Logan (2017)

Logan Movie Review

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Logan Movie Review

Logan is a 2017 superhero film directed by James Mangold and starring Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart and Dafne Keen. It is such a great, competent movie.

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This is what life looks like: people love each other.

You should take a moment…

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Logan Movie Review

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I really liked the story here. Yes, most of it was a regular road trip, crime drama flick, but the film delivers in so many memorable, powerful sequences. To me the first half was a bit better than the second one, but the second one is also very good with its fair share of moving and brutal scenes. And yes, the movie defies genre conventions as it cannot easily be classified. It is to me more a crime drama than a superhero film, but I liked that it was still at its core a superhero and X-Men movie and it never forgot that.

As for its R-rating, I definitely was appalled by some scenes and I generally dislike overly violent movies, but it did make the film feel more real and realistic plus most of those gross moments were thankfully very quick and did not last for too long. But what I liked most about its brutality is that it is raw and brutal in its emotion as it’s basically a tragedy with so many heartbreaking, truly horrific scenes and such a high death count.

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Logan Movie Review

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The character development is simply fantastic. Wolverine has never been better before and this is his ultimate and most important movie. He is here such a great character owing to the mix of pure animal and human emotion in his portrayal. Such a complex character. The same goes to Charles Xavier who was so great here, not only heartwarming, but also funny at times. The relationship between the two is so moving.

Let’s talk about Laura. So good. She also had some emotional moments near the end, but for the most part, she was such a badass female child character with genuine animalistic behavior and instincts. She was definitely the most memorable and fun addition here. Caliban wasn’t particularly memorable, but the villains are so good and of course X-24 is such a creepy, superb villain whom I just loved.

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Logan Movie Review

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The acting is top-notch. Dafne Keen is another strong child actor as there has been quite a few in recent years. She delivered such a strong, stupendous performance. But Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman are simply amazing. Stewart should definitely receive an Oscar nomination for this role and some of his speeches were so heartwarming and beautiful to hear. He sold all of those emotional moments. But we knew of his greatness, what I did not expect is the raw and moving work that Hugh Jackman put in his performance. He really delivered here and gave a perfect performance in his swansong for the series.

I loved the action in Logan. It was too detailed, realistic and brutal, but so well executed with such great camera movements and excellent fighting. The film was so entertaining and even riveting in its action and almost all of those scenes were perfectly executed.

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Logan Movie Review

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But the film is not just action. In fact, it is mostly a drama and it has a lot of slower and more subtle scenes which I loved. Of course its emotion is devastating and so strong. I thought the deaths were expected and although the final sequence was beautiful and so well made, I was much more moved by Charles’ death than Logan’s. That was mainly because that entire scene was just so original and unexpected that it was the highlight of the movie. I was honestly a bit scared watching X-24 and the scene not only had such a great, beautiful speech, but it was cut so unexpectedly by that baffling stab. It was quite unsettling, tragic and overall such a crazy scene that really worked.

Logan is very well made technically. I loved its spare usage of special effects, that was refreshing to witness. I liked its diverse genres and I loved the overall tone of the movie. It is so dark and tragic, but it manages to have some laughs in it as well. It is a surprisingly funny movie with its fair share of hilarious moments. Charles was particularly amusing with his smartass remarks. Watching a superhero movie that is both light and dark in almost equal measure just made my day.

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Logan Movie Review

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The dialogue is very strong, the script is smart and it has a couple of smart metaphors and observations. The running time is long, but it never felt boring and was in fact surprisingly well edited and structured. It tied in so well with the other X-Men films, but it still works so great as a standalone film. And even though ‘First Class’ and ‘Days of Future Past’ are still better in my opinion, Logan is just behind and that was a great achievement.

Although definitely too violent, Logan is a very realistic, moving and sometimes even genuinely tragic and heartbreaking movie. The character development is absolutely fantastic, the performances from Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman are so good, the humor is quite strong and the film’s action is so well executed, but also never overwhelming. It is such a well edited, clever and emotional film with a couple of truly moving and beautiful sequences that are hard to forget leading to such a phenomenal, genuinely different superhero outing that simultaneously works great as an X-Men and as a standalone movie.

