Snoopy, Come Home (1972)

Snoopy, Come Home Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

Snoopy, Come Home Movie Review

Snoopy, Come Home is a 1972 animated family comedy film directed by Bill Melendez. It is the second full-length Peanuts film and it is such a sweet, very enjoyable flick.

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What an independent dog.

He comes and goes as he pleases,

but I have to stay home and fix his supper

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Snoopy, Come Home Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

Here Snoopy goes to see the girl who was his previous owner and is now sick in hospital. Charlie Brown gets sad because of his absence. This is definitely one of the most emotional Peanuts stories as the film is so depressing and very serious. It deals with its subject matter in an admirably realistic tone which I loved. Especially its second half and of course the ending were so moving and this is one of the best Snoopy stories for sure.

Yes, he is awesome here. Although not as funny as he should have been, I still liked that he was serious and so dramatically and emotionally utilized for once. He is the most mature and most loving here and his cries at his farewell party were just so heartwarming. Charlie Brown is also great and I just loved the emphasis on their loving relationship. I would go so far to say that this just might be their best outing yet.

But the problem with this movie is that it is overly serious. Yes, I loved that, but it still needed humor in it and unfortunately it only has a couple of somewhat funny moments, but certainly not enough. That was very troublesome to me as I’ve come to expect great humor from the Peanuts gang.

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Snoopy, Come Home Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

And because it focuses so strongly on Snoopy and Chuck, we unfortunately do not get to see the others from the gang particularly often. Yes, they are there, but they just serve to support Charlie Brown and nothing else. It was interesting seeing Lucy be good and caring to him, but that was still unbelievable and unrealistic having in mind how awful she usually is. Woodstock has his moments of course, but Peppermint Patty and Sally are seriously underutilized with only Linus being good and reliable as Charlie Brown’s friend. As for Snoopy’s girl owner, she is sweet, but just a plot device nonetheless.

Snoopy, Come Home isn’t a musical, but it has a couple of songs in it which was problematic as almost all of them were dull and uninspired. The Sherman Brothers wrote the songs and that was unbelievable to me as most of them are so underwhelming and I wonder why they didn’t do a better job having in mind how they killed it in Disney’s ‘The Jungle Book’.

All of them are forgettable and even No Dogs Allowed! is forgettable and underutilized with only its accompanied humor being good. But the titular song Snoopy, Come Home is phenomenal. It is the only great song here, so catchy, so beautifully sung and so melancholic that it works wonders for both the plot and their relationship.

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Snoopy, Come Home Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

The film is solidly animated, albeit it is nothing great except for a couple of really interesting scenery in some sequences. Even though the first act has some overly prolonged Snoopy scenes, the film is mostly well paced and quite involving to watch. I liked the dialogue and I found the script to be surprisingly thoughtful and mature. And of course the flick is very emotional which was great. In the end, it is most certainly not up to par with ‘A Boy Named Charlie Brown’, but as a second film, it is still surprisingly respectable and mostly satisfactory.

Snoopy, Come Home is overly serious with not enough humor and it needed to focus more on the rest of the Peanuts gang, but the focus on Snoopy and Charlie Brown brought a lot of very emotional scenes and it is probably their best story yet. The songs are subpar with the exception of its titular song which is great, the film is surprisingly mature and thoughtful and it features many heartwarming scenes leading to a mostly satisfactory second Peanuts film.

My Rating – 4

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The Way We Were (1973)

The Way We Were Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………

The Way We Were Movie Review

The Way We Were is a 1973 romance film directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand. It is a solid and sometimes moving, but too slow movie.

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Your girl is lovely, Hubbell

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The Way We Were Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………

The story is pretty basic here and only a couple of its scenarios were interesting and different. For example, the entire political aspect to it was an interesting and new thing to add in a romance film. But it is still problematic. To me that aspect was overwhelming, yet constantly underutilized which was frustrating. I thought that sometimes their relationship and their quarrels did not make much sense. But I still liked that she is a politically active woman leading to a pretty strong female character for its time. As for the highlights in terms of the sequences, of course the ending takes the cake for being the most beautiful and emotional scene in the movie, very well done and quite unforgettable.

