Tuesday 31 March 2020

The Joker - 2019

We were disappointed.

Over hyped but still excellent.

A Man For All Seasons - 1966

Four and a half years ago I asked my Facebook connections for their best non Hollywood, film suggestions. One excellent proposal from Juanita Ann Richards, who has since deactivated her account is the above film.

It's an Henry VIII/Thomas Cromwell/Thomas More historical play that did well in the theatre till it was made for the cinema. Even then it went on to win a substantial amount of Oscars, but what captured my imagination was the Kubrick-esque baroque lighting (not Baroque lights) in the opening scenes which really are extra special.

As an historical piece, A man for all seasons, is an excellent education of the impending English reformation (and counter reformation after that).

Sunday 29 March 2020

The Irishman - 2019

About ten minutes into the movie I realised it was not going to satisfy me, but as I wasn't alone I thought I'd let it run and see if I could make it interesting. At first I concentrated on the sets, cars and costumes, but about 2/3 into the movie I could see it was an historically interesting movie given the mobs' involvement in JFK, Nixon and general affairs of the USA from the early forties through till the early 80's when mobster and Union chief Jimmy Hoffa went missing (murdered by the Irishman)

The film is populated with all the old stars of previous mobster movies, including Pacino, Keitel, Pesci and the degenerate scum Robert de Niro who wont be remembered fondly by the end of Trump's presidency. 

You can take that to the bank.

It does coalesce into and interesting narrative towards the end but in my view, this is the swan song to Italian mob movies as the informed researcher will already understand that Hollywood is largely responsible for portraying the mafia as Italian when the real handlers were the likes of Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Siegel, The Bronfmans, Mossad, Sayanim and associated Israeli Terrorist Gangs and Politicians.

Saturday 28 March 2020

How The West Was Won - 1962

It's been quite a while since my last movie review in July 2019, but after an illicit walk in the New Forest yesterday, we settled down to 'one of the best Westerns ever made'. It's a star studded cast including Henry Ford, Henry Hathaway, James Stewart, John Wayne, Gregory Peck, George Peppard, Debbie Reynolds, Caroline Jones. Both women particularly fine examples of great looking actresses.

The musical score won an Oscar and demonstrates why a cracking score can uplift a great movie to another level.

"How the West Was Won", was one of the last movies shot in 3-camera Cinerama and is a screen ratio I enjoyed although we watched it in 16:9 ratio as we needed a bigger screen for older eyes to enjoy the detail and in a cinema it's designed for a curved screen, that projects sensational picture quality.

There are some scenes that are almost inexplicable in terms of special effects. I'm familiar with front and back screen projection techniques. The bison stampede is like nothing I've ever experienced on the big screen without CGI and lastly the train wreck scene uses back screen projection to a degree I don't think has ever been matched.

The principal nature of the plot is about the kind of doughty spirit that went westward finally settling in some of the most amazing scenery in the United States after many travails and tribulations. One family in the narrative is more city dwelling and the other has a more rural mindset. It's clear the genes of both these groups is evident in today's USA genome pool.

I never used to but since Q, I've believed in American exceptionalism for reasons that are relevant to this post but outlined elsewhere.

Wednesday 25 March 2020