The Goodbye Girl (1977)

The Goodbye Girl  Movie Review

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The Goodbye Girl Movie Review

The Goodbye Girl is a 1977 romantic comedy film directed by Herbert Ross and starring Richard Dreyfuss, Marsha Mason and Quinn Cummings. It is a solid, charming flick.

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If you were a Broadway musical,

people would be humming your face

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The Goodbye Girl Movie Review

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As is almost always the case with most romantic comedies, this one is also extremely cliched and predictable in its storyline and from beginning to end. There is nothing original or interesting that happens here in terms of the plot points and that was certainly a problem the movie never overcame.

But still it is an enjoyable film because it does the first part of its genre name right – it gives us romance. The comedy is lacking and despite a couple of amusing moments, the film is rarely really funny and never hilarious. It is more dramatic than comedic, especially in the first half.

But the romance worked for me. I did not think that these characters were all that great, but the interactions between them were interesting and playful and I loved the romantic parts of the film. The ending is too cliched, but sweet, the dinner is lovely and the entire falling in love part is so well done and actually highly effervescent.

Richard Dreyfuss plays an especially likable, charming man and I really liked most of his actions and sentences. He really sold this movie. The character is great, but the actor did a great job himself and honestly his Oscar win is not all that surprising when you think about it. He is the sole reason to see this film.

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The Goodbye Girl Movie Review

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Especially because Marsha Mason isn’t all that great in her role which is definitely too unlikable for way too much of its running time. That is also what Ebert said and this is probably the first time that I entirely agree with his review. However, Quinn Cummings is much better and she deserved her Oscar nomination as she portrayed this memorable girl so well.

The Goodbye Girl is weakly made, very weakly. The direction is so mediocre as is the cinematography and the film looked too stagy. The editing is also weak and I have to say that the first act is very unappealing, not at all engaging and frankly even a bit annoying as the characters are frustrating and unlikable at first. Later the movie improved quite a bit, but eventually it settled into being just a solid rom com and nothing more than that. Its Best Picture nomination was thoroughly undeserved.

The technical aspects are nothing to write home about, the story is of course cliched and predictable and Marsha Mason is unlikable in The Goodbye Girl, but Richard Dreyfuss is great and very likable in such a charming role. And the movie itself is often very pleasant and sweetly romantic leading to a solid and better than average romantic comedy.

My Rating – 3.5

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Eraserhead (1977)

Eraserhead Movie Review

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Eraserhead Movie Review

Eraserhead is a 1977 weird movie directed by David Lynch and it is one of his most famous films. And yes, it is weird and that is what defines it.

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In heaven, everything is fine

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Eraserhead Movie Review

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I strongly disliked this movie. Everything in it was very annoying and unlikable. It is weird in a negative sense. The story concerns a man who fears parenthood and has nightmares regarding the disfigured baby. And this could have been good, but it is executed poorly and it becomes a disgusting and awfully gross to watch.

The direction from Lynch is pretentious. This movie is as pretentious as they come. The imagery and visuals are the only good points here. And the effects are of course great. But all those technical aspects don’t help much when they created this very unlikable and disgusting world.

The character development in Eraserhead is non-existent. All of the characters are poorly developed and also highly unsympathetic. The acting is nothing to write home about too. Everything in this movie is barely touched upon and underdeveloped. And the running time is also incredibly short, but it may be a good thing here because of the bad quality. I really wanted it to end as quickly as possible how boring, stupid and unlikable it was.

The only good thing here are the technical aspects, of which the cinematography is the highlight. The director really has a knack for black-and-white cinematography and it suits his imagery and sentiment the best.

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Eraserhead Movie Review

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Eraserhead is, it has to be mentioned, boring as it can be. There are many prolonged and dragged sequences that don’t add much to the already short film and those are just tedious and indescribably dull. The whole movie is boring despite its running time which is really saying something.

