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A classy exotic thriller
The old Master Frankenheimer dips into his bag of tricks from the sixties and delivers an intelligent thriller. The teaming of De Niro and Reno is perfect. The best part of this film is the european backdrop. It makes this classy thriller stand out from the rest. It reminded me of The Day of the Jackal, with Edward Fox. Frankenheimer delivers one of the best car chases ever put on film.
The China Syndrome (1979)
A thrilling topical film
This is an extraordinary topical thriller. Fonda and Douglas are good, but Lemmon blows them away. He plays a man who must go against everything he thought was right. Bridges paces the film very well with a lot of tension. The last of the seventies expose films.
An entertaining film
Tycoon is a nice John Wayne film which looks splendid in color. Wayne plays a different character than usual. For the first part of the film he plays his standard All-American man, but during the second half he turns to a heel. Day looks fabulous. A negative point of this film is the dreary character of Hardwicke. The story and the exotic locale makes this an entertaining film.
Body Heat (1981)
Body Heat is one of the few modern thrillers which captures the spirit of the golden age of film noir. Lawrence Kasdan completely engulfs the viewer with an old time feel. Body Heat is filled with double crosses, sexuality, and scheming. This film is well worth watching by anyone interested in film noir or thrillers.
A unique, intelligent film.
This is a powerful drama\thriller about the pursuit of truth, no matter the cost. Still interesting after nearly 40 years. Bogarde, as the noble lawyer, with a past, is excellent. Victim is an intelligently written film which will keep you watching until the end.
He Got Game (1998)
A good look at athletic pressures.
Spike Lee explores the difficulty of making life defining decisions. Denzel Washington, as usual is brilliant. Ray Allen is a real find. The best part of this film is the great score by Public Enemy. A good look at the pressures on a young athlete.
Swimming with Sharks (1994)
A glorious black comedy
Sharks is a top notch black comedy about office politics. The endless stream of insults and putdowns is captivating. As usual, Kevin Spacey is sensational. If you're into the darker side of the human psyche give this movie a look.
A gangster classic
Scorcese follows up his brilliant Goodfellas with an equally aggressive gangster saga. He captivates the viewer from start to finish with a dynamic plot and characters. No one but Scorcese can make such scummy people so interesting. Peschi is like James Cagney, ready to explode at any minute. Casino is a violent, spellbinding and brilliant film.
Ying hung boon sik II (1987)
Another John Woo masterpiece
This is the best of the Better Tomorrow series. John Woo manages to meld a strong male bonding drama with unbelievable action sequences. Leslie Cheung, Chow Yun-Fat, and Ti Lung work magic together. The climax is one of the best action sequences ever filmed. The is must viewing for any action film lover.
The Thin Red Line (1998)
An uneven film.
This is a very disappointing film. While well acted, with stunningly beautiful cinematography, this is a overlong bore. All the inner thinkings of the characters might work in the book, but on screen I found it distancing and dull. Judge for yourself.
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Great action sequences.
Spielberg has constructed an excellent war spectacle. This is essentially an old fashioned war film with more graphic violence. This is not to take away from the film, the battle sequences at the start and finish are probably some of the best ever filmed. They reminded me a lot of Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket and Dr. Strangelove. Spielberg, like Kubrick uses a lot of shifting perspectives. First person perspective works the best for me. You the viewer are transported to the front line with the troops. An excellent film to watch many times. Tom Sizemore rules.
Ningen no jôken (1959)
This is an excellent film about one man attempting to change the system. Kaji brings his youthful enthusiasm, idealism, and humanism against a cruel, unjust machine. The acting, direction, and cinematography are all world class. This is a gripping film which will leave you yearning for part two. This is just the start of a stunning epic.
They Were Expendable (1945)
An expertly balanced film
This is John Ford's excellent war film about the conflict in the Pacific. As usual with Ford, there is a strong family bond between the sailors. From the stars, Montgomery and Wayne, down to the character actors, like Ward Bond, these are people you really care about. It's nice to see John Wayne playing second banana in a film. Ford balances action and characterization expertly.
