The Circus (1928)

The Circus Movie Review………………………………………………………………

The Circus Movie Review

The Circus is a 1928 silent comedy film directed by and starring Charlie Chaplin. It is isn’t one of his best works, but it is still quite a good, expectedly endearing flick.

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Where’s the funny, man?

Bring on the funny, man

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The Circus Movie Review………………………………………………………………

The ringmaster of an impoverished circus hires Chaplin’s Tramp as a clown, but discovers that he can only be funny unintentionally, not on purpose. That is the plot here along with the romantic subplot in which Tramp falls in love with a girl who eventually chooses another man. Now the plot is minimal here and that is why the film is much weaker than Chaplin’s greatest works. There isn’t anything sophisticated here, not a message nor an abundance of themes. It is just a solid plot which is fine and actually quite charming at times, but I still expected more from it.

The characters are pretty good and the Tramp is as great and as lovable as usual. I loved the romantic subplot which was quite endearing and so well done. And I of course respect Chaplin’s talents as he not only directed and acted in this movie, but he produced it, wrote it and even composed it, adding afterwards an opening song in the beginning. He truly was one very hard working and talented individual and it is great that the movie ended up being good in the end despite its by now famous problems during production such as the studio fire and him being sued by his former wife for sexual harassment.

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The Circus Movie Review

 

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The Big Heat (1953)

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The Big Heat Movie Review

The Big Heat is a 1953 noir film directed by Fritz Lang and starring Glenn Ford and Lee Marvin. It is a predictable, yet memorably dark movie.

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The main thing is to have the money.

I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor.

Believe me – rich is better.

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Obviously the big problem here is the script which is overly familiar and I’ve seen some of the scenes here multiple times before and after. The pot itself is fine, though definitely standard, but it is executed well and professionally written. However, the problem is the overall predictable nature to the movie. It is so predictable that almost its every plot point is expected. I saw the ending, I knew who was going to die and who is bad and the best example of this predictability lies in the scene where the protagonist’s wife dies. Yes, it is done and filmed well, but everybody would realize what is going to happen in barely a minute there.

I liked its characters. The Big Heat is famous for turning the femme fatale aspect on its head by making the man be fatal for all the women who meet him. That was definitely original and great. I really liked Bannion as he is a complex, memorable noir protagonist and him coping with his wife’s death was really well done. Debby is terrific and she stole the show here as the most interesting and even fascinating character. As for the villains, they are fine and dangerous, but I thought that the decision to reveal them so early was done for better and for worse.

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This isn’t an A-list cast of actors, but they still did such a good job. Gloria Grahame is very good, Lee Marvin is memorably villainous and Glenn Ford was mostly really good and competent in a somewhat difficult role. Of course Fritz Lang’s direction is terrific and it is so great seeing that the director of ‘Metropolis’ could tackle noir along with science fiction. He truly was a great director.

The Big Heat is fascinating for its mature tone and that is its greatest and most authentic accomplishment. It is certainly the most memorable aspect of the entire film. The scene where Vince tortures Debby and throws hot coffee on her face, thus permanently ruining the entire side of her face is certainly the most violent scene that I have ever witnessed in an older film. It is definitely the most memorable part of the film and although too violent, I actually liked it as it raised the stakes for sure.

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But having her get her revenge and doing the same to him later on was a great choice and a further proof of how strong and feminist the women in classic Hollywood movies were. These were great female characters who were strong and capable, but in a realistic manner. I loved Debby. But I also liked that it was an emotional film, subtly emotional in its protagonist’s problems. The ending is so sweet and I adored that speech about his wife that he gave to Debby, so beautiful. The film is also superbly edited as it is deft and doesn’t waste any scene, but also doesn’t rush the story. I just wished that it wasn’t that predictable as it would have been superb, but it is still very good this way and a proof of how talented Lang really was.

What hurt The Big Heat in the long run is the entire predictability of its plot with almost every plot point being expected, but this noir is still so well made, so well directed by Fritz Lang and so well acted that they managed to lift the material to much greater heights. I loved its emotional approach with a couple of beautiful and moving scenes, but the highlight are its memorable characters and most especially its incredibly dark approach with a couple of unforgettable brutal scenes that are not excessive, but help raise the stakes significantly.