This is probably his worst film and it is pronounced usually as one of his best which is insane having in mind how ‘The Elephant Man’ has everything this movie doesn’t have a bit and it is a shame to see how he made such a bad film before that classic. And it just adds to show how 1977 is such an incredibly weak year in film. So weak with just a handful of classics.

With a bunch of boring and awfully extended sequences, non-existent character development, so-so acting, many disgusting scenes and with a lack of heart or point to it, Eraserhead is an overrated and definitely a bad film which is visually good and it has great cinematography, but that’s just it. Everything else is highly annoying and unlikable leading to what is probably the director’s worst film.

My Rating – 2

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Alien (1979)

Alien Movie Review

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Alien Movie Review

Alien is a 1979 science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Sigourney Weaver. It is one of the best blockbusters of all time.

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It’s a robot! Ash is a goddamn robot!

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Alien Movie Review

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This is the movie that started it all, not just this franchise, but also the entire sub-genre of horror with aliens and set in space. To me the movie is great because it is such a phenomenal mix of science fiction and slasher horror. The slasher subgenre is usually not great, but here it was executed in the best way possible and there is not a single big flaw I could find in this movie so that is why it gets the perfect rating from me.

The pacing is where this movie shines among other things. It basically has a sci-fi first half and an all-out horror second half and it works wonderfully. I loved how slow paced it was at first as it led to such a perfect build up to exciting, scary action later on. The mystery of the derelict had remained a mystery until it was answered in ‘Prometheus’ and ‘Alien: Covenant’ and I have to say that I loved this movie for being more mysterious and ambiguous in quality. I also loved the more simplistic and elegant approach that led to its timeless appeal.

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Alien Movie Review

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Ripley is one of the best ever female action heroes, there is no denying that. She might even be the very best. She is tough, but believably so as she has her panicky and more human moments here as well. I love her character and she is one of the main reasons why the original series was so great. Sigourney Weaver is naturally awesome in her most famous role and she plays Ripley so well on all levels.

Dallas is the most forgettable member of the crew, but Lambert is pretty solid. I liked how she was more emotional than Ripley and the portrayal of these two very different women was very realistic and a great choice. Brett is just there to die as is Kane, but they aren’t fully disposable and their deaths are felt.

Parker is a memorable character and not just a token black man. He was more realistic than most of these crew members and I liked that. Of course Mother as this computer on the ship is quite memorable, but Ash is one of the best characters here as this android who was ordered to bring the alien specimen back to Earth. The twist reveal was great and unexpected when you watch it for the first time and he is such a phenomenal secondary villain here, so well played by Ian Holm. So Alien definitely has better than average character development for a horror flick.

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Alien Movie Review

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The alien himself is pretty outstanding. Now I could see in one scene that it was a human in a suit playing it, a dancer more specifically, but other times it was much more convincing and for this time those effects were brilliant and almost seamless. It was definitely the best choice for that time and it paid off significantly. It looks great and sounds great and that is why the movie aged like fine wine.

I loved that it was just one Xenomorph here and again that is why this movie is so brilliant and timeless in its simplicity. It posed real threat and only Ripley stopped him and the way she did that was so well executed and perfectly believable. Despite that typical “let’s split” behavior which is so annoying, this horror film is otherwise pretty clever and the characters almost never made mistakes.

The scares are definitely there and are definitely felt. The first half is mysterious and atmospheric in quality and the second one if quite creepy at times with just the right mix of jump scares, atmospheric thrills and monster action. The highlights are the scene where the creature jumps from Kane’s chest and the whole twist ending was definitely unforgettable. I also loved the scenes on the planet with the mysterious alien as well as Xenomorph eggs. And of course Ash’s reveal is pretty awesome too.

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Alien Movie Review

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Alien is beautifully made. The direction from Ridley Scott is outstanding and this is his magnum opus without any doubt. It is magnificently edited and visually arresting with great effects and I loved how the ship looked as well as the alien and the android. It looks awesome for a 1979 film. And of course it sounds great thanks to such a good score and brilliant sound effects that only further heighten the tension. It truly is an undisputed genre classic.

