The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Movie Review

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The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Movie Review

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is a 1962 western film directed by John Ford and starring James Stewart, John Wayne and Lee Marvin. It is one of the finest westerns of all time.

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This is the West, sir.

When the legend becomes fact, print the legend

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The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Movie Review

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This is an incredible film with a phenomenal story. Its clash of two stars and true legends was not just done for the sake of being cool, but for the sake of the story too. This is one of those westerns which transcended the limitations of the genre and thus ended up being a masterpiece and a classic for all ages. It transcended that with a great story with many clever themes beautifully explored.

It is at its core a story about the modernization and the democratization of the Old West. It is also about politics as it has quite a lot of politics in it – early politicization of the region is well explored and the rise to political power is also very well conveyed along with the legend becoming a fact phenomenon. It is in fact one of the best political movies that I have ever seen.

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The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Movie Review

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But the one thing that I took away the most from it is its message about the importance of adaptability. The film showcases how Stewart’s Ranse had to learn how to use a gun and how to defend himself in order to beat Liberty Valance. Despite all his modern, civilized views, he still had to resort to physical confrontation. And I loved that message which may be transgressive, but it is real and truthful. In the real world, even in today’s more organized  and lawful society, if you get attacked on the street, no law can protect you in those few minutes and you need to defend yourself physically. It is an important message as it rings true for all eras.

John Wayne is excellent as Tom Doniphon and James Stewart is actually more prominent here and as usual very reliable in the role of Ranse. The casting here is top-notch and just perfect. Wayne plays an old-fashioned man, a redneck whereas Stewart plays a more modern gentleman. But both are great men inside and that’s what matters the most in the end. The casting was great and their performances are perfect leading to such an interesting and highly well developed relationship and dynamic.

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The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Movie Review

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Liberty Valance is a memorable villain and Lee Marvin is also very well cast as this villainous, aggressive bandit. He is over-the-top, but delightfully so and all of his scenes are quite amusing and he definitely had a memorable menacing presence. Hallie is also excellent, especially for a female in a western flick. I loved how she yearned to learn how to write and read and her relationship with both of her men was superb. And the other characters are your regular goofy sidekicks, but still highly likable and fun, not to mention diverse as you get the stuttering fellow here as well as the drunk and the fatso obsessed with food. All of them really bring a lot to the table in terms of the humor.

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance has a lot of heart at its core. The ending is truly emotional and simply perfect and unforgettable. I loved all of its more romantic scenes not just with Hallie but also with the notion of nostalgia for home. I loved that ending, but the gunfight is also one of the highlights – short but sweet. The political gatherings were excessive, but mostly very well done and I loved the teaching parts as well. The flashback structure is just amazingly executed here as the beginning gets you interested instantly and the entire story is a flashback that explains everything so well. I have always loved this “beginning is the end” structure and here we got one of the best such examples.

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The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Movie Review

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The film is gorgeously shot and although the color photography is preferable for this genre and still nobody knows exactly why Ford didn’t do that, I still liked this black-and-white photography and some scene such as the gunfight hugely benefited from it. The score is also quite good and I have to say that even though that twist at the end was a big cop-out, it was still well done and should be obvious as Stewart always played these great men who would never shoot anyone, whether good or bad. The directing from John Ford is stellar, the film is never boring or rushed and the dialogue and humor are both quite solid with a couple of memorable lines and more than a couple of truly funny lines.

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The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Movie Review

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With excellent direction from John Ford and with absolutely top-notch casting with John Wayne, James Stewart and Lee Marvin all being perfect for their roles and every one of them excelled at them, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance also has a big heart at its core, very strong humor and dialogue and it is a film that favors story over action as it explores the modernization of the Old West, the politics of the 19th century and the phenomenon of the legend becoming a fact. I also really admired its transgressive but very truthful and important message that sometimes the law cannot help you and you have to resort to physical confrontation. Smart, funny and moving with a great flashback structure to it, this film truly is one of the best westerns of all time.