I liked the characters and their relationship was mostly sweet and engaging to follow. She is much more memorable as a character and quite interesting at times whereas he is a pretty ordinary guy in my opinion. As for the acting, Robert Redford has never been a great actor as I never really liked him in any movie, but here, even though he pales in comparison to his female co-star, he is still pretty good and gave one of his better roles for sure. But of course this is Streisand’s vehicle and she carries this movie entirely on her shoulder, giving a powerful and terrific performance. She certainly deserved her Oscar nomination.

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The Way We Were Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………

The Way We Were is famous for its titular musical number that is played in the beginning and the end of the film. I liked it and it fitted the movie quite well, but it was still a typical and not quite memorable seventies song. But the score as a whole is pretty good and it lifted some emotional scenes really well.

I thought that most of the dialogue here felt unrealistic and not that great with only a couple of lines being resonant and memorable. The characterization is strong, but most of the supporting characters were entirely forgettable and I thought that the movie should have had only these two. The script is also problematic. Sometimes I thought that some plot points rang false and overly melodramatic.

But the biggest problem is its pacing which is awfully slow and the running time definitely needed to be trimmed down a bit. The film is emotionally engaging, but because it was so long and not cinematic enough, it wasn’t as romantic as it should have been with the exception of a couple of great, exceptional moments between them. Sidney Pollack’s direction isn’t the greatest and, as I said, the movie never felt particularly cinematic and powerful. That is why their romance was never as epic as the film tried to portray it. It felt too small and definitely the cinematography needed to have been better. In the end, it is a solid film, but not as great as a sum of its parts.

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The Way We Were Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………

The Way We Were is romantic and sometimes quite moving with a beautiful ending, Barbra Streisand gave a great performance, the characterization is strong and the score is quite good, but the film isn’t cinematic enough, the pacing is awfully sluggish and it is just never as powerful as it thinks it is. It is a solid, but very flawed movie.

My Rating – 3.5

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The Andromeda Strain (1971)

The Andromeda Strain Movie Review…………………………………………………….

The Andromeda Strain Movie Review

The Andromeda Strain is a 1971 science fiction film directed by Robert Wise. It is such a good, truly phenomenal film that is awfully underappreciated.

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Hell of a way to run a hospital

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The Andromeda Strain Movie Review…………………………………………………….

It follows a team of scientists who investigate a deadly organism of extraterrestrial origin. The plot is absolutely terrific and the execution is splendid. Rarely have I seen a movie like this. I am of course talking about its scientific approach. Yes, it is hard sci-fi, but it is probably the boldest and most scientific example even in that subgenre.

That is because the film has an extraterrestrial bacteria, but no animals or aliens and that I hugely appreciated. It heavily relies on real, realistic and thorough science and I do see why it is so underappreciated as only those familiar or interested in science can enjoy it. I like science and follow it which is why this film was fascinating to me.

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The Andromeda Strain Movie Review

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Its first half is certainly slower and much less interesting than the second half. It is still good and well made, but it is just build up for the tension that arrived later. And truly this film is quite intense, almost thriller-like in some scenes. But the tension felt real and palpable owing to realistic scenarios and excellent execution of the action and a superb score.

I found the characters to not be particularly memorable and they should have been a bit better developed having in mind that we spend a lot of time with them and throughout the whole running time basically. But they are still solid, especially for the genre and I really liked Ruth and she was the highlight here. The film is very progressive for its time for featuring women as scientists, but she isn’t only a token, but a fully developed person and is actually the most complex and memorable member of the team.

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The Andromeda Strain Movie Review…………………………………………………….

The actors are solid, albeit not great. The direction from Robert Wise is terrific. And here is another proof how strong and diverse a director he was as he not only directed musicals, but also tackled horror in ‘The Haunting’ and here he goes into science fiction and does it marvelously.