My Rating – 4.5

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Ivan’s Childhood (1962)

Ivan's Childhood Movie Review

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Ivan’s Childhood Movie Review

Ivan’s Childhood is a 1962 Russian war drama film directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. It is a very good directorial debut for Tarkovsky.

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If a well is really deep,

you can see a star down there

even in the middle of a sunny day

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Ivan's Childhood Movie Review

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The story isn’t particularly original as contrasting the innocence of childhood with the horrors of war has been done before. ‘Forbidden Games’ has already done that exactly a decade ago from this film. But why this film is better than the aforementioned French film lies in its approach and execution which is as good as it could have been.

The story is well told, the film is dramatic and also quite atmospheric at times. The ending is striking and quite tragic and the use of flashbacks is put to some pretty good use here and isn’t as annoying as usual as I dislike that approach for the most part. But here that structure is solidly organized and the film flows really well apart from a couple of more boring sequences.

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Ivan's Childhood Movie Review

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Where the film fails is in the titular protagonist. Ivan is an unlikable brat, at least that’s how I saw him. If he was more likable, his eventual death would have been much more tragic to me. And all of the other characters aren’t all that well developed expect for Galtsev who is solid. But Masha’s role isn’t clear here. Maybe he wanted to portray how difficult it must have been for women in the army back then, but that entire sequence with her in the woods was well realized and interesting, but not that important in the context of the overall story.

But the acting is very good and everyone did a really nice job in their roles. Nikolai Burlyaev did such a good job at such a young age, he delivered a very strong performance in a pretty demanding role. As for Tarkovsky himself, this is one competent debut, there is no denying that. What I liked about Ivan’s Childhood is that it is less pretentious and artistic than his later films and that was good. It is much more straightforward and engaging than usual for the director.

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Ivan's Childhood Movie Review

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Ivan’s Childhood’s biggest strength has to be the cinematography which is amazing. The film is so beautifully shot that it is one of the finest looking black and white films of the sixties for sure. The sets are intriguing and well utilized and the black and white photography is stark and artistic. Some of the imagery such as the woods and especially the boat sequence near the end were striking and unforgettable. The camera movements and shots here are so polished. So the film is mostly style over substance, but it has a well told story and some great dramatic sequences so it succeeds as a pretty good debut for Tarkovsky.

Ivan’s Childhood has a couple of unnecessary sequences and the titular protagonist isn’t as likable as he should have been, but this is a very good debut for Tarkovsky as Nikolai Burlyaev delivered a very strong performance, the story is well told and pleasantly straightforward and the film is so beautifully shot with some striking imagery and its exquisite visual quality is surely its standout aspect.

My Rating – 4

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The Heiress (1949)

The Heiress Movie Review

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The Heiress Movie Review

The Heiress is a 1949 drama film directed by William Wyler and starring Olivia de Havilland and Montgomery Clift. It is such a good, dramatic movie.

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Yes, I can be very cruel.

I have been taught by masters

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The Heiress Movie Review

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It is about a naive woman who falls in love with a handsome young man and decides to marry him despite the objections of her emotionally abusive father who suspects the man of being a fortune hunter. This is not a terribly original story, but it is applicable nonetheless and certainly timeless. It is relevant to this day and this issue is very well explored in this movie.
I like these melodramas from the forties even though I guess they did not age well according to many people. Here the change in Catherine’s personality is certainly not handled well and it was overly rushed and even over-the-top. But I still liked it in terms of storytelling no matter how weakly it was executed. It lead to a much more interesting and memorable film than I expected it to have been given its previously standard story. But the ending twisted my expectations and it was unpredictable and very fascinating.

