Get Out Your Handkerchiefs (1978)

Get Out Your Handkerchiefs Movie Review

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Get Out Your Handkerchiefs Movie Review

Get Out Your Handkerchiefs is a 1978 French romantic comedy which won an Oscar. It is such a frustrating, often repulsive viewing experience.

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Do you want my wife?

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Get Out Your Handkerchiefs Movie Review

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The film deals with ménage a trois as two men share a woman together. This subject matter is nothing new as ‘Design for Living’ did it much better decades ago. The problem with this film is that it is very sexist. It portrays its female character in such a horrible misogynistic manner as she is half-naked all the time and not only that but also underdeveloped and we never really learn why she is so depressed. A terribly written character.

Not that the other two are better written, not by a long shot. The two men are certainly better developed, but they are still non-entities and we never really realize why they are so obsessed with her and what is their experience from all of this in a bigger scope. The acting is fine, but the characterization is very bad.

Honestly Get Out Your Handkerchiefs started off promisingly. The beginning is abrupt, but at least somewhat amusing and even funny in its bizarre situation and interesting reactions. However, that was all thrown away pretty quickly when the film started objectifying the girl.

However, that is not even the worst offender here. The third act is honestly the worst one. There we get introduced to one 13-year-old boy who is curious about her body and that scene was very uncomfortable to watch. But she ended up in a relationship with the boy who is underage and that was just disgusting to witness.

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Get Out Your Handkerchiefs Movie Review

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There is no denying that the biggest problem of this ridiculous romantic comedy is just that – it is ridiculous. What was the point here? Did the three learn anything? Not at all. What is the point with her dating an underage boy? Did she learn anything? No! There is honestly no point to this film which is why it was such a waste of time. The fact that it won an Oscar is baffling to me.

The fact that Get Out Your Handkerchiefs won an Oscar is beyond my comprehension. It started off solidly – abruptly but somewhat amusingly. But it quickly went downhill when you witness the terrible writing and endless objectification of its main female character. Rarely have I seen a more misogynistic film than this one and it was truly horrible to witness. But its third act is even worse and even more repulsive in that uncomfortable relationship. Ultimately the biggest problem here is that none of the characters learn anything and the entire movie was thus a waste of time and an entirely pointless affair.

My Rating – 2.5

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Heaven Can Wait (1978)

Heaven Can Wait Movie Review

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Heaven Can Wait Movie Review

Heaven Can Wait is a 1978 fantasy comedy film directed by Warren Beatty and starring him opposite Julie Christie. It is a very slight affair.

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The likelihood of one individual being right increases in direct proportion

to the intensity with which others are trying to prove him wrong

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Heaven Can Wait Movie Review

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The problem I’ve had with this film is that it is a remake and thus it felt unnecessary and the kind of throwback that doesn’t really work. Of course it is a throwback to fantasy comedies of the forties but it never even comes close to the power of those films because it is just never as competent or as magical.

The characters are all very forgettable and not particularly interesting. The performances are solid, but not great and certainly not Oscar-worthy. Julie Christie is solid but Warren Beatty somewhat annoyed me and he isn’t particularly likable here. James Mason probably did the best job here with his signature voice.

Heaven Can Wait has a solid premise but up until this point overly familiar and nowhere near as magical or as intriguing as it might have been before. It’s a very typical story, but the execution is even worse as it is so by-the-numbers and never lifting the material properly.

There is no magic here and only a couple of scenes are enchanting or heartwarming with all of the others being disappointing. The beginning and ending are certainly the best parts but the entire middle section is lacking and of course it centers around American football so of course those sports scenes bored me to death and they stopped the movie right in its tracks.

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Heaven Can Wait Movie Review

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It did not deserve any of its nine Academy Award nominations. Yes, ridiculous that it received that many. Maybe the score I can see it getting because it is a pretty good score, but the performances are overrated, the direction is not great and of course the screenplay is the most undeserved of the bunch. I didn’t hate this film as it is perfectly passable for family entertainment, but the kind of old-fashioned filmmaking that is too traditional and too familiar.

Heaven Can Wait has its charming moments with the beginning and the ending being the highlights, but this is still a very overrated film that did not deserve any of its nine Academy Award nominations. The execution of the familiar plot is tired and not great, it fails to enchant properly and the characters are forgettable. A very disappointing film.

My Rating – 3

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Madame Rosa (1977)

Madame Rosa Movie Review

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Madame Rosa Movie Review

Madame Rosa is a 1977 French drama film starring Simone Signoret. It is a very undeserved Oscar winner.