My Rating – 4

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Waking Sleeping Beauty (2009)

Waking Sleeping Beauty Movie Review………………………………………………………..

Waking Sleeping Beauty Movie Review

Waking Sleeping Beauty is a 2009 Disney documentary film directed by Don Hahn. It showcases the history of the Disney studio in the 80s and 90s with an emphasis on the beginning of the renaissance.

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I just don’t think anything is quite as magical as a Disney cartoon fairy tale.

There’s just nothing like that.

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Waking Sleeping Beauty Movie Review………………………………………………………..

I love this topic naturally as I am such a huge fan of Disney animation. The Disney Renaissance is truly a special period for the studio and for the American animation as a whole. I love all of the movies released there and although I would have liked to have seen the later Renaissance entries here as well, I still loved that I got to see the makings of ‘The Little Mermaid’, ‘Beauty and the Beast’, ‘Aladdin’ and ‘The Lion King’, four of their biggest movies.

That footage was fascinating and although I knew a lot of this stuff already, I still loved seeing it on the screen. Jodi Benson’s recording of Part of That World is definitely one of the highlights and of course watching those real lions in the studio was so much fun. I also liked that they showcased their rivalry during the eighties such as Don Bluth and Spielberg and we even got to see some 80s movies here such as ‘The Black Cauldron’ and ‘The Great Mouse Detective’. It is always tragic seeing how the former hurt the studio when it is such a solid film and of course the jokes about the latter’s title were so amusing.

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Waking Sleeping Beauty Movie Review………………………………………………………..

It was interesting learning a bit more about the studio’s troubled history. Of course Waking Sleeping Beauty glorifies a bit too much their own work, but that is understandable as they’ve had such enormous success during the nineties. Of course seeing the Oscar nominations and seeing that ‘Beauty and the Beast’ ended up in the Best Picture race was so emotionally rewarding and such a huge feat in the history of animation.

You learn a lot about Michael Eisner and Roy Disney’s roles which were very important and Roy always seemed so nice to me. But I also learned a lot about Frank Wells and his death was tragic. Jeffrey Katzenberg was well portrayed here and not in an overly toxic manner which they could have done, but thankfully did not. He remains a controversial, but still important figure for Disney and that was well portrayed here. And of course the movie wonderfully showcases the importance of Howard Ashman’s input and his untimely death truly remains tragic and you only can imagine how much more he could have done for Disney had he lived more.

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Waking Sleeping Beauty Movie Review………………………………………………………..

Waking Sleeping Beauty uses archival footage and interviews instead of new interviews and that was truly such a unique and different angle to a documentary feature. Very interesting and it ultimately worked really well for the film. However, the movie remains very troublesome for relying too much on archival footage of the filmmakers and animators and not enough on the films themselves. They should have showcased and emphasized the films more and how they were made and it would have been much more entertaining and much better. But the ending is really moving and the movie was so insightful and a great history lesson for an animation fan like myself so I forgive them for those flaws.

Waking Sleeping Beauty definitely should have focused more on the films themselves instead of relying so much on the filmmakers and animators, but it is still such an insightful and fascinating look at the Disney Renaissance and a big reminder of how important and great that period was. The movie showcased really well the troubled history of each film as well as the various troubles with the studio executives and animators plus it is a unique documentary that relies entirely on archival instead of new interviews.

My Rating – 4

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Swiss Army Man (2016)

Swiss Army Man Movie Review…………………………………………………….

Swiss Army Man Movie Review

Swiss Army Man is a 2016 comedy drama film starring Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano. It is an original and sometimes moving, but mostly ridiculous movie.

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You can’t just say anything that comes into your head,

that’s bad talking.

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Swiss Army Man Movie Review…………………………………………………….

It is about a man who, just as he is attempting suicide, sees a corpse wash shore and developed a friendship with it as it is half-alive and possesses a couple of interesting powers. Now the originality here is undeniable. However, there are two kinds of original works. One is admirable and groundbreaking whereas the other is bad or silly. This one falls in the latter category. It is just such a silly premise that you can’t take it seriously and some of its plot points were just too ridiculous to excuse.