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The Heiress Movie Review

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The Heiress features stellar performances from its superb cast. Of course Olivia de Havilland is so great in one of her best roles that rightfully garnered her an Oscar win. But Montgomery Clift is also really good in an atypical role for him and to me Ralph Richardson shouldn’t be forgotten in this acting conversation as he delivered such a great performance in a very interesting role. All three of them are terrific.
Despite the lack of subtlety and sometimes apparent over-the-top approach in the last third of the film, it was still a memorable and very dramatic and even dark turn of events. I loved that ending which was beautifully conceived and is the most unforgettable sequence of the entire film. But I also liked all of those scenes between the romantic duo as it featured terrific acting from both of them with Clift being surprisingly subtle in his role.
It deals so well with the troublesome father-daughter relationships and the father is certainly the most fascinating character here as they never made him too good, but the fact that he knew what was going on and wanted to help his daughter, but also emotionally abused her and definitely was unsensitive to her led to such a realistic and complex character who stole the show for sure.

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The Heiress Movie Review

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William Wyler of course directed the film superbly and it is also very well shot and edited with never a dull moment. I loved its sophisticated dialogue and the script is mostly fantastic. It was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won four. It deserved all of the wins and noms, but I wish that Ralph Richardson had won for Supporting Actor. Regardless, it remains a memorable and very involving film which is certainly one of the best of 1949.

The Heiress is definitely rushed and over-the-top in its third act, but still featuring a very interesting and unpredictable turn of events. It is such a well told and relevant story imbued by excellent direction and of course terrific performances from Montgomery Clift who is admirably subtle in his role, Olivia de Havilland who is phenomenal and deserved her Oscar and even Ralph Richardson who shouldn’t be forgotten as he wonderfully acted the most fascinating character in the film.

My Rating – 4.5

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Solaris (1972)

Solaris Movie Review

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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.

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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!

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Solaris Movie Review

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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’.

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Solaris Movie Review

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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.

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Solaris Movie Review

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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.

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Solaris Movie Review

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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

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The Avenging Conscience (1914)

The Avenging Conscience Movie Review

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The Avenging Conscience Movie Review

The Avenging Conscience is a 1914 silent drama film directed by D. W. Griffith and starring Henry B. Walthall. It is one of the most underrated silent films.

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She fears something more than

mere mental derangement

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The Avenging Conscience Movie Review

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Yes, the status of this film is unfortunate. It isn’t talked about a lot these days which is a big shame as the film is so good. It is one of the most underappreciated early films which is actually one of the best films from the director as now only ‘Broken Blossoms’ comes to my mind as being a better picture of his.
It is about a man who is in love with a girl and wants to marry her, but his uncle objects to that. Out of desperation, he decides to murder his uncle and conceals the body in the fireplace. He loses his mind and starts imagining religious scary symbols, but eventually it is all revealed to have been a dream and the film ends happily.

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The Avenging Conscience Movie Review

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That is the story of The Avenging Conscience and, needless to say, it is hugely original and highly authentic. It is actually one of the most memorable and certainly weirdest silent flicks I’ve seen so far and its weirdness is expected as it came from the mind of Edgar Allan Poe.
Its first third or so felt a bit too heavy handed in my opinion. It was fine, but not a proper introduction to the story. All of the crime stuff and imaginary scenes were terrific and there lie the most unforgettable scenes of the film. As for its twist ending, I can understand that some may find it to be overly happy and like a cop-out, but it was still satisfactory to me personally and I didn’t see it coming. Plus the dream structure is definitely very unique, especially for its usually straightforward period in film history.
I liked the characters and the performances are also pretty good. Naturally Griffith‘s direction is awesome and he is the man responsible for this entire film being so great along with Poe’s writing of course. I loved how adapted it is and how cinematic the film is. It is one of the most purely entertaining and cinematic movies from the teens.

