It doesn't get much better than 1939 The Wizard of Oz. It's crazy to think that film is almost 80 years old. I have to rewatch it at some point. I probably haven't seen it in the current decade so it's been too long.


Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:59 pm
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

Death Proof wrote:


Thanks, Wool - gives me something to do this weekend.
The Shop Around the Corner really belongs in everyone's Christmas movie rotation. along with that other Jimmy Stewart movie.

_________________
"It's OK to have beliefs, just don't believe in them." — Guy Ritchie


Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:51 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

BL wrote:
The Shop Around the Corner really belongs in everyone's Christmas movie rotation. along with that other Jimmy Stewart movie.

Agreed.


Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:45 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

Wooley wrote:
Agreed.
I also want to echo your praise of Frank Morgan in general. These days we talk about Method actors like they have a monopoly on disappearing into their roles. but Morgan was a pre-Method actor who was often unrecognizable from role to role, sometimes within a single film (as in The Wizard of Oz). I distinctly remember thinking I'd found some heretofore unheralded actor in the role of Mr. Matuschek in The Shop Around the Corner, only to later realize he's the same guy from a movie I had seen probably a dozen times earlier.

_________________
"It's OK to have beliefs, just don't believe in them." — Guy Ritchie


Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:55 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

A film with a Rotten Tomatoes score above 95%


Unforgiven (1992)

Quote:
"It's a hell of a thing, ain't it, killin' a man. You take everything he's got... and everything he's ever gonna have..."


A lot of what happens in Unforgiven hangs on that simple sentence; the burden of murder, a man's knowledge that he might have taken everything from so many people in his life, and the agonizing regret that plagues him, even years after leaving a life of crime. How can he atone for that? Is there a route to forgiveness? Perhaps in a bizarre way, that's why the man in question, William Munny, agrees to take one last job.

Set in 1881, Unforgiven follows Munny (Eastwood), an aging, retired outlaw, as he decides to take one job along with his old partner Ned (Morgan Freeman). Why take the job? First, Munny is having problems as a farmer and he needs to provide for his young children. But more importantly, the job is to avenge a prostitute that was attacked and disfigured, so perhaps Munny sees some measure of forgiveness in doing what he knows for a "noble" cause. Meanwhile, Sheriff "Little Bill" Daggett (Gene Hackman) tries to keep peace in the town in his own way from all potential outlaws that come seeking the same reward.

I hadn't seen this film in a while, but I've always had it among my favorites. Perhaps that's why, as soon as I saw it was on TV, I had to watch it. The film is pretty much impeccable in every way. From Eastwood's direction and performance, to the great dialogue he builds. The film takes long-standing stereotypes, established by countless actors and directors (Eastwood included), and expands upon them in ways you necessarily don't expect (or at least that was the case 25+ years ago).

These are exemplified in the character of William Munny, a former outlaw that has no gruff attitude and no cold one-liners, but rather only regret and bitterness. Eastwood takes the characters he built his career on and peels layers off of them, exposing their fragility. By the end of the film, you realize that killing is not a heroic deed, and that the killer loses probably as much as the killed.

Grade: A

_________________
--- UNDER CONSTRUCTION ---


Sat Jun 23, 2018 6:17 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

Because of the World Cup I haven't been watching any movies. But I did start one last night that matches one of our categories and when I tell you what it is (and specifically the plot) you will laugh.


Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:14 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018

Takoma1 wrote:
Because of the World Cup I haven't been watching any movies. But I did start one last night that matches one of our categories and when I tell you what it is (and specifically the plot) you will laugh.


Now you got me intrigued!

_________________
--- UNDER CONSTRUCTION ---


Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:52 pm
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 1375 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 ... 28  Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 18 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware.