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10 performance Robert Blake
Robert Blake appears in several of these Have Gun Will Travels. And in each he shows he's an actor with range. In this one we Lee anger, fear and arrogance. A great natural born actor mostly unrecognized, especially at his age here in 1959.
Detailed game in sync with plot
We learn Paladin has yet another area of expertise - high stakes Five Card Stud . Note Peter Falk as young man with a twisted sadistic streak. Warren Oates with no lines as the standing armed kibitzer in the background. Oates later to become one of Sam Peckinpahs Wild Bunch.
This is one of my personal favorites. There nothing real special about the episode, it is just that every episode is special. The intro, as is often the case, is rather awkward but rewarding for the viewer. Soon we meet the scary bad guy, who is none other than mild mannered Buddy Ebsen. Wow! He should have played more bad guys because he delivers the mail in this one. In a nutshell:
Uncle Jed is the bad azz crooked sheriff. Paladin rides in only to refuse the "hired gun" offer (again). He shows off his knowledge of gambling scams and case law. And then when it comes to who has the biggest pair and the fastest gun, the gentleman scholar puts two slugs into the bad guy before he has barely cleared leather. Gene Roddenberry wrote this one who later wrote the Star Trek TV series.. Now, rumor is Tarantino is gonna do the next Start Trek. I can't wait. Now if he ever does a re-make of HGWT, I swear I will faint.
Room 237 (2012)
Comedy or Insanity? You decide.
It is still unapparent to me whether this was some kind of bizarre off-beat comedy or it was a dark look at the absolute sad state of humankind. As an offbeat comedy where we assume all the speakers are actors delivering pretentious BS as in the parody genre, the movie is pretty funny. If one assumes these are real people telling their honest opinions then I found it depressing for a number of reasons. First, that many people actually devoted that much time to over analyzing a pretty darn simple film(plot wise). There is no need to assign complex meaning to such a beautifully filmed art. It JUST IS Kubrick. I suppose attempting to explain the beauty is a symptom of Bacon's "Idols of the Tribe". Second, somebody found it valid fodder for a movie. Third, people actually watched it and commented on it. And fourth, that I was one of the morons who did the third reason!
Ivory Tower (2014)
Tackles a subject that needs more attention.
This movie was on CNN tonight and it was a heck of a lot more informative than another two hours on CNN of what "might happen" to Bill Cosby's career. Or "when" the grand jury MIGHT decide in Ferguson. This movie to me was very informative and passionate too. The subject of rising college tuitions and what to do about it is very tough. And good points were brought out pro and con. The sad part is a normal kid like myself back in the (gulp) 70s could GO TO COLLEGE if the desire was there. You could work your way through college and even student loans were within reason. It is sad that my generation has failed miserably to afford the same opportunity. Which brings me to the one part of the movie that was blatantly missing. WHY? They skimmed over . . .no ignored completely the burning question of cause. How on earth can tuition for ONE semester go from $200 to $25,000 in less than 30 years?
Final Destination 2 (2003)
*** Spoiler *** ---> The first 20 minutes is classic film.
** All Spoiler ** This movie all in all is maybe above average. But the first 15 - 20 minutes where we lead up to and then witness the initial car pile up is IMHO one of the most entertaining pieces of film ever. It's hard to put words to it but the wrenching up of the nerves by the filmmakers took a lot of thought and effort. Each vehicle has a little inter-related "something-or-other" going on that is causing anxiety in the viewer (for me anyway). And the other factors. The heavy holiday traffic. The wet pavement. Inconsiderate drivers. Teenagers not taking any of it very seriously. Then IT starts! The pile up from HELL. Oh my gosh, I can watch it over and over again. If you are a film buff and even if you hate this genre, DO NOT MISS "the pile up".
The Level (2008)
Well worth watching! Reminded me in a way of 1999 movie "Go"
Just as I was going to bed this movie came on Showtime. It hooked me right from the beginning. That Robert Haley dude was scary man. There is just something utterly fascinating about gangster types who have no moral compass at all. This film captures that perfectly. You can tell it was low budget but it is NOT that obvious. Maybe like "El mariachi". Let's hope these guys can keep making movies. The only thing I did not like was we never saw the unblemished truth version of what really happened. I imagined that was coming and then the credits rolled. My feeling was that we would get a version from maybe a private eye or a gang rival who actually maybe watched it all from afar. You have no possible way of knowing what really happened. Yea, maybe that was the point especially with the opening quote but still... it is just a movie.