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The Avenging Conscience Movie Review

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The Avenging Conscience’s technical aspects are one of a kind. The cinematography is stunning with some of the imagery being unforgettable. The shots of insects are some of my favorites, but the scenes with Jesus and of course the devils were the major highlights.
The special effects are truly something special here. So professionally done and highly authentic. They definitely help sell the movie’s fantasy scenes ans help make it stand the test of time as this movie really did. It feels interesting to this day, not to mention original and incredibly entertaining.
It definitely has its flaws, but I liked that it was both a fantasy and a thriller at times while also being a crime flick. But it is in the end mostly a melodrama, but a truly intriguing one that fascinated me from start to finish. It is certainly one of the best 1910s films I’ve seen so far. Such a stupendous movie.

The Avenging Conscience is such a unique and entertaining film which I loved from beginning to end. Its twist ending may seem like a cop-out, but it was unexpected and interesting. The entire storyline is so authentic and the film’s technical aspects are amazing with Griffith’s direction being superb and the cinematography being unique and filled with weird imagery and superb special effects. It is in the end one of the most cinematic and sadly underappreciated silent films.

My Rating – 4.5

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The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)

The Magnificent Ambersons Movie Review…………………………………………………….

The Magnificent Ambersons Movie Review

The Magnificent Ambersons is a 1942 period drama directed by Orson Welles and starring Joseph Cotten, Agnes Moorehead and Tim Holt. It is an expectedly overrated movie.

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I said, automobiles are a useless nuisance.

Never amount to anything but a nuisance.

They had no business to be invented

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The Magnificent Ambersons Movie Review…………………………………………………….

The plot isn’t there. This is a story that obviously came from the book and is just not suited for visual media such as film. And certainly it has too many characters, too many plot points and developments and it is overly entangled and complicated for such a short running time. Everything is underdeveloped, underutilized and ultimately quite weak.

I truly think that Orson Welles is the most overrated classic director as I find most of his films to be pretty weak. This one doesn’t change that tradition for me. None of its characters was even remotely memorable. Yes, the acting is great for sure. Joseph Cotten is as good as usual and Tim Holt and Agnes Moorehead are very good themselves, but the characters they play are beyond weak. This is the kind of family drama that is very soapy, boring and overly melodramatic and filled with so many gossips and rumors that it reminded of soap operas.

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What The Magnificent Ambersons does right lies in the technical departments. The direction from Welles is admittedly quite weak, but the visuals are mesmerizing. I loved the art direction and it deserved to be Oscar nominated for sure. The film has gorgeous cinematography and that castle is beautiful to watch. It is also meticulous in detail and you really feel as if you’ve been transported to the beginning of the 20th century. It serves as a good, charming look at that particular time period and I loved the transitions in technology portrayed here, especially that in automobiles. But I still found the plot itself and the characters way too boring and pointless and the film did not deserve its Best Picture nomination at all. It is cited as one of the best American films of all time by the critics which is just crazy talk to me. Ridiculous.

The Magnificent Ambersons is an expectedly overrated film from one of the most overrated directors. The art direction and cinematography are admittedly splendid along with its attention to detail as it transports you well into its time period. But that’s about it. It was so obviously not meant to be a film material and it’s a dull, gossipy soap opera filled with too many characters and a lack of any meaningful plot to it.

My Rating – 3

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Silence (2016)

Silence Movie Review

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Silence Movie Review

Silence is a 2016 historical drama film directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver and Liam Neeson. It is such a good, truly sophisticated film.

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I pray but I am lost?

Am I just praying to silence?

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Silence Movie Review

It is set in 17th century and follows two Jesuit priests who travel from Portugal to Japan to locate their missing mentor and spread Catholic Christianity. The story did sound intriguing to me and the film ended up being a fascinating experience. I loved its historical authenticity and especially that it tells a little known story and it acquaints you with it wonderfully leading to such a great historical piece and a superb history lesson.

The highlight of the film is its dialogue which is so strong, clever and sophisticated. The entire second half and especially the third act were just riveting to watch with those endless discussions about religion, morality and God. To me the movie is so great mostly because of Martin Scorsese as his direction is very good and he is the man most responsible for this whole story and its unbiased portrayal.