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In my house, there’s no such thing

as an Arab state and a Jewish state

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Madame Rosa Movie Review

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It follows an elderly Jewish woman and former prostitute in Paris who cares for a number of children, including an adolescent Algerian boy. This story was very strong for its time as it is politically correct and modern. That is why the critics loved it so much.

However, nowadays it doesn’t really hold up as we live in a more tolerant society. The problem here is that the dialogue and the script are as subtle as an earthquake. It is overly didactic and just not professional at all.

Certainly Simone Signoret’s performance is excellent as she plays this great woman so well. Both the character and the actress steal the show, but I disliked the kid and his lines of dialogue quite a bit.

Madame Rosa has its sweet moments, but it’s mostly overly sentimental and not sophisticated at all. I liked that it featured prostitutes and transvestites and that must have been groundbreaking for 1977, but it lost its edge in this day and age.

It is weakly paced and although mostly quite engaging, the story is quite slight and overly predictable, especially in its ending. I knew hot it would end and I wasn’t surprised. The acting is good, but the directing is quite weak.

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Madame Rosa Movie Review

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In my opinion the film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film mostly for its politics and it was obviously a political move. That is why it did not deserve it at all and is among the more forgettable winners in this category.

Madame Rosa certainly has good intentions and a great performance from Simone Signoret, but it is an underserved, dated Oscar winner with a thin, predictable plot, an overly sentimental approach and a didactic dialogue that is as subtle as an earthquake.

My Rating – 3

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Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope Movie Review

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Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope Movie Review

Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope is a 1977 science fiction fantasy film directed by George Lucas and starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher. It is the very first installment in the massively popular blockbuster franchise.

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May the force be with you

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Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope Movie Review

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So the story concerns the Rebel Alliance led by Princess Leia who attempts to destroy the Death Star. Luke Skywalker comes into the mix when he comes into contact with the droid who possesses some valuable information. The story is very good and interesting and it begins basically when ‘Rogue One’ ends. That film is a prequel to this particular story.

The storytelling is very good here. The film does not attempt to have any serious themes, message or deeper meaning or emotion and that is fine as it knows what it wants to do and it doesn’t stay away from that. However, the main problem with the entire film is the excessive amount of action employed.

That is why A New Hope is an enormous influence on future filmmaking for better and for worse. It just has way too much action. For example, the entire third act with the battle scenes in particular was just way too long and it honestly bored me pretty quickly. It also employed some detours when the three were on the ship and it definitely needed a tighter, more involving and less action oriented narrative and approach.

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Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope Movie Review

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Let’s talk about these famous characters and actors. Luke Skywalker is as boring and as bland as most of these blockbuster heroes are. He is just a bland, tiresome entity and I dislike him quite a bit. That also stems from Mark Hamill’s very mediocre performance, at least in this movie he was very weak.

Han Solo and Princess Leia are much better and much more memorable. Certainly this was typecasting as Harrison Ford always plays these cocky, charismatic characters, but this was one of the first, before the Indiana Jones franchise and thus I like him more than Indy. He can be funny, but still too arrogant for my taste.

Leia definitely is underutilized here, but excellent. She is basically a Disney Princess in a way, especially now that Disney owns this franchise. I like her quite a bit as she is competent, action oriented and brave while still retaining her womanly attributes, beauty and royal behavior. The interactions between these three were quite strong and Carrie Fisher is great in her signature role.

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Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope Movie Review

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Peter Cushing is solid as the villain and of course Darth Vader is iconic in terms of blockbuster villains and unforgettable and menacing in each one of his scenes. In my opinion this Obi-Wan Kenobi is not great because Alec Guinness obviously disliked being on the set, he did not understand the role and thus we got a very confused performance.

As for those cutesy characters, I still do think that they were just blatantly added for the appeal to the children everywhere, even in this first entry. Chewbacca is particularly forgettable and the worst costume effect of them all. C-3PO and R2-D2 are a fun couple with an interesting dynamic. The former is feminine and very talkative while the latter is cute and mute. They are definitely an interesting duo, but again overly utilized in too many scenes.

A New Hope has some of the best special effects of the older blockbusters, that goes without question. What they pulled off here was remarkable. The sets look great, the space battles and spaceships are awesome and so cool and of course the costumes and the practical effects are so detailed and carefully designed that they mostly aged remarkably well and they added realism to the picture that CGI is not capable of.

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Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope Movie Review

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That is why George Lucas should be respected for this film. He brought an entire new universe to the audience and they were captivated back then and still to this day. It is a mish-mash of older ideas, but an original mix nonetheless. It has way too much action and weak pacing, but one of the best scores in film history for sure as that iconic John Williams opening remains legendary and the rest of the pieces are pretty terrific themselves. It is a good first entry, but the second one is much better.