My Rating – 4.5

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The Dirty Dozen (1967)

The Dirty Dozen Movie Review

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The Dirty Dozen Movie Review

The Dirty Dozen is a 1967 war film directed by Robert Aldrich and starring Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine and Charles Bronson. It is a mediocre, annoying film.

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You’ve seen a general inspecting troops before haven’t you?

Just walk slow, act dumb and look stupid!

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The Dirty Dozen Movie Review

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When it comes to war movies, I am always in the camp of drama and not action. This is a war action flick and thus I am not a fan of it. Everything here is style over substance, action spectacle over story and it just bored me.

It also bored me with its running time which is two and half hours. Of course it did not need that at all and thus it felt overly prolonged and it quickly bored me into submission. The story is nowhere in sight ant this is just such a basic premise that serves to give more and more action and nothing more than that.
The Dirty Dozen has, well, a dozen characters and they are all so underdeveloped and ultimately forgettable. But even worse, most of them are annoying, thoroughly unlikable and just plain bad people whom you cannot root for at all.

This movie is overly macho and only stereotypical straight men can really enjoy this in my opinion and nobody else. It has that masculine quality to it that is very off-putting and there is not a woman in sight here.

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The Dirty Dozen Movie Review

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Ernest Borgnine is annoying, Charles Bronson is okay but not a remarkable character and Lee Marvin is the best of the bunch, but he plays a regular character for him and he doesn’t stretch his acting muscles at all here.

The direction from Robert Aldrich is weak and mediocre, the film is too long and weakly paced and only the cinematography is solid, and the acting as well. The film looks and also sounds good thanks to a pretty solid score, but everything else is uninspired and dull.

The Dirty Dozen looks and sounds good, but the characters are either annoying or plain unlikable, the film favors style over substance with not enough drama and story and way too much action. It is overlong and tedious.

My Rating – 2.5

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Village of the Damned (1960)

Village of the Damned Movie Review

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Village of the Damned Movie Review

Village of the Damned is a 1960 British horror film starring George Sanders. It is such a great, memorable horror.

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You have to be taught to leave us alone

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Village of the Damned Movie Review

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The plot here is so original and unlike anything I’ve seen before, highly memorable and influential. The whole village gets immobilized for a couple of hours and afterwards all of the women get pregnant. The kids are born more advanced with white hair and creepy eyes and special mind powers. It is up to George Sanders to stop them.

This is so obviously similar to The Twilight Zone both in style and in plot. It is basically that show’s never produced episode and I can imagine Rod Serling loving it. I loved its talkative and more scientific approach and those discussions are some of the best scenes. Of course the most memorable scene is the ending with the brick wall, very imaginative and intense.

I loved George Sanders here as he went against typecasting and he plays a hero for once. It paid off as he really delivered a strong performance and carried the entire movie on his shoulders. The other actors and actresses here suffer considerably when compared to him. I loved his character and of course the kids are so well established, creepy and wonderfully villainous.

Village of the Damned is a further proof of how great 1960 was for horror films and the best year ever for the genre. It is another strong addition to that year’s classic roster and most similar to ‘Eyes Without a Face’. It isn’t one of the best horror films ever, but it is one of the better ones.

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Village of the Damned Movie Review

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Its fatal flaw is its running time. Usually I love shorter movies, but this movie needed a longer running time. Clocking in at just 77 minutes, the story movies way too fast and the entire first half or so is rather rushed. The story is too detailed and rich for such a short runtime.

It is technically amazing. The direction should have been better, but the film looks great owing to terrific special effects for its time. I could sometimes see that when kids had glowing eyes those were still photos, but again for 1960 this was amazing trick photography. And because it focuses so much on psychology and not as much on effects, it managed to become timeless and it aged remarkably well and is enjoyable and atmospheric to this day.