Silence Movie Review

I am talking about the film’s realistic and down to earth portrayal of both Christianity and the Japanese. It showcases how the Japanese are horrible for the torture and murders they inflicted to the Portuguese and their own converted Christians, but it also shows us how they respect their religion and their culture. It is a very difficult situation and you lose something whatever you choose. The same goes for the Christians. The fathers’ faith was admirable here, but their quest was overly problematic morally speaking and a bit too aggressive. But how they portrayed martyrdom in a non-romanticized manner is what made the movie feel different and much more honest and real than any other religious offerings. It truly is a clever and mature religious film that provokes thought-provoking conversations with its unbiased and honest look at both sides.

I liked the characters and the performances are excellent across the board. But Andrew Garfield is the true standout here. He gave such a strong, emotional and admirable performance and it is just unbelievable what a strong year he had in 2016 as both Silence and ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ proved to be two of his best roles.

Silence has one big problem that in my opinion prevents it from becoming a true future classic. That is of course its running time. Clocking in at more than two and a half hours, the movie definitely felt overlong and it did not need this huge length to tell this story and that results in pretty bad, sluggish pacing at times with the second act in particular being frequently boring and uneventful.

Silence Movie Review

But it is a technically polished film. It is both superbly directed and acted, but also beautifully shot with some awesome scenery at display here. It utilizes on its religious imagery really well with some memorable shots, but it also features unforgettable natural scenery and the Japanese setting is very well portrayed and strong in detail. The score is forgettable, but both its script and dialogue are top-notch. In the end, Silence truly fascinated me and made me ask questions and I liked that it didn’t give any answers and just provoked questions as you can’t really answer the problems and morality of this situation in any meaningful manner. All you can do is portray it honestly which is exactly what the director did here.

Silence is a fascinating film that provoked some big questions out of me in the best way possible. Its sluggish pacing at times and overlong running time prevented it from reaching even higher heights, but the acting is strong across the board, the cinematography is superb and the film’s script and especially dialogue are phenomenal. Scorsese portrayed this difficult situation in the best, most honest and unbiased way possible with thought-provoking conversations and such a rarely sophisticated, complex take on religion.

My Rating – 4.5

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Lifeboat (1944)

Lifeboat Movie Review

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Lifeboat Movie Review

Lifeboat is a 1944 thriller drama film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Tallulah Bankhead among others. It is such an underrated Hitch entertainer.

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Dying together’s even more personal than living together

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Lifeboat Movie Review……………………………………………………

It is set on a lifeboat which contains survivers from a sinking ship during a naval attack in World War II. One of the people on the boat is German so the conflict naturally arises. This is one of those limited space movies and Hitchcock’s take on it is quite inspired which was expected from his caliber. The movie is consistently engaging and works as a great chamber drama while also being a triller.
The character development is quite stupendous. Some characters are weaker and less interesting such as Alice and Hume, but others such as Ritt and Gus are quite memorable. But of course Kovac and Connie are the standouts and I just loved their dynamic. The movie is surprisingly sensual for a Hitchcock film. She is such a great character, very competent and complex, fuelled by Tallulah Bankhead’s absolutely terrific performance. She should have been Oscar nominated for this role in my opinion.

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Lifeboat Movie Review

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There is one problem in Lifeboat and that is its treatment of Germans. I realize that it was pretty different and even too positive for that time, but for now not so much. Willi is too much of a villain here and it is totally ridiculous that anyone on a boat surrounded by Americans would think he has a chance against them. I did not like that at all. Gus’s murder raised the stakes, but it was still unnecessary and I felt bad for him.
But there is one person that is suprisingly for its time very well treated here and that’s Joe. Yes, Hitchcock was obviously not a racist for including this character. Joe is very likable and sympathetic and the rest of the group treat him nicely and with respect. It is great seeing a black character portrayed in such a wonderful manner during the 40s.