A New Hope is an extremely influential blockbuster for better and for worse as it brought the wonder and epic majesty of space operas to the world but it also brought too much action which is in this film overwhelming. It also has some detours and the pacing is bad which is why its successor is so much better. But still the film features some great characters, that iconic, legendary score from John Williams and extraordinary special effects which mostly aged remarkably well. The beginning and the ending are the highlights, but most of the third act with that overlong battle bored me leading to a good, but far from great first entry.

My Rating – 4

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Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

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Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express is a 1974 mystery film directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall and Ingrid Bergman among others. It’s a solid, but flawed adaptation.

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Bianchi, Doctor, has it occurred to you that

there are too many clues in this room?

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Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

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The book is one of Agatha Christie’s best works and I love it, but this cinematic adaptation was not all that great and I do think it is overrated. It is solid and very faithful in terms of story but it has its many problems.

I liked how faithfully it adapted the book and the storyline here is excellent and quite engaging to follow. I loved the ending and it was so well executed with the finale being phenomenal and the monologue from Poirot of course being fantastic. Those were great but I thought that the investigation itself was somewhat rushed in some instances.

Another problem is the pacing which is not all that great. The film definitely is involving, but I thought that the runtime of 130 minutes was too much for this particular story and thus the first act is awfully overdrawn. That beginning did not need to last for that long and the investigation scenes suffered because of it.

Let’s talk about the acting and the characters. I am going to comment upon most of them so here we go. Let’s first talk about the elephant in the room and get him out of the way. Hercule Poirot. Oh boy, this is not going to be pleasant. Albert Finney is horrible as Poirot. How did he receive an Oscar nomination baffles me.

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Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

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He is just not Poirot. I guess he gave a good performance as he is a famous, good actor. But the characterization itself is awful and he yells too much, the voice is all wrong and only some of the mannerisms speak true to the actual book counterpart. Everything else is terrible here. David Suchet is infinitely better.

Lauren Bacall, on the other hand, is excellent and very memorable in her role. Ingrid Bergman is absolutely fantastic in a small role and I loved her as this Swedish, complex woman and I am glad that she got an Oscar for her performance. Thoroughly deserved.

Wendy Hiller is very good as Princess Dragomiroff and faithfully depicted. The same goes for Rachett and every other character as well. Only Poirot is the problem here and because he is at the center, that is why I give this movie a bad time, but all of the other players are amazing and this film truly has a spectacular ensemble cast. Sean Connery was also quite memorable and Anthony Perkins as McQueen is absolutely perfect casting for this interesting role and he did wonderfully here.

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Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

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Murder on the Orient Express is very well scored with some memorable segments. But the cinematography is superb and I loved how the train looked and the stations too. It is very polished in quality and very much a cinematic work instead of a TV production. Sidney Lumet did a great job in the directorial chair as well. The film did deserve a win for Bergman, but a nod for Finney was unwarranted. However, the noms for cinematography, costumes and score are all very much deserved. It is in the end a pleasantly old-fashioned and mostly fine, but not great adaptation.

The 1974 cinematic adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express is a perfectly solid, but highly flawed one. The first act is overlong, but the score, costumes and cinematography are all excellent and deservedly Oscar nominated. The film is engaging, faithful to its source material and with a particularly spectacular ensemble cast with everyone being well cast and giving a great performance with Oscar-winning Ingrid Bergman being the highlight. But Albert Finney is the only weak link. He is just not Poirot. He doesn’t act or look like him at all. Very bad casting coupled with terrible characterization made the most important character feel alien here.

My Rating – 3.5

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Dersu Uzala (1975)

Dersu Uzala Movie Review

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Dersu Uzala Movie Review

Dersu Uzala is a 1975 Soviet-Japanese adventure biopic directed by Akira Kurosawa. It is a long, but pretty good film.

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How can man live in a box?

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Dersu Uzala Movie Review

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This is a co-production between Russia and Japan and I liked seeing these two great countries join forces and create this epic. Akira Kurosawa is a great director and he directed this film so well. His direction and the titular Asian character bring the Asian flavor to the film which revolves in Russian Far East with Russian actors. I really liked that mix.

The friendship that develops between a Russian man and this native is heartwarming and very strong. Their explorations of the harsh region are so great and it was very interesting seeing the various different conditions from fog to snow. This is very much a film about nature and the power of it and of course I admire movies that promote that.

The two main characters are very good and I really loved their friendship. The actors also gave such strong performances. But other characters are quite forgettable. The film deals with Dersu’s aging very well and in terms of the themes, it is a familiar, but well realized film.