Being basically the greatest Twilight Zone episode never produced, Village of the Damned truly is a horror classic. Its story is iconic and highly original and although the film is too short and rushed, it is so well plotted, acted and made with terrific effects, excellent dialogue and a superb performance from George Sanders who went against typecasting here and was unusually heroic. The film looks and sounds great and it’s filled with a lot of unforgettable scenes.

My Rating – 4.5

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The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

The Manchurian Candidate Movie Review

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The Manchurian Candidate Movie Review

The Manchurian Candidate is a 1962 political thriller film directed by John Frankenheimer and starring Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh and Angela Lansbury. It’s overrated.

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It’s a terrible thing to hate your mother.

But I didn’t always hate her.

When I was a child, I only kind of disliked her

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The Manchurian Candidate Movie Review

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I have almost the same opinion of The Manchurian Candidate as I have of another 60s political thriller ‘Z’. Both are competently made films and very well acted, but both are dull. But this one isn’t frenetic but rather opposite – it is excruciatingly slow paced, uninvolving and ultimately it bored me so much. Political movies should appeal to everyone including non-fans such as myself and this one failed miserably at that.

The story has its moments, but it is mostly not great, certainly not deserving the praise that it received. It truly is one of the most overrated films from this period and of course it came from probably the weakest film year ever which is 1962. It also isn’t really a thriller, but it’s also not a drama. It has a conflicting nature to it and was to me just too static to enjoy.

Janet Leigh is very memorable and beautiful here. Laurence Harvey is also quite solid. Angela Lansbury as the villain killed it and she is the standout here and probably the only legitimately great reason to see this movie as her performance is truly remarkable as is her character. But all of the other characters are throwaway, dull entities for whom I never cared about at all.

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The Manchurian Candidate Movie Review

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The Manchurian Candidate is well shot, but lacks score which was critical to sell those thriller sequences and thus it fails as a political thriller. It looks nice, but should have also sounded nice. The performances are very good, but John Frankenheimer’s direction not so much. It felt unprofessional and ultimately a problem the movie never overcame. The pacing is, as I said, beyond sluggish and the runtime is actually way too long as it is slightly over two hours but the plot never needed that much time. In the end, this is one giant overrated mess that isn’t a bad movie per say, but it is so weak and riddled with flaws that it frustrated me along with being a highly tedious experience.

The Manchurian Candidate is very well acted with Angela Lansbury giving a standout, memorable performance, but the film is overlong, static in quality, so incredibly dull and never at all engaging or thrilling and thus it fails as a thriller and it is one very overrated film in my opinion.

My Rating – 3

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Z (1969)

Z Movie Review

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Z Movie Review

Z is a 1969 Algerian political thriller film directed by Costa-Gavras. It is one of the most overrated foreign films of the sixties.

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Always blame the USA,

even if you are wrong!

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Z Movie Review

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I am not the biggest fan of political thrillers and this movie just wasn’t engaging enough to overcome my apathy for this particular genre. I realize that this story is very important, not to mention highly relatable even to this day, but the way it was presented was frustrating and honestly quite off-putting at times.
The movie deals with a lot of characters and not one of them is remotely memorable and you will most definitely forget about them pretty shortly after seeing it. The acting is fine, but I wanted less characters and better character development.
Z’s pacing is horrible. It is at times quite dull and boring, yet also frequently annoyingly frenetic to the point of becoming boring in and of itself. I dislike a lot of action and this action, although it happens in real life, is executed with such annoying directorial choices and especially off-putting cinematography that it frustrated me quite a bit.
Z is also very much a product of its time. Whether through cinematography, direction or those genre thrills, the movie is obviously dated. I can see how great it must have been for late 60s and early 70s audiences and critics, but its power is blunted by now.

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Z Movie Review

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Z received the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and it is the first foreign movie to also be nominated for Best Picture and needless to say, I disagree with that wholeheartedly. It is an extremely overrated movie that is just okay and nothing more than that.

Z is one of 60s most overrated foreign films which deals with an important story, but presents it in a very off-putting manner with sometimes sluggish, yet at times also frenetic pacing. It is never as engaging as it should have been, it is very dated and a total bore from start to finish.

