Notorious (1946)

Notorious Movie Review

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Notorious Movie Review

Notorious is a 1946 noir spy film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant. It is one of Hitch’s best films up to this point.

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A man doesn’t tell a woman what to do. She tells herself

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Notorious Movie Review

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The story is interesting in that it is obviously a spy plot. This is a noir film with strong spy elements which was definitely interesting to see. I personally loved the spy elements and although the film doesn’t have that high of a rewatchability factor, it compensates for that by featuring a bunch of unforgettable, extremely memorable scenes that went straight into film history.

One of those scenes is naturally the prolonged racy scene between the two actors which is famous for being the longest kiss scene ever filmed during the classic studio age of Hollywood. The two have great chemistry and are amazing actors so that was for all the better. Another great scene is the ending, very well done and highly memorable. And of course the highlight has to be the key sequence as it is beautifully shot and highly suspenseful. The film isn’t as suspenseful and thrilling as his best works, but it comes close.

Ingrid Bergman is as great as she mostly was and she here gave a compelling, wonderful performance playing such a great and competent female character who obviously lead to this being such a great woman’s picture. But Cary Grant is also terrific and he surprised me with this highly unusual, dramatic role for him. He went against typecasting and it paid off significantly. The two are wonderful together. And of course the delightfully villainous turn from Claude Rains adds another strong performance to the film.

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Notorious Movie Review

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Notorious is beautifully directed by Alfred Hitchcock and this is surely his best directorial effort until this point in time. His direction is so sophisticated and fantastic that it lifts the material significantly. The script is very good, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes it wasn’t as involving and to me the entire first half was a bit boring and less engaging than the rest of the picture. That is why this is one of his better, but not one of his best films.

The great thing about Notorious is that it wonderfully capitalized on the end of war and brought us a Nazi-influenced film that isn’t set in World War II but just afterwards so that led to its unique, different appeal. The score is excellent and I thought that the cinematography was splendid. The film is simply put brilliantly shot and that amazing cinematography only brings to more suspense during those essential scenes such as the stellar sequence which is absolutely amazing to behold from beginning to end.

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Notorious Movie Review

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I also really liked its characters and they were all very memorable and so well acted by their actors and actresses. The movie is slower, but elegant and polished in its approach. I definitely did not love it upon a revisit as much as I loved it during my first watch, but I still think that it is his best 1940s film after ‘Suspicion’ and ‘Rebecca’. Definitely one of his most stylish and sophisticated outings.

Notorious is slower paced in the first half, but thrilling in the second one. It features many simply unforgettable sequences such as the stellar scene, the prolonged kiss and the ending. It is brilliantly directed by Hitchcock, so wonderfully acted by Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant who appears in a different role than usual for him and it is so suspenseful in some scenes and so exquisitely shot that it is one of the director’s best directed, most elegant and most stylish films.

My Rating – 4.5

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The Man Called Flintstone (1966)

The Man Called Flintstone Movie Review………………………………………………..

The Man Called Flintstone Movie Review

The Man Called Flintstone is a 1966 animated spy comedy directed by William Hannah and Joseph Barbera. It is a spin-off of the show and it is mostly really good.

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Well, that’s what always happens to guys who want to take over the world.

Yeah, they end up out of it.

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The Man Called Flintstone Movie Review………………………………………………..

Here Fred must become a spy as a spy that looks entirely like him is wounded so he along with Wilma and the Rubbles goes to Paris and Rome to stop the master criminal. This is a spy comedy and a musical. I will later talk about the songs themselves, but let’s talk about the actual story. I thought it was very good. Of course when you adapt a sitcom to a film, you can’t really retain that sitcom feel in feature length, but some scenes did manage to do that regardless.

It is one of those typical gangster plots from the original series, but this time around it is actually better than most as it focuses on spy activities which is much more interesting. It serves as such a wonderful and fun spoof of the contemporary James Bond films and it does manage to bring that 60s Bond feel to it really well.

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The Man Called Flintstone Movie Review………………………………………………..