Swiss Army Man has its strengths on the other hand. One is the emotion. Most of it is unearned and because the plot is silly, it doesn’t quite get through. But some of it felt genuinely moving and sweet. I liked the relationship between the two characters, it was a nice friendship. Another good aspect in this movie is its score. I just loved this score as it is uplifting, inspired and sometimes even magical. It thoroughly managed to lift some of the scenes to much greater heights because of it.

Daniel Radcliffe continues his quest into weird and odd territory with this movie and he is solid in it, but again probably a waste of his talents. Paul Dano is much better utilized and he was actually rather likable here where he is usually unlikable to me.

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Swiss Army Man Movie Review…………………………………………………….

The direction is okay, but the editing is not and the film felt too slow and not enough happened in it to justify its somewhat long running time. It is too simplistic and the ending, although fun, is probably more ridiculous than the rest of the movie which really says something. Some of the imagery was memorable, but most of it was too hippie and silly. As for its humor, it is horrible. It basically consists of farts and talks about bodily fluids which is why the dialogue is also terrible. Those two destroyed what could have been a much more interesting and better movie.

Swiss Army Man is a ridiculous movie. Some of it was sweet and moving, the performances are good and the score is actually very good, but the film is original in its plot but in a negative way as it was overly silly and sometimes even stupid and the juvenile humor and dialogue hurt it the most in the long run.

My Rating – 3

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Time Bandits (1981)

Time Bandits Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

Time Bandits Movie Review

Time Bandits is a 1981 family fantasy film directed by Terry Gilliam and starring John Cleese and Sean Connery. It is such a frustrating, disappointing film.

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Dead? No excuse for laying off work.

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Time Bandits Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

Now I obviously dislike Terry Gilliam as I do not care for most of his movies and that is why I didn’t like Time Bandits as well. He infuses this movie with his signature and very annoying style and thus ruins what could have been a great family fantasy flick with interesting time travel elements.

The biggest problem is its lack of identity. The film tries to be both a family fantasy adventure and a bizarre, odd comedy for adults and you can’t have it both ways. Some parts were admittedly funny and some scenes were very interestingly conceived and intriguing in imagery and mythology, but for the most part both of these movies failed in my opinion.

That is because the fantasy elements were mostly overly campy and filled with a ridiculous villain and many silly characters such as those dwarfs. Not only silly, but the characters are also annoying and some are even plain unlikable.

As for its comedy, it fails in that regard as well owing to its obvious Pythonian style. And having in mind that I do not like ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’, I naturally disliked that that humor was present here too. So disappointing and not to mention really not fitting to this story.

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Time Bandits Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

Time Bandits does have some inspired scenes with awesome imagery and great effects for its time. Its first half contained some clever dialogue and funny lines. And the overall film is certainly original in plot and characters, but done for better and for worse. I just had such high expectations for this film and it left me feeling cold and even bored. In the hands of any other director, this would have turned out great, but in the hands of Terry Gilliam, it ended up being another frustrating experiment.

Time Bandits is such a frustrating movie and another proof that I strongly dislike Terry Gilliam’s style. It does have some interesting scenes and imagery and you can’t deny its originality, but it is tonally inconsistent as it tries to be both a family fantasy flick and an odd, bizarre comedy and it just never succeeds in either of those areas as the humor is overly Pythonian and the fantasy elements and characters are silly.

My Rating – 3

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20th Century Women (2016)

20th Century Women Movie Review………………………………………………………..

20th Century Women Movie Review

20th Century Women is a 2016 comedy drama film directed by Mike Mills and starring Annette Bening, Elle Fanning and Greta Gerwig. It is such a peculiar film.

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Whatever you think your life is going to be like,

just know, it’s not gonna be anything like that.

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20th Century Women Movie Review………………………………………………………..

When I say peculiar, I mean to say that I just do not have a definite, clear opinion of it and that rarely happens to me. But there is just a lot to love and a lot to hate here. To me the story mostly falls in the latter category as the film felt aimless in my opinion with no statement or message present whatsoever. We just follow the lives of these people, but only in 1979 and that timeframe meant that the film was too narrow and it somehow tried to be more epic in scope, but it failed.

Dorothea is the best and most realistic character here, but all of the others were too weird. Jamie was to me quite annoying and plain unlikable, Abbie was a typical Greta Gerwig character and one of the rare instances where I found her just repeating herself and Julie is also quite familiar and actually also unlikable. That is definitely a problem here as all of these people are pretty annoying for most of the running time. But the acting is definitely quite good with Annette Bening stealing the show and delivering a strong performance in a demanding role.