I also found the special effects to be absolutely fantastic, especially for its time. It was obviously influenced by ‘2001’ as the same VFX team did both movies. I loved the interiors, the production design is so good and of course the organism looks splendid and highly memorable. My only gripe with it is the over-reliant presentation of computers which obviously feel dated now.

The Andromeda Strain features a very typical, blockbuster ending which to me was still pretty solid mainly because it was executed as well as this type of ending could be executed with some intense moments and with a hilarious comment from Ruth about it not being that close as he turned off the switch with 8 seconds still to go. That was funny and smart.

But the movie otherwise doesn’t feature action at all and I loved that. It has superb dialogue and some conversations were so intriguing. I loved the investigation scenes and the sequence where they analyzed the organism was just so intense and the most memorable part of the entire film. The film is slower paced for sure, but it was still fascinating and always involving to me and it flowed really well.

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The Andromeda Strain Movie Review…………………………………………………….

I found its score really unsettling, so memorable and spooky. It wonderfully accompanied those more intense scenes. I also found those animal scenes interesting. The monkey scene is controversial for sure, but they couldn’t have made it otherwise and they achieved the effect of danger and shock as the scene shocked me and really disturbed me. There are a lot of scenes like that here which is why it succeeds as a pretty strong thriller to me. The Andromeda Strain is in the end an immensely underrated science fiction film that is one of the better ones I’ve seen and certainly one of the best, if not the best, from this decade.

The Andromeda Strain is such a shamefully underrated, terrific movie. It is the kind of hard science fiction that I love so much as it relies on strong, scientific approach with clever dialogue instead of being over-reliant on action. It is so well written with a consistently involving story, its effects are quite good and the film is very intense throughout most of its running time and propelled by superb, spooky score.

My Rating – 4.5

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Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

Monty Python and the Holy Grail Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

Monty Python and the Holy Grail Movie Review

Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a 1975 comedy film directed by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones. It is one of the most acclaimed and to me most overrated comedies.

The reason why I didn’t like it that much lies in its uneven nature. The film is definitely very good at times, but also sometimes very bad and unfunny. Those funny moments can’t compensate for those which are not funny and are frankly annoying.

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Your mother was a hamster

and your father smelt of elderberries!

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Monty Python and the Holy Grail Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

Whenever the film focused on the parody and satire of the Dark Ages, it was very good. Some of the dialogue there was quite clever and some lines did make me laugh. However, the film decided to focus way too much on slapstick and absurdist humor later on. The slapstick was juvenile and the absurd comedy is my least favorite type of comedy.

The film is also very unfortunate in its second half. The first half is pretty solid, but the second one is so ridiculous and unfunny that it ruined the entire movie. A very uneven work for sure. I just wished that it focused more on the humor that was present in its first couple of scenes, but it went into absurdist, ridiculous territory which I do not appreciate.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail is well directed and solidly edited. It is also very well acted and some of the dialogue is great. Terry Gilliam did a great job with the animation as those animated segments were some of the highlights here – extremely well done, authentic to its time period and even artistic.

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Monty Python and the Holy Grail Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

But unfortunately the film is otherwise visually bland. The imagery is forgettable and it features some quite mediocre costumes with not that great attention to detail. The plot is barely there and the entire quest for the titular grail is really uninspired and basically the story here is non-existent. The same goes for the characters who are all forgettable. The film was still better than I expected, but it remains extremely overrated nevertheless.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail has its moments in the first half with some pretty solid humor, but the second half is disappointing and the film focused way too much on absurdist humor and slapstick which I dislike. It is also visually uninspired despite its very good animated segments and the lack of any strong plot is troublesome. This is an extremely overrated film.

My Rating – 3

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Young Frankenstein (1974)

Young Frankenstein Movie Review……………………………………………………….

Young Frankenstein Movie Review

Young Frankenstein is a 1974 comedy film directed by Mel Brooks and starring Gene Wilder in his famous role as Frankenstein’s descendant. It is a pretty disappointing film.

The reason why I found this “comedy masterpiece” very disappointing and just solid and certainly never great is mainly because we’ve seen this done before and in my opinion much better in 1948’s ‘Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein’. That movie is infinitely funnier and way better executed as a parody film.