Dersu Uzala looks absolutely magnificent. It sounds great thanks to excellent score and superb sound design, but the various natural landscapes are beautiful to witness and the film relies heavily on its very harsh and alienated atmosphere and setting to great effect. It is an old tale of man versus nature but well crafted nonetheless.

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Dersu Uzala Movie Review

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The problem with Dersu Uzala is naturally its running time which is just way too long. Two hours would have been enough and I would cut those thirty minutes from it. Sometimes the film was slow and uninvolving and although it is a slow-burn, it still would have hugely benefited from stronger pacing and a shorter runtime. It got the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and I don’t mind its win as it is actually one of the better winners from the seventies.

Dersu Uzala is certainly overlong and it is quite a familiar tale, but well told with a strong friendship between its main characters, excellent direction and great atmosphere thanks to superb sound and wonderful cinematography. It is slow, but moving and it utilizes its interesting setting so well.

My Rating – 4

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McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)

McCabe & Mrs. Miller Movie Review

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McCabe & Mrs. Miller Movie Review

McCabe & Mrs. Miller is a 1971 western film directed by Robert Altman and starring Warren Beatty and Julie Christie. It’s a disappointing movie.

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That man never killed anyone in his life

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McCabe & Mrs. Miller Movie Review

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This movie disappointed me on multiple fronts. It is still a solid, well made and mostly quite moving film, but because it did not decide what it wants to be, it ended up being very uneven and ultimately a letdown. It never became the big romance that it promised its audience and it focused too much on those typical western elements so for the self-proclaimed “anti-western” movie, it is surprisingly traditional in style and execution.

Julie Christie did a really good job per usual and Warren Beatty is also excellent. Their romance is sweet and it is a shame that we did not get to spend more time witnessing their relationship. For a movie called McCabe & Mrs. Miller, it is surprisingly devoid of their relationship and she is particularly wasted. As for the other characters and actors, they are fine but very forgettable.

McCabe & Mrs. Miller is so well shot. I liked its score and although the song repeated throughout sometimes led to a bit pretentious scenes, I still liked that number and its somber tone. But the cinematography is excellent and frequently even superb and I really liked how this movie looks and sounds.

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McCabe & Mrs. Miller Movie Review

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It has its very sweet moments, its tale of business and big companies is well told and it is mostly a well made movie, but it was honestly boring to me because it relied too much on business and not enough on its more fun elements such as the romance. The attention to detail is great, but sometimes the film was boring with its business details. The entire second half is very prolonged and the film definitely felt slow and too long as a whole and thus it ruined the experience for me.

McCabe & Mrs. Miller is very well shot, scored and acted with some moving scenes and a well told story, but it is overlong, sometimes honestly very slow and boring and it has a lack of focus and an uneven tone. It is solid, but very disappointing.

My Rating – 3.5

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Amarcord (1973)

Amarcord Movie Review

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Amarcord Movie Review

Amarcord is a 1973 Italian comedy film directed by Federico Fellini. It is another one of his overrated movies.

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I want a woman!

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Amarcord Movie Review

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The plot here is non-existent. It is supposed to tell the tale of 1930s Fascist Italy and suppressed sexuality, but it just never is that smart or with any kind of message to it. ‘Splendor in the Grass’ does suppressed sexuality wonderfully, but this one doesn’t even try.

It is again just an excuse to show the director’s obsession with sex. Most of the film features very annoying sexual excursions and the worst offender is the scene where an older woman forces her breasts on a younger guy. That was just horrible to witness and pure pornography in my opinion.

It doesn’t even help that the characters in Amarcord are awful. Yes, this is the kind of film that tries to sell its “weirdness”, but these people aren’t weird or colorful, they are just very annoying and disgusting. None of them is remotely memorable and all of them really got on my nerves.

So the film definitely looks good, I will give it that as the cinematography is frequently excellent, but it sounds horrible with all of that frustrating yelling. Everyone here yells or screams and you do not get a single calmer moment, let alone an emotional one. The structure is typical and to call it a comedy is ludicrous as nothing here ever is funny.

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Amarcord Movie Review

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Federico Fellini truly is one of the most overrated directors who ever existed. His films were basically an excuse to transport his sexual fantasies on screen and when you really think about him, he is just an annoying, sexually charged teenager.

Amarcord is another one of the director’s overrated films. It isn’t funny, it isn’t smart and its characters aren’t colorful or interesting. They are just super annoying and unlikable with all the yelling. The film was just an excuse for the director to put his sexual fantasies and experiences on screen and when you really think about it, Fellini was just a very immature, horny teenager who never grew up.