As for the characters, I found them really well utilized. I wanted more from Wilma and Betty, but they were still solid and even the kids themselves were more likable than usual. I also adored Dino in the beginning, his one and only scene is so amusing. Of course Fred is awesome and I just loved that he was a hero here, really likable as always. Barney is also terrific and the duo managed to get some excellent action scenes near the end. Ali and Bobo are funny as these silly, incompetent henchmen, Tanya is memorable if typical, Rock Slag is really well used in the story and Green Goose is a memorable goofy villain. I loved that the voice acting employed the same actors from the series and Mel Blanc and of course Alan Reed were as stellar as expected.

The Man Called Flintstone is beautifully animated. I just loved its animation. As it usually happens with TV-to-film adaptations, the quality of the craft is increased for the big screen which is evident from its first moments. That entire opening sequence is so good and it instantly hooks you in the story while showcasing its visual splendor. The attention to detail is even greater than in the show at times with such a great use of animal mechanics and prehistoric machinery. Very inventive and fun to watch. But some of the imagery, especially of the two cities, is so charming and beautiful and I liked the color palette a lot.

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The Man Called Flintstone Movie Review………………………………………………..

Now I mentioned that it is a musical and there lies its only big problem. I just wish that it stayed just a spy comedy as they had enough material for a feature movie, but somehow they wanted to duplicate Disney’s formula and thus put a number of songs in it. Some are fine, but more often than not, they were distracting and did not help progress the storyline but rather significantly slow it down and they almost serve as a detour.

The titular opening number is a blast! It is the only great song in this weak soundtrack as they perfectly created a Bond type song both in imagery and in lyrics and style. Spy Type Guy is okay, but nothing special. Team Mates is such a filler that was there for no special reason at all. Pensate Amore has good imagery, but is otherwise forgettable. The Happy Sounds of Paree is catchy, but also not memorable. As for (Someday) When I Am Grown Up, it felt too childish as the kids sing it and totally out of place. The songs here are too psychedelic and of its time in a movie that is otherwise a pleasant sixties adventure.

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The Man Called Flintstone Movie Review………………………………………………..

The movie is very good regardless of its songs and a lack of stronger humor as the screenplay is stupendous actually – clever and interesting. The characters are also well utilized, it is solidly paced and very well directed. The highlights to me were the opening scene, the entire action sequence near the end and of course those scenes in the two cities and the restaurant were quite charming. It is a flawed, yet mostly satisfying Flintstones experience that was such a fittingly endearing swan song for the show.

The Man Called Flintstone is rarely on the same level of quality of the show as the humor isn’t that strong and the soundtrack is quite weak as the songs serve as a detour/filler instead of progressing the plot, but the film is otherwise very satisfying with an improved, beautiful animation with a great attention to detail, it is sometimes very inventive, the characters are well utilized and the plot is a pleasant spoof of Bond movies leading to a fittingly endearing swan song for the series.

My Rating – 4

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Octopussy (1983)

Octopussy Movie Review…………………………………………………………………….

Octopussy Movie Review

Octopussy is a 1983 spy film starring Roger Moore which is the thirteenth James Bond entry. It is as weak as the critics say it is.

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Forgive my curiosity, but what is that?

That’s my little octopussy

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Octopussy Movie Review…………………………………………………………………….

Now, this one is definitely not the worst in the series as there are a couple of entries that were weaker in my honest opinion. But it is still a mediocre film that is far from truly bad, but also far from good. The plot is as underutilized, convoluted and silly as you would expect from the series and the characters aren’t much better either.

The titular Bond girl is certainly memorable and some moments with here were quite funny in their sexual humor. Bond himself is okay, but this is still one of Roger Moore’s weakest turns as the character. Plus he was way too old for the part here. As for the villains, they are all forgettable and uninspired.

Octopussy has its strengths. Certainly its Indian setting proved to be quite memorable and a lot of fun with some very entertaining scenes and great scenery. The cinematography is really good here. The movie definitely has its charming and amusing moments, but they unfortunately come too rarely for the film to work.

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Octopussy Movie Review…………………………………………………………………….