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Lifeboat Movie Review

 

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I liked almost all of its parts. Some scenes in Lifeboat were less interesting than the others, but most of them are very engaging thanks in large part to such excellent characterization and superb dialogue. I loved the dynamic between the group and they honestly felt like such a wonderful group of people. I liked the ending and to me the humor, especially with Connie, is excellent. It needed more thriller elements, but as a drama Lifeboat excels.
Lifeboat is one of the most underrated Hitchcock films. Yes, it may be unrealistic at times and some characters and scenes are less interesting than the others, but it benefits from very strong acting (Tallulah Bankhead is so good here), a terrific set of characters and an intriguing drama and dilemmas brewing between those well-rounded characters. It is also authentic in its setting meaning that not many films of the era revolve on the boat. It is flawed, but it’s an entirely involving, very good and an unfortunately forgotten film from the master of suspense.

My Rating – 4

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Do the Right Thing (1989)

Do the Right Thing Movie Review………………………………………………………………….

Do the Right Thing Movie Review

Do the Right Thing is a 1989 drama film directed by and starring Spike Lee. It is one of the best films about racism that I have ever seen.

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It ain’t never too hot or never too cold for fuckin’!

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Do the Right Thing Movie Review………………………………………………………………….

It is about the racial tension in a Brooklyn neighbourhood where on the hottest day of summer a tragedy strikes. This is one of those movies that deserve to be proclaimed important by critics as it surely is a textbook example of how to properly do a movie about this subject matter. It is probably the most realistic film I’ve seen where everyone is racist – both blacks and whites. That honest, brutally honest approach is what sets this film miles apart from the rest of the similar flicks. And it is made in a way that you never know what to think. I didn’t know who was guilty of starting this conflict and that was great. That uncertainty is palpable and again realistic as in real life conflicts are never black-and-white, but much more complex and difficult to grasp.

As for the characters, my thoughts are twofold. On the one hand, I certainly respected the movie for portraying characters that feel like real people and sure enough, this entire neighbourhood is recreated and portrayed in such a manner that it almost feels real and as if you are watching a documentary. That was certainly admirable.

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Do the Right Thing Movie Review………………………………………………………………….

But on the other hand, the film deals with too many characters and thus none of them are as memorable or as well developed as they needed to have been. Mookie and Sal are the best and their relationship is quite strong. Their moment at the end is certainly my favourite scene in the movie – the one that showcased that the two ethnicities can get along after all. But Italians are still stereotyped here along with those minor black characters and thus they all blend in the crowd a bit too much.

The acting is excellent. Certainly Danny Aiello gave the best, deservedly Oscar nominated performance, but the others are all pretty good too and Spike Lee is pretty solid for a director. But his direction is very strong as the film is phenomenally directed and put together. The editing is fantastic and I loved how the film flowed well and perfectly led to the tragedy owing to a great build up.

Do the Right Thing isn’t a comedy to me. There are some funny scenes in the first half, amusing and filled with really well painted, memorable minor characters (Mother Sister and Da Mayor are such a charming duo), but it never made me laugh or chuckle and I would still call it just a drama. Another problem here was that climactic third act. It was needed and very dramatic and difficult to watch in a good way, but it still lasted a bit too much and the entire film has too much yelling, cursing and is just too loud.

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Do the Right Thing Movie Review………………………………………………………………….

But it truly is a shame that it wasn’t nominated for Best Picture when it easily should have even won in that year. It is one of the rare movies with the subject of racism that is also a very good movie in its own right and not just an important film. ‘In the Heat of the Night’ is another one of those that comes to mind.

Do the Right Thing is a rare film with the subject of racism that is not only important, but also very good in its own right. The film portrays realistic characters, the direction from Spike Lee is superb and the build up in the first half is so good that it deftly led to the brutal conflict that arose in the second half. This is the film that portrays racism from both sides, it treats its subject matter in a brutally honest manner and is executed in a way that you never quite know who is to blame for the conflict which is exactly how real life works and why this film is so important and admirable in its realism.

