The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie Movie Review

…………………………………………………

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.

………………………………………………….

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

………………………………………………….

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie Movie Review

………………………………………………….

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.

………………………………………………….

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie Movie Review

………………………………………………….

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

………………………………………………….

Share

Cries and Whispers (1972)

Cries and Whispers Movie Review

…………………………………………………

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.

………………………………………………….

It is early Monday morning and I am in pain

………………………………………………….

Cries and Whispers Movie Review

………………………………………………….

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”.

………………………………………………….

Cries and Whispers Movie Review

………………………………………………….

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

Share

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.

…………………………………………………….

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

And there are no frontiers left to conquer

…………………………………………………….

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.

…………………………………………………….

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.

…………………………………………………….

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

…………………………………………………….

Share

Solaris (1972)

Solaris Movie Review

……………………………………………..

Solaris Movie Review

Solaris is a 1972 Russian science fiction drama film directed by Andrei Tarkovsky and starring Donatas Banionis. It truly is an interesting, accomplished film that is the director’s finest.

…………………………………………………..

We don’t want to conquer space at all. We want to expand Earth endlessly.

We don’t want other worlds; we want a mirror. We seek contact and will never achieve it.

We are in the foolish position of a man striving for a goal

he fears and doesn’t want. Man needs man!

…………………………………………………..

Solaris Movie Review

…………………………………………………..

In my opinion Solaris is equally a science fiction film and a psychological drama as it definitely uses both of the elements abundantly. There are some thriller/horror elements in it as well, but those are rare. It succeeds in both of those areas, but to me it is great as a science fiction tale as it is very serious, scientific and filled with such wonderful, truly atmospheric thrills that add a lot to its already unique experience.

I liked its characters and the film is great for being basically a chamber piece as it follows just a couple of characters and thus they become fully developed and their dilemmas are fully explored. The most memorable two are obviously Hari and Kris Kelvin. Hari (or should I say the alien version of her) is very intriguing as we see her become a genuine human being and highly emotional one whereas previously she was just a cold, calculated visitor. Her dilemmas and her entire arc really reminded me a lot of Ava from ‘Ex Machina’.

…………………………………………………..

Solaris Movie Review

…………………………………………………..

But Kris is the highlight as he felt like a real person and watching him go through a number of emotional states was dramatic and emotionally rewarding. The relationship between the two is great and certainly quite fascinating. But a lot of the character success stems from the performances of these two talented actors. Natalya Bondarchuk is great in a very emotional role, but it is Donatas Banionis who steals the show here as his performance is very subtle and admirably natural.

Solaris is obviously a very slow movie and there are some scenes here that are extended needlessly to an excessive, frustrating amount of running time. However, it is still for the most part an engaging and even immersive movie which is a testament to how strong the script is and how sophisticated the dialogue is. There isn’t a lot of dialogue here, but the second half featured much more lines than the first one and all those discussions were very interesting and clever.

…………………………………………………..

Solaris Movie Review

…………………………………………………..

So the pacing is slow and the film relies heavily on ambiguity and open interpretations. As far as arthouse pictures go, I have to admit that Solaris is one of the few that I actually really like and even admire. That is because the film is so interesting and so visually dazzling that it entirely transports you to its setting, story and most importantly atmospheric mood and it never lets go. It thus exponentially decreases the level of boredom which easily could have been high with this slow pace.

The film is technically very accomplished. The cinematography here is gorgeous. Some of the shots are absolutely astonishing and the camera perfectly follows the action on screen with a great eye for detail. But the imagery is stunning. I loved the interior of the ship, very memorable. I loved the images of the planet itself and surely its ambiguous and simply unforgettable ending is the standout sequence as it is beautiful and wonderfully mysterious. It is one of the best endings in a science fiction film undoubtedly.

…………………………………………………..

Solaris Movie Review

…………………………………………………..

The film is sometimes overly artistic, pretentious and too slow with the highway scene being the worst example of all that, but it succeeds as an art film because there are quite many scenes that work tremendously in that context. For example, the painting scene is truly something special and quite beautiful, but also creepy in score. The film’s score is very strong and the sound design is excellent. In the end, it does feel similar to ‘2001’ in some areas, yet it is very much its own thing as most of it is different and original. Tarkovsky’s movies are definitely not my cup of tea, but Solaris is the one film from his that I truly admire.

Very difficult to follow at times and immensely slow, but immersive and unique, Solaris succeeds on many levels – as a thrilling sci-fi story, a showcase for acting and an intimate human drama. With beautiful cinematography, complex and philosophical story, positively ambiguous ending, creepy and alienating atmosphere and an assured direction from Tarkovsky, Solaris is undoubtedly one of the best films both 1970s and science fiction have to offer.

My Rating – 4.5

……………………………………………..

Share

Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)

Conquest of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review…………………………………………………..

Conquest of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

Conquest of the Planet of the Apes is a 1972 science fiction film which is the fourth and very disappointing entry in the Planet of the Apes franchise.

…………………………………………………..