CSI "Jumps the shark" & even admits it
This episode was an attempt for CSI to poke fun at itself and try and get in some "hollywood humor" too. IMHO, it was a miserable failure. Everyone seemed uncomfortably with the sappy crappy jokes. It was painful to watch. Jim Brass even makes a reference to Fonzie and "jumping the shark" which is not even a veiled attempt to convey William Petersen's true feelings about his own CSI show (as if I really know that). No wonder he is leaving. The guys who write for Sheen's Two and a Half Men wrote this episode. They should stick to sitcoms. Reversing a gritty drama to an hour long sitcom doesn't work. Even sans the horrible puns this was not an episode for someone who loves the heart of the show. Watch Reno 911 or Murder She Wrote. You'll be better entertained and still keep your respect for the CSI folks.
No Country for Old Men (2007)
Great film but watch closely
My original review of this was based on me not paying close enough attention or possibly being impatient. After reading the book and watching the movie again, I got to say its one of the best films I have ever seen. These guys really captured the feel of West Texas I simply cannot say enough. 11 stars
Having lived in Austin back in the 70s when Townes played here all the time, I have to say we really took him for granted. I never knew any of his history or that he had such an impact on so many performers. In some ways, I wish I was still naïve. Be prepared for an extremely depressing movie. Yet, the movie has stayed with me for over a week now. The film was very powerful but I just cannot put in to words how. Everyone who heard his music knew his songs were sad but somehow I envisioned him as being OK when the show was over. For the most part, it was not. At one point in the movie someone ask him, "Why are your songs depressing". Townes simply looks at he guy and says ". . . life is sad. Don't you think"? Such a perfect answer for anyone who experiences melancholy. Another powerful scene shows Townes oldest son fishing as he pontificates on the road that his father had chosen. We all hear over and over how this performer or that celebrity gave up everything to follow his heart but gosh it was all worth it. Yet JT somehow describes how there are so many other simple everyday aspects of life which are equally important and his father missed a lot of those moments. This is such a profound perspective from such a young man. The movie has many memorable moments. I'd recommend it for anyone who likes sad songs like one might hear from Iris DeMent or John Prine. Everyone else should go rent a Ben Stiller movie.
I hereby disown Gus Van Sant and Roger Ebert
*** Spoilers *** Wow. This movie Elephant was so bad. I encourage everyone to not see it. Personally, I have a high tolerance for boredom but some of you probably do not. If it is possible to die from tedium then this flick is the litmus test. Inert as an unconscious ELEPHANT, this thing plods along till you want to pull your hair out. MOTHER-OF-PEARL this thing is so pretentious that it is almost laughable. Ugh. I am not going to harp on any details but I would like to make a couple of personal observations. First Roger Ebert's reviews are worthless. The fact that he raved about this movie while dropping GVS's name and stating his warped views on the media verses movies is proof enough. He is just too much of an insider and an academic for most of us. Find a prolific reviewer here on IMDb that you agree with and read his/her reviews as a better guide. Second personal point, Gus Van Sant's success has gone to his head. This movie is not even a good "typical day" at a high school. Or at least not any high school that I have been to. GVS has directed several of my favs (Drugstore Cowboy, To Die For, My Own Private Idaho, Good Will Hunting) so like a moron I assume Elephant will at worst be misguided. Geez Louise was I wrong. Moral of the story: Never trust a director or a movie critic. If you liked Elephant then I strongly suggest you also see Warhol's Sleep (1963). I am afraid that Elephant is to GVS as Heaven's Gate was to Cimino. (now imagine the distant ring of the death knell)
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
If ya like Bruce Lee/ Kung Fu tpye movies, you love this one.