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You know, I’m a rather brilliant surgeon.

Perhaps I can help you with that hump. What hump?

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Young Frankenstein Movie Review……………………………………………………….

Here we have a pretty good first half, but a pretty weak second half. Some things work splendidly, others not so much. Let’s start with the good stuff first. Gene Wilder is awesome and this is easily one of his best and most iconic performances. The same goes for Mel Brooks who crafted this movie really well. The overall acting is pretty good and memorable.

He is funny, especially in the beginning. Inga is pretty funny as well and her line about the monster’s penis is easily the funniest moment in the movie, albeit it was overplayed later on in its ending two times. Another memorable sequence is the scene in which the monster meets the blind man which is such a funny spoof of the original scene in the book and in the movie.

However, I would say that Young Frankenstein fails as a parody of both ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Bride of Frankenstein’ as it only utilizes those properties particularly well in just a couple of sequences with the rest being not so great. I found the dance routine unnecessary and the entire conclusion of the movie was pretty unfunny and forgettable.

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Young Frankenstein Movie Review……………………………………………………….

It is such a shame that this movie is so uneven when it could have easily been great. It is technically impressive and I loved its black and white photography and it manages to be quite funny at times, but it is mostly a very flawed, sometimes great, sometimes weak project that ended up being a very overrated comedy film that doesn’t deserve its classic status whatsoever.

Young Frankenstein is very well made technically and so well acted with Gene Wilder being excellent in his iconic role and the film is quite funny at times with a couple of terrific scenes, but it is overall pretty uneven with some jokes being great, but with others being not so great. It doesn’t quite succeeds as a parody film as it only manages to utilize its premise in approximately half of the movie with the other half being dull, unfunny and forgettable. It is a solid, but very disappointing film.

My Rating – 3.5

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Mirror (1975)

Mirror Movie Review………………………………………………………………

Mirror Movie Review

Mirror is a 1975 Russian film directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. It is one of his most overrated films without a doubt.

As is the case with most art films, Mirror doesn’t really have a plot, a true plot in the most basic meaning of that word. It follows a nonlinear narrative and it is about the memories of a dying poet. That theme itself is powerful and emotional, but how it was presented wasn’t great.

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And I can’t wait to see this dream in which I’ll be a child again

and feel happy again because everything will still be ahead,

everything will be possible…

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Mirror Movie Review………………………………………………………………

I have always had a big problem with movies such as this one. And Mirror falls in the category of “art” films almost by default. It is incredibly boring and lifeless and it is a shore to sit though, at least it was for me and it would be a shore for almost everyone of which I’m sure of. Not only is it immensely slow, but also uneven in tone and it is made in an experimental manner which I don’t usually like.

The film is technically pretty good. Some of the editing is fine and it is very well shot, but there aren’t any real characters here and people just appear in the movie and leave, so forgettable. Some of the imagery is definitely memorable, but most of it is pointless and pretentious as is the entire movie. I liked that it shifted from black-and-white to color to sepia and that is a signature style of the director, but other than that and some fine imagery, most of it is pretty annoying.

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Mirror Movie Review………………………………………………………………

The movie is insufferably boring and slow and it is undoubtedly the most overrated and most pretentious Andrei Tarkovsky picture. I loved his ‘Solaris’ and I mostly enjoyed ‘Stalker’, but this one is never as clever or as truly memorable as those two movies and it is only style over substance.

Mirror has some memorable imagery and it is well shot, but it is so boring and slow that it is a shore to sit through. It is a movie that is so annoying and even pointless that it is undoubtedly Andrei Tarkovsky’s most overrated and pretentious effort.

My Rating – 2.5

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Mean Streets (1973)

Mean Streets Movie Review…………………………………………………………………

Mean Streets Movie Review

Mean Streets is a 1973 crime film directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel. It is a solid film.

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You don’t make up for your sins in church.

You do it in the streets. You do it at home.