My Rating – 4.5

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The Breakfast Club (1985)

The Breakfast Club Movie Review………………………………………………………..

The Breakfast Club Movie Review

The Breakfast Club is one of the most famous coming-of-age films directed by John Hughes and released in 1985. It is regarded as a classic in this genre by many and I have to agree with that sentiment.

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We’re all pretty bizarre.

Some of us are just better at hiding it, that’s all

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The Breakfast Club Movie Review………………………………………………………..

The story is simple. It follows five teenagers bonding while in detention and getting past stereotypes. And yes, it seems clichéd and awfully familiar in the beginning, but the movie somehow progresses past that point and becomes its own thing in the progress. The five characters definitely are regularly seen stereotypes, but that is also the point the movie tries to make, there is more to a person than just a label given to him or her by the others. That is a perfect message in a satisfying and entirely endearing conclusion that can bring a smile to your face. It is a wonderful statement that rings true and is very relevant and relatable, which is incredibly rare for the genre.

The pacing and editing are excellent. It starts off perfectly, fast-paced and introducing you to all of the characters in a great way. Then it goes to many comedic elements, then to action sequences in the hall and afterwards to singing parts ending it all in a bonding, hard-hitting drama. The soundtrack is superb and of course Don’t You (Forget About Me) is a very memorable, famous song which is catchy and fits the mood and story of the film wonderfully.

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The Breakfast Club Movie Review………………………………………………………..

The tone is masterfully done, shifting from comedic to serious sequences smoothly with great direction, editing and script. As for the humor, it is charming with some scenes which are truly funny and serve to counteract those dramatic sequences to have come and that would come later. And both dramatic and comedic moments are delivered in evident realism with realistic characters and situations and the dialogue that is grounded and simplistic because that is the way teenagers talk in real life.

Acting is not the greatest, but given the fact that most of the cast were actually teenagers or young unknown actors, it turned out to be rather good and even stupendous at some points. And I have to add that the authentic factor is a great plus in this film because there are so many iconic sequences, especially the conclusion, the beginning and of course the dance and singing sequence which is a wonderful comedic and light moment that is so endearing and eases you a lot for those difficult dialogue sequences to come. The movie is definitely extremely memorable.

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The Breakfast Club Movie Review………………………………………………………..

And there are of course the characters, all of whom superbly developed, realistic and, most importantly, very likable. All are stereotypes, but all of them are more than that which we learn in the third act. Bender is a typical problematic teenager, a criminal and with the tendencies to constantly impress everyone around him. He is a typical character, everyone knew someone like him from school, and he is great in giving speeches and of course as a comic relief. Andy is my least favorite character, an athlete abused by his parents and although he has his moments including the dancing sequence, he is largely forgettable. Brian is the geek and his relationship with parents is truthful and poignant. Claire as the most popular and beautiful girl is also an archetype of course, but her character arc is wonderful near the end and she definitely influenced Angela’s character from ‘American Beauty’. Ally is the outcast, introverted and rarely speaking till the end. And she is definitely the most relatable and fascinating character to me because I was like that in school, extremely shy. She is the most likable and warm character here. The character development overall is amazing here which is necessary for this kind of film and thankfully the filmmakers realized that and made it happen.

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The Breakfast Club Movie Review………………………………………………………..

The final scene with the emotional dialogue is wonderful. And it feels forced in some parts of it, but is nevertheless a mature and insightful approach to a mature subject matter. All of the characters get their moment to shine here and it all gets so warm and relevant owing to excellent script, direction and characterization. It is a wonderful conclusion to an endearing movie.

The Breakfast Club is forced and clichéd at times, but this is an 80s classic that deserves its status and is one of the rare movies from that period that aged remarkably well. It has superb and likable characters, charming humor, excellent screenplay and moving ending. It is overall a stupendous film and one of the finest genre movies of all time.

My Rating – 4.5

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