It is otherwise a bore to sit through, overlong and slow paced. But probably its biggest problem is the pure ridiculousness of its action sequences. Not only is the action way too overwhelming here with the spy elements being lacking and never enough utilized, but some of it was so silly and even ludicrous that it was ridiculous to watch. It was undoubtedly inspired by ‘Moonraker‘ in its campy and silly tone and that was just infuriating to see. I don’t know why they would want to repeat that silly formula and they should just get back to those earlier Bond films that were much more serious in tone, but also funny at the same time. This movie isn’t even that funny with only a couple of amusing moments. All in all, it is not the worst Bond film, but certainly near the bottom of the list.

Octopussy isn’t the worst Bond film as it has a memorable setting and some amusing scenes, but it is still so bland and forgettable in plot, very weak in its characterization and just way too overwhelming and even silly in its action that it ended up being one of the lesser, more campy and ridiculous entries in the franchise.

My Rating – 2.5

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Saboteur (1942)

Saboteur Movie Review……………………………………………………

Saboteur Movie Review

Saboteur is a 1942 spy thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Robert Cummings and Priscilla Lane. It is one of his most underappreciated films.

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Don’t you know I can see a great deal farther than you can?

I can see intangible things.

For example, innocence

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Saboteur Movie Review……………………………………………………

I have to say that the conspiracy plot here is highly typical. We’ve seen this premise with man accused of crime that he didn’t commit done many times before and it is his usual theme. It isn’t that unpredictable and rarely does it contain truly original scenes in it.

However, it still surprised me with its quality as the execution of this story is so good. This is without any doubt one of the most purely entertaining films from the Master of Suspense. I’ve had such a great time watching it and it is both fun and charming.

The beginning and ending are important, but not the best. The entire middle section of the film is where the movie shines. I loved the high adventure and the relationship between these two characters and the highlights are the river scene and of course the whole extended sequence with the circus performers was so authentic, highly interesting and a blast to watch.

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Saboteur Movie Review……………………………………………………

The characters are solid. Pat and Barry are both archetypes, but still realized really well and highly sympathetic. I loved their interactions and they are a great couple. Priscilla Lane and Robert Cummings are certainly B-actors and their performances aren’t the greatest, but they are still very charming and serve as great eye candy.

Saboteur is technically a very well made film. The cinematography is so good and it contains a lot of memorable scenes with unforgettable imagery. Of course the last scene with the Statue of Liberty is such a memorable climax, although too typical for Hitch. The sound is strong and I liked its lack of score as it fits the plot.

In terms of it being a thriller, it is a solid one with some chases and fights being quite fun to watch, but still I expected more thrills and danger from it and there were too many obvious scenarios in my opinion. The film is definitely too influenced by some of Hitchcock’s previous works and it never quite achieves to be its own thing, no matter how entertaining it is.

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Saboteur Movie Review……………………………………………………

The spy elements are solid, but still not the greatest. I liked that the film doesn’t have any score as it didn’t need it at all. As for its dialogue, it is pretty solid and actually quite funny at times. Saboteur surprised me with its high amount of humor at times. The director is more than capable of making funny movies which is why I think that he definitely should have tried to make a comedy in his career, but unfortunately he never did. Saboteur is funny and actually very charming in both its story and couple. I found the villains to be overly typical, but that entire party sequence found good use of them and was a memorable part of the film. The flick flows really well and is fun and involving to watch from beginning to end which is why I think that its status is definitely underserved as it is better than a lot of his previous movies. Very underrated and it really caught me by surprise.

Saboteur is one of Hitchcock’s most underrated and most unabashedly entertaining films. It certainly is not original, the acting isn’t the greatest and the beginning and ending are typical, but the entire middle section was so much fun with excellent scenarios, a memorable romantic pair at its center and with so many unforgettable and immensely entertaining scenes populated with memorable characters and imagery.

My Rating – 4

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Foreign Correspondent (1940)

Foreign Correspondent Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………………

Foreign Correspondent Movie Review

Foreign Correspondent is a 1940 spy thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Joel McCrea, Herbert Marshall, George Sanders and Albert Bassermann. It is a disappointing movie.

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I’m in love with a girl, and I’m going to help hang her father.

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Foreign Correspondent Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………………

It is about an American reporter who tries to expose enemy spies in Britain who are involved in a conspiracy in the prelude to World War II. Now the plot is solid, if a bit too of its time. I liked the movie, but it is just solid and being solid isn’t what’s expected from The Master of Suspense. The major problem in terms of storytelling lies in its convoluted nature. I couldn’t get invested in it because there were too many convoluted plot points, not great twists and turns and it was overall needlessly complicated.