My Rating – 3

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Chimes at Midnight (1965)

Chimes at Midnight Movie Review

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Chimes at Midnight Movie Review

Chimes at Midnight is a 1965 historical film directed by and starring Orson Welles. It is a pretty solid, but expectedly flawed effort from the director.

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There lives not three good men unhanged in England,

and one of them is fat and grows old

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Chimes at Midnight Movie Review

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I usually dislike Orson Welles’ movies, but this film is more in line with ‘Touch of Evil’ than ‘The Magnificent Ambersons’ meaning that it is a solid film, certainly not bad, but again far from great. What I admired about it is its subject matter and especially its attention to detail. Falstaff has always been the finest Shakespearean creation and he was very well depicted here. Orson Welles’ performance in that role was also commendable.

But the movie was just never as engaging as I expected it to have been. The dialogue is difficult to comprehend, but that was expected from the time period and was actually the movie’s plus. But the minus is how the film was tough to follow in terms of storytelling and characterization, both quite weak. The film is rushed in beginning and mostly weirdly paced and it is filled with too many characters thus making the story quite difficult to follow at times.

Chimes at Midnight  is technically superb if you discount the sound of course which is quite poor in its quality and odd. But the cinematography is excellent, his direction is solid and the acting is very good. The dialogue is excellent and I wish the script was as great. It gave us too many ideas and characters and plot points for one movie.

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Chimes at Midnight Movie Review

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It looks magnificent in its crisp black and white photography and superb historical imagery. The battle at the middle of the movie is actually stupendous. It doesn’t last for too long, it is very memorable and superbly shot and executed. Its attention to detail is its biggest asset as everything is meticulously recreated so you feel as if you walked into a Shakespeare play yourself. The set design, the actors, the imagery and the dialogue all work in line to help transport you to this period. But because the script and characters are problematic, it ended up being just solid and a waste of great talent.

Chimes at Midnight is superb technically speaking if you discount its frequently poor sound. The dialogue is excellent, the cinematography is splendid, the acting is very good and the attention to detail is overwhelming and quite commendable. But the script is not the greatest, the characterization should have been better and the film is tough to follow at times and oddly paced leading to a solid, but problematic effort.

My Rating – 3.5

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Splendor in the Grass (1961)

Splendor in the Grass Movie Review……………………………………………………….

Splendor in the Grass Movie Review

Splendor in the Grass is a 1961 romantic drama film directed by Elia Kazan and starring Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty. It is one of the best films of its year.

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Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass,

glory in the flower,

we will grieve not; rather find strength in what remains behind

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Splendor in the Grass Movie Review……………………………………………………….

Splendor in the Grass reminded me of ‘Picnic’ which deals with a similar subject matter and both are truly great movies. The film is set in 1928 and follows a girl who suffers from a nervous breakdown after her boyfriend cheated on her and did not want to have sex with her. The movie treats its issue in such a deep, tragic way and you really feel empathy for its characters.

Of course the time and place were simply too conservative, but sexual repression unfortunately was an issue until quite recently. I felt that myself a couple of times in my life which is why this movie was so relatable to me personally. It showcases the problems of society and how it treats sexuality as a taboo when it is a beautiful thing while also showing us how terrible parents can be when it comes to raising their kids.

Deannie is a wonderful protagonist who is tragic, but has a genuine arc and plot progression as she ends up becoming smarter and much more mature which was wonderful to witness. Bud is also a sympathetic character and the relationship between the two was beautiful and seeing them get separated was heartbreaking in that touching ending. His sister is another tragic, bold and different character. Of course her mother is such a realistic character depicted in a grounded in reality manner and his father is also painfully realistic. These two are responsible for ruining their kids’ lives and it was difficult watching them succeed in it.

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Splendor in the Grass Movie Review……………………………………………………….

The film is superbly acted all around, but Natalie Wood is truly a standout actress here. Warren Beatty is also really good, but just not as great as she was here. She entirely deserved her Oscar nomination (the film also deserved to win for Best Original Screenplay and it should have been nominated for Best Picture) as her performance is powerful and especially admirable for her young age.