I liked the dialogue quite a bit, but 20th Century Women still felt overly feminist to me personally as some lines were ridiculously aggressive. Some conversations were great, but others felt unrealistic and just plain silly.

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20th Century Women Movie Review………………………………………………………..

The movie is a dramedy, but to me nothing was funny here and it works much better as a drama. The emotion is problematically conveyed here. The first half in particular was overly sentimental and it just wasn’t earned back then when we hadn’t yet known the characters or their stories, but the second half is much better and it has some moving parts there. All in all, I liked this film to some degree, but it was mostly too weird and annoying for my taste.

20th Century Women is very strongly acted across the board plus it features some moving scenes and quite interesting conversations, but the first half was overly sentimental, most of the characters are very unlikable and so annoying and the film is mostly too aggressive in its themes, weird in its characters and ultimately somewhat aimless in plot.

My Rating – 3.5

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Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Review…………………………………………………….

Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy is a 2014 superhero film directed by James Gunn and starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Dave Bautista. It is one of Marvel’s finest films.

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Nothing goes over my head.

My reflexes are too fast, I would catch it.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Review…………………………………………………….

I love this film. To me the film gets better with repeat viewings and truly after the third time I’ve seen it, I bumped the rating from 4 to 4.5 as it truly is one great blockbuster film that should go down in history as one of the best, certainly one of the best of its decade.

The story is pretty good. I still think that the infinity stones explanation is weak and not good enough as it should be better explained having in mind its importance for the entire MCU, but I loved how separate this film feels from the rest of the universe as it truly works as a standalone film. The story isn’t particularly original as it has typical building up team and motivational speech themes, but it presents those in comedic manner which is why even those clichéd scenes succeed. And because the settings are great, it succeeds as a pretty good space opera in its own right.

Star-Lord is great. He is the guy Indie should have been as he is both cocky and likable at the same time. Not to mention very funny at times. Gamora is dull and is the most boring and lifeless character here. But Drax the Destroyer is superb and one of the funniest characters here. His endlessly quotable stupid lines are hilarious.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Review…………………………………………………….

Groot is very good and of course endearing, but Rocket is very underrated as he is one of my favorites here – so memorable, funny and with a great backstory. I loved every backstory to each of the characters. Ronan the Accuser is actually one of the best Marvel villains so far as he actually posed some threat and was capable all around. And I didn’t have a problem with how he was beat as this is a comedy after all. All of the other characters are also solid and of course we finally got to see a bit of Thanos here.

I liked the performances and Chris Pratt is truly very charismatic and likable in the main role. It is easy to see why this jumpstarted his career. Dave Bautista is silly and unprofessional, but he works in the context of the character. And Bradley Cooper did a surprisingly good job in his voice performance. The film is also quite well directed by James Gunn and so well edited.

Guardians of the Galaxy also looks cool with a good use of dark and colorful imagery. I liked its various planets and the special effects are pretty good. But of course the score is superb as it utilizes on the seventies hits so well with a couple of scenes being so entertaining.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Review…………………………………………………….

The action is certainly overwhelming and the third act once again succumbs to the usual blockbuster, grandiose territory, but for the most part, the action is pretty good with good fighting scenes, although not the best that Marvel has done so far. The humor is naturally so good with almost all of its characters being very funny and memorable. They work great as a team as they are so cool and infectiously dynamic together. Drax, Rocket and Star-Lord got the biggest laughs out of me, but even the smaller characters such as the one played by John C. Reilly got some big laughs here and there. In the end, Guardians of the Galaxy is Marvel’s best film after ‘Doctor Strange’.

Guardians of the Galaxy is one of Marvel’s finest films with the third act not being the greatest, but it is mostly superb and so incredibly entertaining leading to one of the best blockbusters of the decade. The characters are unforgettable, they work great as a team, the humor is fantastic with many hilarious lines, the action is solid and the movie works great both as a comedy and as a space opera.

My Rating – 4.5

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Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Beauty and the Beast Movie Review…………………………………………………….

Beauty and the Beast Movie Review

Beauty and the Beast is a 2017 musical romance film directed by Bill Condon and produced by Disney. It stars Emma Watson, Luke Evans and Dan Stevens.