Alien is a timeless masterpiece, the best sci-fi horror film and one of the finest blockbusters of all time. Ash the android is such a great character as is Ripley of course who is so well played by Sigourney Weaver in her most famous role. The film is mysterious and atmospheric in its first half and so intense and creepy in the second half. The direction, acting, story and thrills, brilliant editing and amazing special effects all add to such an unforgettable experience.

My Rating – 5

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The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie Movie Review

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The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie Movie Review

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie is a 1972 French comedy film directed by Luis Bunuel. It is an overrated, plotless film.

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You’re better suited for making love than for making war

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The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie Movie Review

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This is such a typical Luis Bunuel work and it is one of his weaker ones in my opinion. It shows all of his excesses and problematic qualities in one frustrating package. I get that it has the theme of hypocrisy but it wasn’t executed well at all.

It seemed that it had no plot at all. It was just an excuse to feature a surreal, farcical adventure with a bunch of friends who want to have dinner together but are always interrupted. It had potential as it deals with interesting themes, but only the first act was interesting and the other ones were either dull or annoying.

Some segments worked but others did not. I liked some of the sexual stuff here, but some was frustrating. As for those surreal dream sequences, they were okay, but far from the director’s best. He shows again with this movie that he was great as a short subject director and not as feature director as ‘An Andalusian Dog’ remains his best effort.

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The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie Movie Review

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The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie is well acted and mostly well made, but overlong and frankly boring in some scenes. Its type of humor is so obviously French in its situational and odd comedy and it mostly did not work great. I didn’t smile, let alone laugh, once and thus this is a failure for me as comedies are supposed to make you smile. It received the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and it is not the worst film to get that award, but is one of the weaker ones.

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie is your typical Luis Bunuel film which relies too little on plot and makes no sense for the majority of time. Some segments worked, but most did not and the film was even annoying at times. It is your typical French comedy that isn’t really funny and is rather overrated.

My Rating – 3

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Cries and Whispers (1972)

Cries and Whispers Movie Review

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Cries and Whispers Movie Review

Cries and Whispers is a 1972 Swedish drama film directed by Ingmar Bergman and starring Harriet Andersson. It is his most overrated film.

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It is early Monday morning and I am in pain

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Cries and Whispers Movie Review

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This truly is the worst example of everything that is bad and pretentious in Bergman’s films. The story here with the sisters watching their third sister on her deathbed certainly had potential, but it was executed in such a blatantly pretentious manner that any momentum was lost.

Some say it is a horror, but to me it is just a movie that is filled with ridiculous actions by these women, some are silly and others are disgusting, but most are unbelievable. The performances are certainly strong, there is no denying that, but they could not help overcome the mediocrity of these characters.

Everyone talks about how Cries and Whispers is wonderfully shot. I totally disagree. To me the cinematography here is of the worst kind, yes I am serious. By using red in the most expected scenes, Bergman manages to dumb down the entire movie and I don’t know why the critics think this is super smart when in reality it is the most simplistic use of color ever in a film. Even Disney’s use of blue for good and red for bad is more complex than this simplicity.

This is one of those movies that are all about psychology, this time about the female psyche as Bergman was for some reason obsessed with women. But this is a much weaker woman’s picture than an already very overrated ‘Persona’ as the women here are unlikable, unrealistic and the psychology here is thoroughly stupid and the movie is your typical self-proclaimed “artistic and smart masterpiece”.

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Cries and Whispers Movie Review

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It was somehow nominated for five Academy Awards which is a rarity for foreign films. I am baffled at why the Academy choose to honor this movie out of many other truly great foreign films. Almost every of its nominations is awful with Picture and Director being the most undeserved and the cinematography winning is just a horrible choice.

Cries and Whispers is Bergman’s most overrated and worst film that shows all of his worst tendencies such as a pretentious approach and story which is otherwise not at all smart, unbelievable and ridiculous actions by its unlikable characters, bullshit psychology plus the use of color is so simplistic that the Academy’s choice to honor this cinematography is just baffling to me.