Destiny is the will of God.

And if it is man’s destiny to be dominated, it is God’s will that he be dominated with compassion and understanding.

So, cast out your vengeance.

Tonight, we have seen the birth of the Planet of the Apes!

…………………………………………………..

Conquest of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review…………………………………………………..

Yes, this one disappointed me a lot. So basically the story here is that Caesar who is the son of Zira and Cornelius leads the ape rebellion against humans. Apparently apes have become pets in the future which is beyond ridiculous. The rebellion itself is well handled and I loved the speeches at the end of the film as they were so powerful, but the film is stale stuff nonetheless and obviously a product of its time.

I am of course talking about the decision to turn this entry into a parallel on the Civil Rights Movement from the time. And although that metaphor fits this series like a glove, it was still presented in a particularly aggressive and obvious manner that it took away the enjoyment of the movie. It thoroughly lacks subtlety.

The characters are also very forgettable and not one of them is even remotely memorable. Caesar is solid, but not the greatest. He as the main character should have been much better developed. And the humans are pretty weak.

Conquest of the Planet of the Apes also has weaker costumes owing to a decreased budget. The cinematography is particularly poor and it leads to a pretty dreary looking movie. That frustrated me a lot. The ending is good, but the beginning is weak and the film is admittedly quite boring and never as entertaining as the previous entries were.

…………………………………………………..

Conquest of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review…………………………………………………..

I realize that its story is important and applicable to the real world and the film is quite dark and serious but it isn’t well executed both technically and in the storytelling department and that is why it fails to elicit strong emotion and reaction from the viewers. It is a passable, weak film that is unfortunately the first Apes film that isn’t particularly good. And that is a shame as this story had a lot of potential. But at least we got ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ decades later and that movie dealt with this subject infinitely better.

Conquest of the Planet of the Apes is admirably more serious, darker and with a very good premise, but the execution is so weak with a great third act, but the rest of the film is pretty dull. The cinematography is poor leading to a dreary looking film, the characterization is very weak and the film is never particularly entertaining leading to the first unfortunate misstep in the Apes franchise.

My Rating – 3

…………………………………………………..

Share

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.

……………………………………………………………..

What an independent dog.

He comes and goes as he pleases,

but I have to stay home and fix his supper

……………………………………………………………..

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.

……………………………………………………………..

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.

……………………………………………………………..

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

……………………………………………………………..

Share

Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)

Aguirre, the Wrath of God Movie Review……………………………………………………………………..

Aguirre, the Wrath of God Movie Review

Aguirre, the Wrath of God is a 1972 German epic film directed by Werner Herzog and starring Klaus Kinski. It is such an overrated, very disappointing movie.

……………………………………………………………………..

I am the wrath of God. Who else is with me?

……………………………………………………………………..

It is about the group of conquistadores in the Amazon jungle searching for the legendary city of El Dorado in 1560. The plot itself is fine and that ending is definitely powerful, but the problem here is that I really disliked the use of minimalist story and dialogue as it led to a much weaker film. It is just so slow, so dull that I was bored by it throughout the whole running time.

……………………………………………………………………..

Aguirre, the Wrath of God Movie Review……………………………………………………………………..

The characters are also pretty forgettable. The only character that gets some development is Lope de Aguirre who is the main and most developed character here, but even he should have been much better realized. There is just never any emphasis on characters here which is so annoying.

The same goes for acting. Aguirre, the Wrath of God is hailed for Klaus Kinski’s performance and I just don’t get that as I found his performance to be very disappointing and nowhere as great as the critics are saying. The character needed a great performance and he just did not get one.

Another problem here is that I never bought this, I never bought the characters and its supposed realism as to me it evidently felt like a movie production. I respect the filmmakers immensely for filming on the real location, but that did not lead to a realistic feel to the movie as unfortunately it still felt fake to me as I saw that those people were actors. That took me out of the movie completely.

……………………………………………………………………..

Aguirre, the Wrath of God Movie Review……………………………………………………………………..

Aguirre, the Wrath of God is a technically great movie and its technical achievements are the standout aspects here. The imagery is superb and even more so because it is real and I loved that about it. The dialogue is pretty good, but unfortunately too sparse. The cinematography is great as is the directing and I liked its overall look and feel. It is awfully paced as it is dreadfully slow and it is authentic, but never using its premise and its visuals to tell a great story which is unfortunate. I got what Werner Herzog was going for here and that entire ending is truly a fantastic piece of filmmaking, such a great and memorable ending, but everything that came before it is too slow, too boring and too slight to be enjoyed more. It is a movie that thinks it is so smart when in reality it isn’t. Needless to say, it is one of the most overrated German films, a movie that disappointed me so much.

Aguirre, the Wrath of God looks great and it has a memorable ending, but everything else here is subpar with not that great acting, a dreadfully slow pace and too minimalist dialogue and story. I got its appeal, but to me its greatness never really came to fruition to me and it is such an overrated, immensely disappointing movie.

My Rating – 3

……………………………………………………………………..

Share