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My dear Belle, you’re so ahead of your time.

This is a small village, and it’s small-minded, as well.

But small also means safe.

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Beauty and the Beast Movie Review…………………………………………………….

This 2017 version is a remake of the 1991 classic Disney animated film which is regularly cited as one of the best animated movies ever made. So naturally this adaptation was a risky venture and some may say even unnecessary. However, the end result is quite good so to me it was worth it. I liked most of the things and I truly hated just a couple of aspects so I ended up liking the film overall despite it being naturally inferior to its predecessor.

The plot isn’t as rehashed as everyone has been saying. Definitely some scenes are just way too repeated, but because those are classic scenes, you basically couldn’t do it any other way. So I am here only going to talk about those different plot points as we all know the overall story from the original film.

The beginning was a nice idea as it showed us how the prince was turned into a beast. However, they didn’t do it in the best way possible and the scene felt too safe and tame as is the whole flick, but more on that later. I have to say that I almost disliked the first act of the movie as it was mostly just repeated from the original with nothing new added to the table.

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Beauty and the Beast Movie Review…………………………………………………….

What I liked is that we got too hear the backstory for the Beast, but the highlight was Belle’s backstory. That entire Paris sequence was beautifully conceived and executed. It was emotional and a perfect way to both progress their relationship and reveal to Belle what happened to her mother. That explanation was definitely good, but more often than not, I actually really disliked the film’s talkative, explanatory approach as they had the need to spoon-feed to their audience literally everything (how the two learned how to dance for example) and thus they lost the simplicity and sophistication of this tale and the original movie.

How Maurice got blamed and proclaimed a madman was changed and actually for the better as it was much more believable. The same goes for Agathe as I really liked her mysterious presence throughout the whole film. And the objects turning into anthropomorphic state was another good idea well executed. Overall, I liked these changes, but they were too minor and I would have liked to have seen more sophisticated additions and themes.

The characters are great. Belle is as great as before and the same goes for Gaston who is even funnier and more memorable here. Sometimes the feminist approach with Belle was too on-the-nose, but she was mostly too likable to dismiss. Beast to me was the only truly weaker character as I thought he was too timid and his design was thoroughly unappealing to me personally. Quite poor CGI there. But I have to say that the various romantic scenes that they added for the two were great and they helped strengthen their relationship even more.

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Beauty and the Beast Movie Review…………………………………………………….

Maurice is different than in the original film, but still quite good and likable. LeFou being gay is an interesting and fitting choice, but it backfired as they didn’t do anything with it. They raised the roof for him being the first gay Disney character and I thought that those elements here were too much played for laughs and ultimately disappointing. But I liked his relationship with Gaston and how he eventually turned to the good side, that was great.

Lumiere and Cogsworth and solid and they provide some quite good laughs, Mrs. Potts is also solid albeit infinitely inferior to the original version and Madame de Garderobe and Maestro Cadenza were good new additions.

The acting in Beauty and the Beast is superb. The casting is top-notch as everyone looks the part, even Dan Stevens who is too physically unappealing for the prince, but he was like that in the original too and he gave a good performance. I love Emma Watson, I always have and I am glad that her career is as strong as ever nowadays. To me she was weaker at first, but as the film progressed, she became much more confident and ended up being great in the role. She blended in this movie beautifully as she was just born to play this role. She became Belle and I adored her.

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Beauty and the Beast Movie Review…………………………………………………….

But Luke Evans is great as well. He managed to bring both the comedic and the serious to the role and he both looked the part and played it superbly. All of the other actors and actresses did a very good job with the exception of Ewan McGregor whose French accent is just horrible.

Now is the perfect time to talk about the songs. This is the first movie in this live-action adaptation era for Disney that is a true musical and I liked that, but to some extent. Musically speaking, it is infinitely inferior to the original and it just makes you appreciate the 1991 film even more. But I still liked that the songs were there as it was pleasant to experience them again and in live-action treatment.

Belle to me felt somehow too long and Emma Watson’s singing, although good for an actress, is ultimately subpar and I missed Paige O’Hara here. Belle Reprise is never as grandiose as it was before. Be Our Guest is actually pretty solid, although definitely too muted. I never liked Gaston so I didn’t like it here either, but The Mob Song is quite good and serves its purpose well. Something There was pretty good and quite comedic which I liked.