My Rating – 2

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The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (1970)

The Garden of the Finzi-Continis Movie Review

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The Garden of the Finzi-Continis Movie Review

The Garden of the Finzi-Continis is a 1970 Italian drama film directed by Vittorio de Sica. It is an overrated film for sure.

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Children are usually prisoners to grownups

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The Garden of the Finzi-Continis Movie Review

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Nothing about its plot interested me whatsoever. It is basically a historical piece set in the years leading up to World War II. I’ve seen this type of thing countless times before and its tale of anti-Semitism and friendship never really brought anything new to the table. The movie definitely has its sweet and even charming scenes, but is mostly a harmless, but pretty forgettable and uninspired effort from a great director.

Yes, it is weird that Vittorio de Sica made this film as it doesn’t have the strength of his other works which is probably because this is one of his last films. And that tiredness definitely shows in the finished product. The film is solidly directed and solidly acted, but never great in either of those areas.

The Garden of the Finzi-Continis is actually very well filmed and the titular garden and most of the imagery and shots were actually pretty good. The film is cozy for sure. But it relied way too heavily on relationships and sex and I just did not care for these people and their convoluted relationships thus did nothing for me.

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The Garden of the Finzi-Continis Movie Review

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It is one of those great examples of how books and films are just too different in style and execution. I almost immediately knew that this was based on a book and of course I was right. There are just too many characters here and none of them are properly developed, there are also way too many plot points and the storyline is not all that exciting and is too convoluted but in an unnecessary manner.

This material may have been great for a book, but it was never fitting for a film and no matter how well de Sica made it, he never managed to overcome that huge hurdle. The film is definitely very overrated as it did not deserve its Oscar at all.

The Garden of the Finzi-Continis is well made and filmed with some charming scenes, but is one of the most forgettable foreign Oscar winners thanks to a plot that was just never a material for a film, quite dull characters and a very boring execution.

My Rating – 3

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Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (1970)

Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion Movie Review

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Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion Movie Review

Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion is an Italian crime film directed by Elio Petri and starring Gian Maria Volonte. It is a solid, but not really a great film.

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Your fingerprints are all over here

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Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion Movie Review

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It follows a top police officer who kills his mistress and then tests whether the police would charge him for this crime. He begins manipulating the investigation by planting obvious clues while the other police officers ignore them. Needless to say, this premise is very intriguing and the film is smart and certainly relevant and important in its subject matter.

I don’t know if the choice to follow the action/plot form his perspective was great, but it did give us an interesting, original for its time narrative and structure. I thought that Gian Maria Volonte’s performance in the lead role was really good and his character is memorable for sure. But others are not nearly as memorable and the women are overly stereotypical and typical female characters from the seventies cinema.

Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion is very well acted and certainly well directed by Elio Petri, but the film doesn’t sound or look all that great as both the score and the cinematography are not the greatest. It won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, but I haven’t seen the other nominees so I cannot comment whether or not it was deserved. To me it is mostly a solid and at times even fascinating film, but far from great and certainly a lost potential as the premise definitely had tremendous promise for greatness.

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Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion Movie Review

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Its main problem was an overly sexual approach and that the film was very much a product of its time in almost every way. The first half was very good, but the second half lost me in some scenes and whereas at first it was quite believable, as it further went on and he got away, I thought that the film became more and more hard to buy and ending up being unrealistic. That is only my opinion, but I just felt like something was off here.

Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion is certainly very well acted, directed and its premise is excellent and it gives us a really interesting angle to a regular crime flick, but it is still a product of its time in some scenes, it is technically not the greatest and it became more unbelievable as it progressed leading to a solid film which had the potential to be much better.

My Rating – 3.5

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Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure (1977)

Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure Movie Review

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Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure Movie Review

Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure is a 1977 animated musical fantasy film directed by Richard Williams. It is a pretty trippy movie.