Splendor in the Grass is extremely sensual owing to the main actors’ evident appeal. Warren is handsome and Natalie is beautiful and charming. Together, they share some pretty steamy scenes for its time and the entire film is very modern as it deals with a subject matter rarely touched upon previously in Hollywood. It is also one of the first truly modern teen movies.

The poem is beautiful, I loved the ending and that bathtub scene is another highlight as it is so tragic. The film definitely could have been a bit shorter as some scenes needed to be trimmed down a bit as they are slower and not as necessary, but the film owing to its big length succeeds at becoming an epic romance for the ages.

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Splendor in the Grass Movie Review……………………………………………………….

It is a beautifully made film. The Technicolor is so good, the film is not well paced, but it is so well directed by Elia Kazan who truly was a superb director. The two actors weren’t as great at first, but they eventually became better and better until giving very admirable performances in the end. The dialogue should have been subtler, but it is still solid and sometimes quite memorable. Its emotion is felt as the film moved me a lot.

Splendor in the Grass is one phenomenal teen romantic drama which deals with its subject of sexual repression in a tragic and very dramatic manner. The performances are very good with Natalie Wood being fantastic, it has a wonderful ending and a couple of tragic scenes while being moving and relatable throughout its runtime. It is a movie that was very modern and sensual owing to its two very good looking actors and thematically bold plot for its time and it should be regarded better nowadays.

My Rating – 4.5

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Eyes Without a Face (1960)

Eyes Without a Face Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

Eyes Without a Face Movie Review

Eyes Without a Face is a 1960 French horror film directed by Georges Franju and starring Pierre Brasseur and Alida Valli. It is a very strong, truly memorable horror movie.

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My face frightens me.

My mask frightens me even more

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Eyes Without a Face Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

It is about a doctor who goes out of his length to help his daughter get a new face after she got disfigured in an accident. This is pretty much something that could come up from the mind of Rod Serling and surely the film reminded of a lengthy Twilight Zone episode. And naturally, being a huge fan of the show myself, I ate it up and I loved this film.

Yes, I agree with the critics in that the film is very contemporary today given all the fuss around cosmetic surgery and it was executed in a way that it can be creepy and disturbing even today. A very admirable, timeless horror film this is. I loved the story, its poetic elements are strong and the film’s ending is simply beautiful and emotionally rewarding.

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Eyes Without a Face Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

The acting is very strong and both Pierre Brasseur and Edith Scob did a very good job, but it is Alida Valli who stole the show here and proved how great of an international actress she was. She killed it in such a great, villainous role and her acting is a great mix of theatrical and subtle. Her character and the doctor are both great and I loved how Louise eventually rebelled and her story is so strong.

Eyes Without a Face isn’t a perfect film as its flaws are pretty obvious. The surgery sequence is a bit too gross and overly sensational in approach and in my opinion the third act was filmed in an awkward manner and some scenes were either unnecessary or not at all well paced. But other than that, the film is great and it is a shame that the French rarely made horror movies as this was a proof that they could be great at them.

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Eyes Without a Face Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

So I loved the atmosphere and of course the film is so well acted, directed, filmed and particularly scored as its score is gorgeous and very memorable. The entire film is poetic and artistic, but still containing strong horror elements. The dog attack scene at the end was brutal and the surgery scene is highly unapologetic as well leading to one of the most brutal horror films of its time. Those two scenes and the ending are my favorites. Of course I loved the make-up effects and that mask and especially the new face looked very real. The only scene that rang false was the stabbing moment which was silly and laughable how stupidly it was filmed, but the effects are stellar and the film is otherwise very much ahead of its time. It is again a proof of how great a year 1960 was when it comes to horror and it’s one of the best French films of the period, much better than those infinitely overrated dramas of the time.