La passion de Jeanne d'Arc (1928)
An intense masterpiece
This is an emotional and intense masterpiece. This story of the trial of Joan of Arc is spellbinding. This is amazing because its essentially a collection of close ups. Dreyer's direction and editing is unbelievable. To make this bunch of close ups compelling is an astonishing feat. The editing reminded me a lot of Eisenstein, with his intercutting intensity. The performance of Falconetti is astonishing. She is compelling just by a tear or a slight tilt of her head. This cinema class staple which easily holds up today. Watch this to to witness the power of silent drama.
Fright Night (1985)
A recommended horror film
This is a well handled hybrid of horror and comedy. Fright Night works just as a horror film, but the comedy brings an extra dimension. Sarandon sure makes a suave vampire. The best part of this film is the excellent performance by Roddy McDowell. His doubting television vampire killer is a winner. A well recommended horror film.
Hard Times (1975)
A rough and tumble fight film.
Hard Times is a tough action film, with a good sense of period. This depression era film is probably Bronson's best starring vehicle. He is very believable as the no nonsense street fighter, who lets his fists do his talking for him. Coburn and Strother Martin lend good support. This movie is for anyone who likes action films, or Charles Bronson films.
The Train (1964)
A classic war film.
This is truly one of the great action/adventure war films. The Train is filled with action and edge-of-your-seat suspense. Lancaster is superb as the everyman Labiche. It is a tough and gritty performance. Scofield is equally good as the obsessive Colonel. The theme of human lives versus art is well explored by Frankenheimer. Watch this film and enjoy. It gets better with repeated viewings.
Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995)
White knuckle action escapism
While not great art, this film has non stop action from start to finish. The pairing of Willis and Jackson was a real coup. Their interaction together puts this entry above the first two Die Hards. Script wise, this is also better than the others. Most importantly, the action set pieces, are great. As a bonus there are a ton of them. Sit back and enjoy.
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
One of the all-time greats.
This is definitely one of the greatest movies ever made. The low budget documentary look creates some sweat inducing suspense. The amateurish acting leads to an even more realistic quality. NOTLD is brilliantly directed by George A. Romero. His shifts between quiet moments and zombie attacks is jarring. A truly original film filled with twists and surprises.
Yoidore tenshi (1948)
A medium level Kurosawa
An ironic film about a compassionate doctor who tries to treat a sick gangster. The interaction between Mifune and Shimura is the raison d'etre of this film. The two are constantly at odds, but nonetheless drawn to each other. This film is a bit unusual, but worth watching.
The Corruptor (1999)
Better than expected
A surprisingly watchable action film. The story is not the typical Hollywood cliche. Chow Yun-Fat and Wahlberg play multi-faceted characters. While this film is better than the standard action film, it could have utilized the great Chow Yun-Fat better. John Woo and Ringo Lam where are you?
A psychological and emotional thriller
An excellent thriller about man's struggle to survive in the environment. Deliverance shows how men adapt to changing conditions in their surroundings. Will they have the inner strength to overcome the obstacles? Can they unleash their uncivilized self? These are the questions that James Dickey asks of his characters. This is an exciting journey of self exploration.
The Ipcress File (1965)
An intelligent spy thriller
This is one of the greatest spy films of all time. Unlike his contemporary, James Bond, Harry Palmer is a working class, realistic spy. The Ipcress File is an endlessly interesting and captivating film. I have seen this film around 7 times, and I'm never bored. A classic!!!!!!!!!!!
Il deserto rosso (1964)
Red Desert is a disappointing film. I was expecting much more. While it vividly uses a symbolic industrial landscape to envoke the inner demons of the female character, it seems very uninvolving and distancing. While not in the flop catagory as Zabriskie Point, Red Desert does not reach the heights of L'Avventura, Blow-Up, and The Passenger. Monica Vitti is superb, as usual. I'm sure this film gets better with repeated viewings.
Hilarious gangster antics.
This is an original, funny and ironic film. A group of different plot lines converge at the climax to form an explosive resolution. This is a truly entertaining film which will keep you laughing at the keystone gangster capers.