I originally hated this movie. Why? First I did not understand the whole genre. Second the initial scene when Uma was in hospital I took a little too seriously. After seeing Vol 2 and immersing myself in the genre and lightening up, I love it. And I must say every movie which QT comes out with I anticipate like a 5 year old on Christmas morning.
The In-Laws (1979)
Tsetse fly scene at dinner table is a classic
As a whole, I was not as impressed with this movie as most people here at IMDB however the dinner table scene is worth the time and money all by itself. I never laughed so hard in my life. Peter Falk should get his place in cinema history for the infamous "tsetse fly" speech. His look of self-righteousness and one-upmanship vocal tone was unforgettable.
Bodies, Rest & Motion (1993)
Not enough dialog
I got pulled in to this one because Bridget Fonda was in it. Also, the score had lots of Gram Parsons. And some good reviews here. It just was not my cup of tea. Some may love it. This movie was making a profound statement about generation X. The problem is that it did not say it enough. The lack of dialog made this movie completely inert. I am sure it's creators meant for that to be part of the point but good gosh. The dialog that was there was good. Just not enough lines. Anyone bother to count them? I pay money to see people talking or visual stimulation or both. This movie had neither. Save your money and go down to the library and watch people who are not speaking just sit there.
The Game (1997)
Only rented since cast included Douglas, Penn, Baker & Manz
If you saw the trailers for this then you know the whole setup and it is just a matter of waiting for the twists and tricks and chase scenes to finally end. That being said, the movie is above average for this type of affair. I agree with Spleen's review almost 100 percent so read that one. I actually rented this because Michael Douglas is someone who I feel can really carry a picture. He has a presence which is unequaled. That voice of his has power. Also in the movie is Sean Penn and he is a guy who always has integrity in his film choices. Also cast in this movie are a couple of folks that really got pulled out of the mothballs. Carroll Baker played the elderly housekeeper and I will always remember her as the teenage Baby Doll. Linda Manz had a bit part that lasted all of 10 seconds and I will always remember her as a kid in Days of Heaven and Out of the Blue. Having those two in there seemed to add a bit to the surreal effect.
When the Cradle Falls (1997)
Bizarre hook may force you to endure this movie
This thing was somewhat unusual for a TV movie. First, it moved at kind of a strange pace which I cannot really put words to. But secondly, it had a queer hook at the start of the movie which kept me hanging on to see if I had imagined it all or hallucinated or lost my mind. Very odd. Not a plot twist but more like a dangling detail. Anyway, Brigitta Dau is totally hot for any men watching and women will enjoy seeing Scott Reeves with his shirt off. Cathy Lee Crosby does a good job as one of the villains. I cannot really recommend the movie but it beats watching a rerun of Leave It to Beaver.
The Shining (1997)
Better than Kubrick's version and also worse than Kubrick's
Kubrick's version of this movie is visually quantum leaps beyond this TV version. Surprise! And Jack Nicholson was entertaining in a way that only Nicholson can. So in that respect, Kubrick's movie was better. However, this TV version has a whole lot more to offer that just dazzling visuals and Jack Nicholson's mesmerizing appeal. The TV version brings real character development. It is easy to identify with Steven Weber's Jack Torrance. In the end, you truly wish Weber could get away with everyone else. I wanted Nicholson to die twenty minutes in to that version. DeMornay skillfully pulls off the concerned and conflicted mother who wants to stick by her man despite his failings and her reservations. Courtland Mead's Doc is adorable and convincing. I can honestly say I felt empathy for all three of the family members. It must have been a good movie since I watched the entire six hours (including commercials) in one sitting!
Predictable and vastly overrated
This movie was so predictable that it is disgusting. If you like fights and special effects, you are going to love it. If you want substance then go elsewhere. This movie is proof positive that the academy awards are political and for sale because this movie was a bag of dung. YAWN.
The Matrix (1999)
Cool premise but trite execution so I walked out
This movies proves why one man's trash is another man's treasure. So many of my friends loved this movie. I literally could not sit though it and walked out after about 45 minutes. The setup was pretty cool and the special effects were top notch but it degenerated in to shoot outs and fist fights and the same old dog crap that we have seen again and again and again. If you like World Wrestling on TV then you will love The Matrix. If you are a sci-fi fan who wants anything remotely intellectual in nature then you are much better off watching a rerun of any Deep Space Nine episode.