Eyes Without a Face is a bit too gross in its surgery sequence and the third act was badly paced, but the film is otherwise such a stellar, ahead of its time horror film that is both artistic and emotional in approach, but also horrific and filled with great genre thrills. The acting and direction are great, the effects are excellent, the score is gorgeous and the film is very memorable owing to a bunch of unforgettable sequences such as the aforementioned surgery one, the dog attack scene and the ending which is beautiful.

My Rating – 4.5

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Yojimbo (1961)

Yojimbo Movie Review……………………………………………………

Yojimbo Movie Review

Yojimbo is a 1961 Japanese jidaigeki film directed by Akira Kurosawa and starring Toshiro Mifune. It is a solid, but far from great film.

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Kill one or a hundred.

You only hang once

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Yojimbo Movie Review……………………………………………………

Yes, I do not get why Yojimbo got the status that it has, that of a world classic. To me this is one of Kurosawa’s weaker films that is just not up to par with his best. The story itself is solid, but typical action/period stuff that turned out highly influential but was never either complex or deep enough.

Toshiro Mifune is highly memorable in this movie as the lead man. It is easy to see why the director was so fond of him and why he cast him in so many of his productions as he has charisma and is very good for this kind of stuff. To me this movie has way too many characters, but most are solidly developed and he is a very good protagonist. The performances are good across the board.

The action in Yojimbo is very well executed and some of the set pieces here are remarkable. I liked the direction and the score is particularly strong and fitting to this time period. The film also looks good and its attention to detail is remarkable as it wonderfully transports you to its Edo time period and the characters are brute and redneck enough that they seem realistic and like real people from this time and place.

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Yojimbo Movie Review……………………………………………………

The humor is also surprisingly good here in that typically goofy Japanese fashion and I wanted much more from it. To me the first half is very good, but the second one is disappointing and too action oriented and typical. The entire movie is not memorable enough and it always felt like typical jidaigeki stuff that just never rises above the formula to become something special. Needless to say, I found the movie very overrated and certainly far from Kurosawa’s best. He is a great director, but this is not his great movie, just solid.

Yojimbo is certainly well acted with a couple of memorable sequences and it is well filmed and scored, but it is not one of Kurosawa’s best efforts owing to its standard storyline, way too many characters and not enough originality. It is solid, but never great.

My Rating – 3.5

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2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

2001: A Space Odyssey Movie Review

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2001: A Space Odyssey Movie Review

2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 science fiction film directed by Stanley Kubrick. It is the genre’s best film and in my opinion one of the best films ever made.

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Open the pod bay doors, HAL

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2001: A Space Odyssey Movie Review

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In this movie review I am not going to talk about the story in-depth as I have already done that analysis in my review of the book. But let’s compare the two works. I guess I am in vast minority, but I think I actually prefer the book. The movie is absolutely fantastic, but some elements, especially the main character and the plot itself, were slightly better in the novel.
But Clarke and Kubrick are both geniuses and this movie is the quintessential example of how to properly adapt novel into visual medium such as film, it is actually a better example than ‘The Shining’ which is another Kubrick movie which was perfectly adapted from the Stephen King book. Whereas the novel is much better explained and detailed, the film is just the opposite – it doesn’t give many explanations and it leaves many things unanswered and to the viewers to analyze themselves. That is why this film is such an admirable work of art, wonderfully ambiguous, timeless and always fascinating to behold. The book and the film are the same at their core, but are so different in approach and that is why I loved what Kubrick did here.

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2001: A Space Odyssey Movie Review

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I thought that Bowman, Poole and Floyd were all better in the book, but here they aren’t particularly important and that is why they aren’t as much developed. In the ambitious scope and context of this epic story, characters are almost irrelevant which is why I liked that approach even though I would usually criticize it. The performances from its far from famous cast are pretty good too.
HAL 9000 is absolutely magnificent. It is interesting how the only non-human character in the movie is better developed, more flawed and in the end more human than the humans themselves which is an interesting conversation point. But whatever you take away from it, you just cannot deny the power of this character who is in my opinion one of the best villains ever in a film and probably even the very best. Calculated, yet so human, he is also very creepy and all of the scenes with him are so powerful with the lip-reading sequence being the most memorable. Complex and fascinating, HAL truly is an unforgettable creation.