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Beauty and the Beast Movie Review…………………………………………………….

All of these songs from the original are actually rather fine, but the titular song is just so bad that it thoroughly took me out of the movie. Not only did they change the song and added new instruments, they also slowed it down significantly and the entire sequence was just so poorly filmed that it was totally ruined in my opinion. I was actually quite mad for what they did here.

As for those new songs, How Does a Moment Last Forever is brief and effective and Days in the Sun features mediocre lyrics, but is a solid and somewhat catchy tune, although ultimately too forgettable. Evermore isn’t great, but it is perfectly solid with good lyrics and excellent singing. It is also accompanied by memorable castle imagery. All three of these new songs are far from great, but still turned out better than I expected.

Beauty and the Beast is a visual feast for the eyes and that is where the film shines completely. It becomes such a magical experience and you witness a fairy tale unfold right in front of you. Even the 3D was pretty solid with some good, popping moments. I loved the costumes despite Belle’s iconic dress which felt cheap, but all of the others were great and they transported you to its time period wonderfully. The same goes for the imagery and the special effects, both terrific. The score is also very good and I thought that the pacing is solid. The film is long, but it never felt like it which is a testament to how entertaining it is.

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Beauty and the Beast Movie Review…………………………………………………….

As I said, the Beast didn’t look terrifying and was even scarier in the animated film and that was so disappointing. They should have gone with a much darker and atmospheric tone. But if there is one thing the film does better than the original, it has to be the humor which is so great. I laughed out loud quite a lot as more than a couple of lines were so clever and hilarious. The comic delivery from the actors was excellent. I actually held a smile on my face throughout the whole running time as I was having such a great time and despite its many shortcomings, I think the critics were too harsh to this movie and it is actually quite good, if far from great.

The 2017 Beauty and the Beast is a magical experience despite it being expectedly inferior to the original. Of the songs, the new ones were pretty solid in my opinion with Evermore being the best; both Belle and Be Our Guest were solid, but the titular song was totally ruined with so many incredibly poor choices being made. The characters are great, the casting is top-notch with Luke Evans delivering a strong performance and I adored Emma Watson here. She became Belle which was awesome to witness. The plot changes were minor, but quite good and even though the film should have been darker, I liked its improved humor with many funny lines and the film is a visual feast for the eyes with great costumes and effects. It is ultimately far from great, but still a satisfactory and pleasant remake.

My Rating – 4

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A Man and a Woman (1966)

A Man and a Woman Movie Review………………………………………………..

A Man and a Woman Movie Review

A Man and a Woman is a 1966 French romance film directed by Claude Lelouch and starring Anouk Aimee and Jean-Louis Trintignant. It is a solid and beautiful, but very problematic film.

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If I had to go through this again, what would I do?

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A Man and a Woman Movie Review………………………………………………..

The film is about a young widow and widower who meet by chance at their children’s boarding school and whose budding relationship is complicated by the memories of their deceased spouses. Now to me it is obvious that this premise is great and pretty interesting as I have never seen a similar plot in a romance flick before. I thought that definitely made the film feel original.

However, the execution is quite troublesome. Mostly the director Claude Lelouch is here to blame as this is an excessive movie with obvious style over substance problems. Everything is polished, beautiful and artistic to the point that it becomes too much and even overly abundant, especially because it hurts the plot as it rarely focuses on it. But mostly the structure with the flashbacks was incredibly off-putting as I personally dislike such an approach in a movie. Yes, it benefited from it a couple of times, but more often than not, it was hurt by it.

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A Man and a Woman Movie Review………………………………………………..

The character development is okay, but having in mind that this is in a way a chamber piece, it definitely needed to have been much stronger. Both of them are quite likable, but not as interesting as they should have been as they never quite carried the movie. But I liked the performances as Jean-Louis Trintignant is quite good and Anouk Aimee deserved her Oscar nomination as she had some great, emotional scenes in the third act.

Of course A Man and A Woman is a beautiful looking movie. The cinematography is magnificent and I loved its experimental approach to it as it regularly shifts from color to sepia to black-and-white. That is rarely done in cinema and here it was executed wonderfully. It made the movie much more special. The score is also superb and naturally its theme song is beautiful and I loved that it was used often.