The rest is bullshit and you know it

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Mean Streets Movie Review…………………………………………………………………

As crime films go, this one is actually pretty solid. It is still far from great, but having in mind my usual dislike for the genre, this is as far as I could like a gangster film, I guess. The story itself is solid and I really enjoyed the theme of religion in it as well as the relationship between the two men as well as the romantic relationship. Truly all of the character interactions here are quite good and sometimes the film could be quite tender which I didn’t expect at all.

The acting is one of its strongest suits. Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel both gave truly great performances in one of their first roles. The directing from Scorsese is as great as always and the editing is also pretty solid. But I was still bored by the movie at times and somehow the structure didn’t work for me as the entire middle act should have been reduced a bit as the ending should have been more emphasized and the beginning isn’t the most memorable.

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Mean Streets Movie Review…………………………………………………………………

But it is well made and really well scored. It has a terrific score to be honest with many great hits from the sixties and seventies and its soundtrack is one of the highlights. But I’ve had some problems with the script. Yes, it did have its great emotional and dramatic moments and that ending is so great in its ambiguity, but it still had its typical crime trappings such as excessive violence and some very annoying dialogue in it. Not one of the characters was even remotely likable to me and they all talked and acted in a way that I find extremely insufferable. But that is the problem all of these films have and Scorsese is definitely a master of the crime/gangster genre as he at least managed to make some meaningful entries and this one, although flawed, is still quite solid and at times even great.

Mean Streets has annoying characters as well as a boring second act, but as crime films go, it is as good as it can get with some pretty dramatic scenes with even some tender moments in them, excellent performances from Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro and a great ambiguous ending.

My Rating – 3.5

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The Spirit of the Beehive (1973)

The Spirit of the Beehive Movie Review…………………………………………………………………

The Spirit of the Beehive Movie Review

The Spirit of the Beehive is a 1973 Spanish drama film directed by Victor Erice and starring Ana Torrent. It is a solid and sometimes wonderful, yet ultimately very disappointing film.

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It’s me, Ana… It’s me, Ana…

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The Spirit of the Beehive Movie Review…………………………………………………………………

It follows a young girl from rural Spain and her fascination with the 1931 film ‘Frankenstein’. As a big fan of that classic movie, I appreciated every sequence surrounding it and every theme that is woven throughout that resembles the actual movie. I loved its first act as everything about it was absolutely beautiful. Watching the children get fascinated by a film as they’d never seen one before was both heartwarming and sad. I also loved Ana’s naivety and how she actually thought the characters were real at first. The scene in which her sister explains her that it’s all fake is undoubtedly the highlight of the entire picture.

However, the movie worsens in its second act and stumbles in the third act. Whenever the film moved away from this horror classic, it suddenly felt boring and entirely uninvolving. Yes, the entire film is very slow, but its second half is particularly sleep-inducing. I found the film’s artistic sensibility sometimes quite evident and strong, but more often than not, it was done in a pretentiously slow and typical manner.

The film is well directed by Victor Erice and Ana Torrent is especially memorable. She is not only beautiful, but also such a sweet and somewhat of an enigmatic child. She carries this movie entirely on her shoulders and whenever it focused on other characters, the film suffered as a result because I just wasn’t invested in the parents’ storylines at all. I get that they should be moving, but because they weren’t well utilized, they ended up being abrupt and flawed.

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The Spirit of the Beehive Movie Review…………………………………………………………………

The Spirit of the Beehive is beautiful to look at and the rural imagery at display here is simply gorgeous and sometimes the tone is quite dreamlike and wonderful. I really liked the imagery of the last scenes and although I found the actual plot points to be lacking, they at least looked great. But the film is just never as emotional as it should have been and it is never as great as I thought it would have been given its intriguing premise.

The Spirit of the Beehive has gorgeous scenery, a sweet central character, an intriguing premise and such a great first act with some really heartwarming moments, but everything that came afterwards was either dull or disappointing and the movie is way too slow to be enjoyed more.

My Rating – 3.5

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Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

Picnic at Hanging Rock Review………………………………………………………………..