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2001: A Space Odyssey Movie Review

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2001: A Space Odyssey is one of the most cinematic films in film history. And that is in and of itself a pure miracle because the book seems so unfilmable and the story seems that it could only exist in the literary form. That is why Kubrick’s direction here is probably the best of all time, it is that great! Without any doubt, this is his magnum opus and that says a lot as his filmography is truly phenomenal. His direction here is always consistent, artistic and epic and he is the person most responsible for the existence of this masterpiece. He was such a talented individual.
Naturally the special effects are the most memorable aspect here. Wow, not only is this movie the best looking classic film, but I would go so far as to call these effects the finest ever created in a film. I have actually read how it was made and it is still mind-boggling to me that this film came out in the sixties. The ship, the planets and the overall space is just visually stunning. There are many scenes here that contain such jaw-dropping visceral beauty that it overwhelms your senses entirely. The cinematography and the effects work in line to create one of the best looking movies of all time.

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2001: A Space Odyssey Movie Review

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I constantly use those superlatives, but this is just that powerful a movie. And it is another strong proof that some movies have to be watched many times in order to fully understand them. When I watched 2001 the first time, I actually disliked it. When I watched it the second time, I found it to be very good, but kind of boring. But upon third viewing and on the big screen, I was riveted throughout the whole running time, I was fascinated by its sheer magnitude and now I deem it to be one of the best films of all time. It is in fact now in my top ten films list, sitting at the seventh spot for now and it may only move further to the top as I definitely intend to watch it every couple of years for the rest of my life.
This wouldn’t be such a strong artistic achievement hadn’t it been for the score. Using classical compositions, Kubrick again managed to create a timeless masterpiece. I loved how wonderfully the music accompanied the action on screen and that creepy score accompanying the monolith scene was just astonishing to behold and immensely unnerving.

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2001: A Space Odyssey Movie Review

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As I said, it is a timeless film. Mainly because it uses spacesuits, the ship and especially the production design that feel so futuristic and definitely timeless instead of the usually timely portrayals in other science fiction films of this period. The furniture and the sets are just magnificent and couple that with those accomplished effects and you have the movie that looks and sounds great even in this 21st century and do believe that it is going to stand the test of time for many centuries and millennia to come.
Now I have to touch upon my favorite sequences. I adore that opening with the apes. Now I do love ‘Planet of the Apes’ from the same year, but this is how you make apes that look realistic and fantastic to this day. The transition from the bone to the space object is stunning and the next unforgettable scene is of course the monolith scene which is unforgettable in its creepiness. I loved all of the scenes with HAL 9000 and the entire ending is jaw-droppingly beautiful and artistic. I loved the ambiguity about it. I still do think that those who haven’t read the book would have a hard time understanding the film, but I’ve read the book myself and I love both of these works so much.

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2001: A Space Odyssey Movie Review

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The dialogue is sparse, but phenomenal. I loved that this was almost a silent film in many ways and I loved its ambitious approach. The film deals with so many things from artificial intelligence to extraterrestrials to weapons to space exploration, but it is above all one ambitious and timeless look at the never-ending human quest for knowledge. In its plot and scope, it is almost universal and all-encompassing which is why it is a quintessential science fiction film whether you love it or not.

With the best special effects ever created, one of the best villains ever, splendid production design, stunning cinematography, beautiful score and absolutely fantastic direction from Kubrick, 2001: A Space Odyssey truly is a timeless masterpiece and undoubtedly a work of art. It encompasses all of the essential science fiction themes and that is why it is the quintessential genre film. Ambitious in scope and plot, epic in feel and filled with many scenes that are overwhelming in their majesty, 2001 is a marvel to behold and it is indisputably one of the best films of all time.

My Rating – 5

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