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Is this endless eating all there is to be? Or not to be?

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Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure Movie Review

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This is one of the weirdest animated films that I have ever seen, there is no doubt about it. It is definitely influenced too much by Disney’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and it is infinitely inferior to it in terms of quality, but it is still a pretty good, in my opinion even an underrated flick which surprised me pleasantly.
I could have gone without those live-action sequences and I found the first half to be overly slow and sometimes even dull to be frank. And when it suddenly goes into crazy territory, the shift is abrupt, not subtle at all and it makes you question its direction, pacing and structure which are all rather problematic.
But that second half is so good that it is worth the watch for sure. It has an abundance of either weird or creepy or downright loony characters and that I liked a lot. Yes, it definitely is similar at times to the aforementioned Disney classic, but that movie is obviously the archetype of such stories so that was to be expected. And having in mind that animated films like this are very rare, this one should be appreciated more.

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Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure Movie Review

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The voice acting is good and I really liked those weird characters such as the Camel and King Koo Koo. And of course the Greedy is quite memorable. Each and every one of those imaginative characters was very interesting and a lot of fun. But the main characters Ann and Andy are flat in comparison and immensely boring.
Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure is obviously a musical as its title says. And I have mixed feelings about this soundtrack. On the one hand, I liked its Broadway feel a lot, but on the other hand, most songs blend into each other as they are mostly too bland and similar.
I’m No Girl’s Toy is catchy, but somewhat annoying. Rag Dolly is also fine, but way too long as most songs are in this film. Camel’s Mirage has good imagery, but that’s about it. The same goes for I Never Get Enough. Two weak songs, but two great scenes. And all of the other songs are very forgettable and overly abundant. But there is no denying the power of Candy Hearts which is a wonderful song and the only song here that reached Disney quality even though its second half is weaker. I loved its lyrics, it is such a catchy tune and the song is sweet and accompanied by charming imagery.

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Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure Movie Review

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The animation here is phenomenal and one of its highlights for sure. I loved its weird imagery and there are many memorable scenes such as the two aforementioned scenes in the passage above. The character designs are actually rather impressive and the overall animation is quite fluid, inspired and mostly fueling its imaginative action so well.

Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure has a very frustrating lack of structure, the first half is too slow and dull and the main characters are bland, but the other characters are quite memorable and the entire second half is so great in its trippy and weird imagery. Some songs are bland, but some such as Candy Hearts are very good. The animation is simply fantastic and that coupled with its weirdness is a good enough reason to see this crazy, underrated flick.

My Rating – 3.5

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Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)

Escape from the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

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Escape from the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

Escape from the Planet of the Apes is a 1971 science fiction film directed by Don Taylor and starring Roddy McDowall and Kim Hunter. It’s a good sequel.

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Because I loathe bananas!

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Escape from the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

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After the events of ‘Beneath the Planet of the Apes’, Zira, Cornelius and Dr. Milo board the spaceship and fly off from the dying Earth, enter a time vortex and end up in the year 1973. The film basically follows the relationship between humans and apes as they examine and question them about the future of the humanity.
This is a good story, but it is also a story that demanded the least amount of special effects as we basically have just three apes here and that’s it. No fantastic occurencies or action scenes whatsoever. That is why the critics loved it so much along with its thematic resonance, but to me that is exactly why the previous film was more entertaining.

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Escape from the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

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But this is still a pretty good film, although far from my favorites in the series. Government intrusion and especially the experimentation on animals are well explored. I liked its character-driven, slower approach and to me the film dealt pretty realistically with such a situation. The highlights were the first act and especially the scene where the humans realize that the apes can talk and are extremely smart and the ending which is emotional and features such a pleasant, yet again unexpected twist as this franchise usually so wonderfully does.
To me those doctors who befriend the apes are fine and likable, but none of them are memorable and this is just a showcase for the characters of Zira and Cornelius as Dr. Milo dies pretty quickly. Cornelius is fine, but Zira is much better developed and although sometimes annoying, she is still a very sympathetic, charming person whom I liked quite a bit in this movie. The acting was also pretty satisfactory, certainly better than in the previous flick.
Escape from the Planet of the Apes is technically very well made as the filmmakers this time around didn’t have to deal with the whole lot of effects as in the previous flicks. The pacing is fine and the film is engaging from start to finish. I liked its scientific and political discussions and the film seemed grounded in reality and rarely over-the-top.