Picnic at Hanging Rock Movie Review

Picnic at Hanging Rock is a 1975 Australian mystery film directed by Peter Weir. It is an authentic, but ultimately disappointing movie.

It follows the fictitious disappearance of several schoolgirls and their teacher during a picnic at Hanging Rock in 1900. First I have to say that I found both its premise and setting very authentic and quite fascinating. But the execution is unfortunately weak and it ruined what could have been a special movie. It was just way too slow paced, dull and frankly at times pretentious to be enjoyed more.

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What we see and what we seem are but a dream,

a dream within a dream

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Picnic at Hanging Rock Review………………………………………………………………..

The characters were particularly uninspired and although well acted by its cast, I found none of them to be remotely interesting or memorable. The direction from Peter Weir is good, but the pacing is off. The movie isn’t long, but it is boring which is a thing that bothered me the most about it. Its slow pacing and some very long, dull takes definitely led to that feeling.

Picnic at Hanging Rock shines in the technical aspects. The cinematography is absolutely terrific and I loved both the camera movements greatly employed here and its scenery. The scenery is gorgeous and watching this eponymous setting being brought to life was fascinating. Both the setting and the time period are quite interesting. And the score is really good and very atmospheric. The entire movie definitely has an ominous, very mysterious quality to it which is why it somewhat succeeds as a solid mystery film. It’s just the execution of its plot and characters that ruined it for me.

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Picnic at Hanging Rock Review………………………………………………………………..

The movie starts really well, but its second and third act disappointed me as it was just not that involving. There were much better ways to tell this story and the filmmakers unfortunately decided to tell it in a rather ordinary, only at certain times inspired, manner. The emotion is lacking and the film is rather cold. In the end, Picnic at Hanging Rock was an immensely disappointing experience for me as I expected great things about it based on its premise and status, but I was just terribly let down.

Picnic at Hanging Rock is one of the most disappointing movies I’ve seen recently. The setting is very intriguing, the cinematography is superb as is its score and it is mysterious and atmospheric, but the characters are so uninspired, the story isn’t particularly well told and the pacing is very slow leading to a dull, somewhat pretentious and ultimately immensely disappointing film.

My Rating – 3

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Moonraker (1979)

Moonraker Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

Moonraker Movie Review

Moonraker is a 1979 spy film and the eleventh entry in the James Bond series. It is one of the weakest and silliest Bond flicks so far.

Here Bond investigates the theft of a space shuttle which eventually leads him to outer space. This is such an obvious move on the part of the franchise to cash in on the recent success of Star Wars at the time. Obvious is obvious and you can’t get more obvious than this which is why I hated this choice. And of course because all of those space sequences were just plain silly and ridiculous.

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I think he’s attempting re-entry, sir

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Moonraker Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

However, it isn’t horrible as some parts of the movie, particularly the first half, have its moments. I liked some of the locations here, particularly Rio de Janeiro and Venice, but those scenes in the Amazon rainforest were also solid. It’s a shame that the entire movie didn’t revolve around those sequences, it would have been much better that way.

The Bond girl here is forgettable and Bond himself isn’t the strongest, but I liked Roger Moore, though he was better in previous installments. The problem with Moonraker is that it is just so awfully fast paced to the point of being frenetic and ridiculous. The action from one location to another moves so quickly that the entire affair becomes problematic.

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Moonraker Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

The cinematography is fine and I liked the imagery of those cities and regions. That is the only legitimately good reason to see Moonraker. But the entire plot is ludicrous as is the villain’s goal. I am just so frustrated with these stupid Bond villains who are childish and silly to the point of stupidity. Overall, Moonraker is a very mediocre movie. There are hints of a good movie here with its first half benefiting from some good locations, but that also leads to another problem – the film has a lack of identity and I’ve had the feeling that I was watching two different Bond films instead of one.

Moonraker is a very mediocre Bond outing with some memorable locations, but ludicrous plot and villain, frenetic pacing, a silly and just stupid second half and this was such an obvious move to cash in on the success of Star Wars at the time with all this space nonsense that the entire affair becomes meaningless and lazy.

My Rating – 2.5

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