The film features a couple of solid and definitely interesting discussions, but the dialogue still left me unsatisfied as it wasn’t as sophisticated or as involving to carry the entire movie. But to me those flashbacks are the major reason why it disappointed me a lot as they were excessive and sometimes honestly quite boring with all of those racing scenes being just so dull and overabundant.

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A Man and a Woman Movie Review………………………………………………..

The highlights are certainly the beginning and naturally its entire third act which was just beautiful to behold. I loved the sex scene – so emotional, dramatic and ultimately an important plot point. There you see the best examination of this particular subject matter. But the ending itself is where the movie shines as it uses its superb score and cinematography to sell that beautiful ending where they reunite at the train station and the results are so stellar that they elevate the overall movie to much greater heights. But still it is an overrated film that is solid and never great. It did not deserve its four Oscar nominations and two wins and only the actress nod was deserved in my opinion.

A Man and a Woman is a solid, but deeply troublesome film that is ultimately a quintessential example of style over substance. It has a great and interesting premise that is unfortunately well utilized only in its couple of scenes, the flashback structure is quite off-putting at times and the dialogue and characters are never as great as they needed to have been. The cinematography is magnificent as is the score and the ending is definitely beautiful, but the entire film is inherently flawed and in the end overrated.

My Rating – 3.5

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Mädchen in Uniform (1931)

Mädchen in Uniform Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………

Mädchen in Uniform Movie Review

Mädchen in Uniform is a 1931 German drama film directed by Leontine Sagan. It is truly a one of a kind film that is one of the most memorable and different movies from this period.

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What you call sin, I call the great spirit of love,

which takes a thousand forms

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Mädchen in Uniform Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………

I really respected this movie and it just fascinated me with its many intriguing aspects. So it is a love story between a teacher and a student and it is thus one of the first lesbian films ever. That is of course revolutionary. But the film is also interesting for revolving around female boarding school and having no male characters whatsoever. And to me the most interesting thing is its attack on Nazism. The teachers are obviously overly strict and harsh and I thought that parallel was really well accomplished and certainly ahead of its time.

I liked the characters quite a bit, all memorable and realistic. The relationship at the center of it is strong and there are a couple of sweet, romantic moments to be had here. But it was still a bit creepy to me personally as the age difference is vast and Manuela is basically a child at the ege of fourteen. That made the movie provocative even for this time in my opinion. But having in mind when it was made, I guess 14 wasn’t considered that young for that time period. I liked the headmistress, her final moment was revelatory and so powerful in its subtleness. And of course the girls are all great and I loved how they wanted to help Manuela.

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Mädchen in Uniform Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………

Mädchen in Uniform is a very well acted with all around excellent performances and very well directed feature. One of the things that impressed was its use of sound which is quite professional and advanced for the time when the sound just arrived and most filmmakers struggled with it. The dialogue also impressed me as it was grounded in nature and always more subtle than on the nose which it easily could have been with its provocative plot.

The only thing that bothered me here is its running time which is just way too short. I guess that some scenes are probably lost as it seemed like it watching the version I’ve watched, but still the film felt way too rushed and abrupt. Had it been longer, it would have been much more effective as this way it ended up somewhat hurting the character development in particular.

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Mädchen in Uniform Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………

Mädchen in Uniform has a bunch of memorable lines and scenes in it. To me the first act is somewhat inferior, but the rest two are great and there lie a lot of great scenes. Of course the final sequence is just amazing, so well executed and I just loved its meaningful, emotional conclusion. But the arrival of the princess was also really well done and Manuela’s confession was great as that scene was powerful and so dramatic in style. The whole movie is great and a further proof of how excellent German cinema was in the twenties and early thirties. It is easy to see why it got banned as it is revolutionary even for this age and I respected it all the more for it. Such a fascinating, unique film.

Mädchen in Uniform certainly has too short running time, but it is otherwise such a great movie. It remains provocative and intriguing even today as its subject matter and its many themes are fascinating, different and ultimately so well explored. The film is superbly made across the board, but its dramatic as well as subtle approach is terrific, the strong emotion is evident and there are many unforgettable scenes here leading to one of the best German films of the thirties and definitely one of the most interesting and authentic movies from this period.

My Rating – 4.5

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