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Escape from the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

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The major problem is its humor which is very problematic at times and sometimes bordering on the campy territory. And there is one scene that absolutely infuriated me. That is the scene where the two explain how apes rebelled against humans. In ‘Planet of the Apes’ it is stated that the apes do not know about their origin and history and this movie now states that they do. That was obviously a major inconsistency that disrespected one of the biggest focal points from the original just for the sake of setup for the next two movies, I believe. Very disappointing. But at least the film is otherwise devoid of plot inconsistencies and plot holes.

I can see why the critics love Escape from the Planet of the Apes as it is rich in themes and pleasantly slow paced and more character-driven, but to me it was safer that way and less entertaining which is why I liked the previous movie more. The humor is also hit-or-miss. But the film is still very well scripted, Zira is very well utilized here and there are many great scenes such as that wonderful ending leading to a pretty satisfactory sequel in the end.

My Rating – 4

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Silent Running (1972)

Silent Running Movie Review…………………………………………………….

Silent Running Movie Review

Silent Running is a 1972 science fiction film directed by Douglas Trumbull and starring Bruce Dern. It is a solid, respectable film, but very flawed too.

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There is no more beauty, and there’s no more imagination.

And there are no frontiers left to conquer

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Silent Running Movie Review…………………………………………………….

The genre films in the early seventies reflected on the current climate with hippies and environmentalism and thus we get Silent Running which is similar in themes to ‘Soylent Green’ from the same period. But the two films are still rather different in storyline and both are quite solid, but far from great.

It is a respectable film that can be very heartwarming and sweet at times. Its environmental and solitude themes are well explored and in the protagonist’s actions you can see just how much he cares for the plants and animals. It is a beautiful message, but unfortunately sometimes it was executed weakly with very preachy and on-the-nose dialogue typical of its time. The flick is very much a product of its time which is both a good and a bad thing.

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Silent Running Movie Review…………………………………………………….

Bruce Dern is very good in this role. It is very interesting seeing him here when he was decades younger than he was in ‘Nebraska’ and he still had the same mannerisms and the manner of speech. I liked his performance quite a bit and he was very likable in a role which easily could have turned out bad and cheesy.

Douglas Trumbull directed the movie really well and the special effects here definitely are very good. His effects work on ‘2001’ and ‘The Andromeda Strain‘ is admirable and I am glad that he could also direct. The effects here are very good and some of the imagery is quite memorable and intriguing. I loved the look of the dome and freighter and the robots also looked really good and were quite cute (definitely reminding me of ‘WALL-E’). Visually, the film did not age at all in my opinion as it still looks very solid.

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Silent Running Movie Review…………………………………………………….

Where Silent Running failed is in its pacing which was overly sluggish and the execution of the entire plot wasn’t the greatest. Some parts are rushed, others drag too much. The third act is emotional for sure, but still too slow and the second act is uneventful and certainly the weakest of the three. To me the film tried to be thoughtful and cerebral, serious sci-fi, but it only half-succeeded in that as the dialogue never managed to support such an approach. Most of the lines were too preachy and some were even silly. Had they worked more on the dialogue, the film would have been both smarter and more emotional but this way it ended up being just solid and certainly a bit dated at times.

Silent Running is a solid science fiction film with very good special effects, a respectable message, a fine performance from Bruce Dern and a couple of moving scenes, but the film is overly contemporary filled with at times quite preachy and silly dialogue and the pacing is rather sluggish resulting in a solid film which should have been much smarter and much better overall.

My Rating – 3.5

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