Worst movie in the history of mankind
One just cannot say enough about how horrible this movie is. Certainly there may be worst movies but when you factor in the money spent and the talent on hand, this turkey gobbles straight to the absolute worst movie EVER. Bruce Willis makes perfect sense for this movie since most of his work is geared towards a twelve year old but Billy Bob Thornton and Steve Buscemi must have been paid a king's ransom to put their names to this pile of dung. I would love to know what Thornton and Buscemi were thinking if they showed up at the premiere. Did they make the talk show circuit to promote this stinker? If yes, they had to really show there acting skills to try and say anything positive about this vomit producer. The only value this movie could generate would be to provide an example in film class as how "not to" make a movie. It proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that talent, cliches and gobs of money do not a movie make!
The Wife (1995)
Made me squirm in a good sort of a way
This is the type of movie that is not for everyone. In fact, most people would not like it at all. It is over an hour and a half of talking heads. Yes, the dreaded "stage play on film" which critics seems to hate. For me, it was one of the best movies I have seen in a long time and makes mytop ten list. It has been compared to "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" but I think that does not do it justice. Yes, the movie is about two couples and there is a lot of angst however in Woolf the maliciousness is obvious, loud and in your face. In Wife, the angst is subtle, quiet and cerebral. Tom Noonan is so brilliant and it is a crying shame that he does not have more work out there for us to enjoy. Does he need money or what? Every week another heist movie or mafia movie hits the big screen but jewels like this are on the verge of extinction. If you like Wife, be sure and check out Noonan's "What Happened Was...".
Unexamined lives are not worth living
Most descriptions of this movie read something like "psycho Vietnam veteran terrorizes roadside diner patrons" or "bad movie adaptation of Medoff's stage play" and though these may be accurate surface descriptions, the movie deserves far more comment than that. As the movie progresses, each character's deepest motivations and fears are revealed and what is exposed is the shallow values, ignobleness and dark fears of mankind.
Marjoe Gortner's youthful rage manifest's itself strikingly as he rants on a each of the diner patrons. His cynism is directed at pretentious city intellectuals (Hal Linden and Lee Grant), small town folk (Stephanie Faracy), self-righteous do-gooder (Pat Hingle), bad-ass-wannabe (Peter Firth) and even the protagonist's girlfriend (Candy Clark). The film gives a whole new meaning to the American perception of machismo and much of this can be difficult as well as fascinating to watch.
The most interesting thing about this film however is that it has gone virtually unnoticed since the day it was released. It lasted in the theaters only a few weeks and the edited versions, which have only rarely appeared on non-cable TV, truly ruined the entire effect of RR. The movie was overlooked by the critics and the public for several reasons.
The critics labeled the movie "better as a stage play" and "it's been done before" and "overacted". For reasons that I have never completely understood, movie critics typically dislike stage plays made in to movies unless a lot of flashy camera work and new spirited locations make the play-now-a-movie fit more conventionally into the film art form. What critics fail to realize is that the general public does not have access to good theater and even if a movie is literally a play shot on film, one can now get the subtle nuances of close-up facial expressions and the quality dialogue that stage plays require and movies often go without. Some critics said the film was similar to other films such as The Petrified Forest yet these same critics can never seem to get enough gangster movies, boxer movies or movies about Hollywood professionals. Red Ryder has about as much in common with Petrified Forest as Platoon had in common with Green Berets. And the criticism that Gortner overacted ...... my god that WAS the point !!!
The public overlooked the movie mainly due to the marketing. A long non-descriptive title stunted audience draw and RR lacked the graphic exploitative violence that so often the public looks for in a movie that was touted as "he is getting even with every woman who slapped your face and every man that ....". A more accurate title (possibly "Unexamined Lives") and a descriptive byline like "he is here to prove to you that there is really nothing decent about anyone" may have at least got the right people in the movie house. Of all the mind pap available on video these days, such as Armageddon, it is a crime that this masterpiece has been lost to history.