My Rating – 2

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Time After Time (1979)

Time After Time Movie Review

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Time After Time Movie Review

Time After Time is a 1979 science fiction romance film directed by Nicholas Meyer and starring Malcolm McDowell. It is such a good, underrated genre flick.

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We don’t belong here.

On the contrary, Herbert.

I belong here completely and utterly.

I’m home

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Time After Time Movie Review

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I really liked this movie. The plot is so silly, but it works honestly. H. G. Wells, a famous British author, builds a time machine, but unfortunately Jack the Ripper uses it first to enter into the 20th century and now it is up to Wells to stop him. There, he befriends and ultimately beings a romantic relationship with a modern woman.

The thing with this movie is that it is most definitely a romance at its core as much as it is a science fiction film. This is light sci-fi, almost fantasy like, as it is thoroughly unrealistic and simplistic, but I liked it nonetheless as it was so well executed and in such an effervescent, pleasing manner. But the romance sells the movie in my opinion as it is so incredibly strong, stupendously so as it came out of nowhere and really made a splash and difference.

Wells is such a well developed, extremely likable character and this portrayal of this famous author is heroic, yet respectable. Amy Robbins is such a wonderful character. She isn’t extremely strong and independent, but for the seventies, she is very strong and that juxtaposition of these two very different characters is familiar by now, but it works because it is so well developed and their romance truly was touching and wonderful.

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Time After Time Movie Review

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There are basically three characters in this movie, the three that matter anyway and I loved that as it led to greater characterization. Jack the Ripper is truly fantastic as he was very creepy at times and ultimately such a superb, effective villain and a great take on this famous killer.

But no matter how terrific these three characters are, I have to say that I wasn’t a fan of their actors. They are not A-listers and it shows. All three of them did a good job admittedly, but none of them stood out as great and sometimes they brought the characters down with them just a bit.

Rotten Tomatoes states that “they are clearly having fun in their roles”, but in my opinion they were enjoying the roles too much and thus the performances are not as serious. Malcolm McDowell did the best he could, but he’s still far from great. Mary Steenburgen was also not great and David Warner sometimes sold his scenes entirely, but at other times he wasn’t as good.

Time After Time also is weakly directed by Nicholas Meyer, but other than the direction, the film is actually very well shot and superbly realized in effects as that time machine looks great for its time and its very early use of computer effects was quite stupendous for 1979.

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Time After Time Movie Review

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The dialogue is excellent, snappy and funny at times, elegant and polished at other times. The film really does feel that it has two 19th century Englishmen in it owing to excellent attention to detail both in hairstyles and clothing, but also in dialogue and line delivery. And most importantly the score which is amazing how wonderfully traditional it is.

The film is romantic and sweet, but also really thrilling at times. I did not like its climactic ending all that well, but I liked that the two ended up together, I loved all of the scenes between the two and the beginning is very charming as was the whole film which certainly needs to be seen by more people.

Time After Time has weaker acting and direction plus the ending was not my favorite. However, this is still a very good sci-fi romance film with three superbly developed characters, a lovely romance that worked so well and a really well crafted, hugely entertaining story. It is so charming both in its wonderfully old-fashioned score and in dialogue that I’ve had a great time watching it.

My Rating – 4

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Day for Night (1973)

Day for Night Review

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Day for Night Movie Review

Day for Night is a 1973 French drama film directed by Francois Truffaut. It is another overrated French movie.

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An actress who won’t appear in a bathing suit is ludicrous!

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Day for Night Movie Review

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Jesus, how many more French movies are over-praised up to this point. I am just baffled at the majority of the input from this country and why Hollywood loves it so much. I honestly have no idea and it annoys me.

Here we have another dull and ultimately pretty shallow movie which tries to give us the entire filmmaking process as it follows the making of the movie and everything that goes with it, but it is so concerned with the love affairs and relationships between its characters that it becomes a tired, boring telenovela that rarely has anything to do with the film business itself.

The actors did an okay job, but nobody really stands out. The same goes for its characters. There are too many of them and not enough stay in your mind. I do think that some stories here and some scenes were interesting and even had great conversations and interesting points to state, but most of them were not like that and I was ultimately bored.

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Day for Night Movie Review

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Day for Night is well filmed and overall well made, but overlong and another one of those French movies that are obsessed with too many details and not enough heart or genuine story at its core. Francois Truffaut made much better movies than this one and the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film win was just thoroughly undeserved in this scenario.

Day for Night has a couple of interesting scenes, but most of the film was one giant, boring telenovela with too many forgettable characters and an over-reliance on soapy elements and not enough story. It is a very overrated film that did not deserve its Oscar at all.

My Rating – 3

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