Another problem lies in the character development and the acting. None of these characters were remotely interesting or memorable, at least not in my opinion. They are all solid and they are at least somewhat developed, but they just felt typical. Of the actors, everyone did a solid job, but none of them stood out which is weird as this is a really good cast of actors. It basically had no time for either of them to properly get their due and that is exactly what happened here.

If there is one thing Foreign Correspondent got right, those are the technical aspects. Wow, does this movie look great!. The cinematography is amazing and everything looks splendid with memorable imagery. The set design in this movie is brilliant, unforgettable and instantly recognizable from the windmill to the streets to the airplane.

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Foreign Correspondent Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………………

Definitely the action is very well utilized, but to me it was still overabundant and too much like a modern instead of classic thriller and I am always up for more classic. That is one of the reasons why it disappointed me. The pacing is awfully frenetic and yet at times dull. Very uneven as is the entire picture. The direction from Hitchcock is also problematic. It is obviously quite good, but not as great as you’d come to expect from him as the entire film doesn’t run as smoothly as his other efforts and sometimes it felt to me that it was a pretty weak sum of some great parts.

That is this movie in a nutshell – works great many times as a singular scene, but when taken into context, it mostly falls apart. Now watching it after so many decades, it definitely is interesting as it was made just at the cusp of World War II and it does feel urgent. I also really liked is global feel as it makes use of various locations and nations in it which was a refreshing change in pace for the pictures of the time as was its emphasis on outdoors sequences. Some of the scenes are thrilling and intense, but I wished that more of them were like that. It definitely is more a spy than a thriller flick and its spy elements are certainly better utilized.

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Foreign Correspondent Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………………

In the year of ‘Rebecca in which it came out, it is infinitely inferior and it is one of his lesser works. It is still a solid movie, but not up to his standards. As for its Academy Award nominations, Albert Bassermann’s nod was deserved and of course the visual effects, cinematography and art direction are awesome here, but the nominations for Picture and screenplay were ridiculous to me as the year was too strong for its inclusion in those categories.

Foreign Correspondent looks amazing with absolutely spectacular cinematography, just brilliant and unforgettable set design and great effects, but it is ultimately just a solid movie which is not what you’d come to expect from The Master of Suspense. The script is problematic, the film is overly convoluted, the pacing is all over the place and the characters are forgettable. It is one of Hitchcock’s weakest 1940s efforts.

My Rating – 3.5

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For Your Eyes Only (1981)

For Your Eyes Only Movie Review…………………………………………………………

For Your Eyes Only Movie Review

For Your Eyes Only is a 1981 spy film that is the twelfth entry in the James Bond series. it is one of the weakest so far.

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Him? He thinks I’m still a virgin.

Yes. Well, you get your clothes on…

and I’ll buy you an ice cream.

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For Your Eyes Only Movie Review…………………………………………………………

The plot here is as uninspired as these Bond flicks can be. Yes, they brought back a somewhat realistic instead of bombastic approach in the execution, but the plot and the characters are so weak that it doesn’t really help the final product which is surprisingly dull and prolonged.

Roger Moore is solid in the role, but he is definitely getting too old for the part and it is really problematic to consider that he acted in two more Bond movies after this one. He is serviceable and I didn’t mind his performance, but they really didn’t know when to change actors in time.

The action in For Your Eyes Only is very tedious and again we get those underwater sequences which are getting overly abundant and clichéd by this point. The Bond girl here is solid, but to me she is far from great and there is a problem of two many characters here and none of them leave any lasting impression which is the problem of the overall movie that is highly forgettable.

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For Your Eyes Only Movie Review…………………………………………………………

For Your Eyes Only is so-so paced, but its only strengths are the visuals and the score. It looks really good and is always pleasant for the eyes plus some of the action is very well executed with those ski scenes being the best realized. The score in particular is very strong. It is a score of its time, but a good one and once again the opening title sequence steals the show with a very good opening number and fine visuals. It’s a shame that the movie itself never had anything that memorable or inspired on it.

For Your Eyes Only  has a good opening number, fine score and it looks good, but the action is dull, the characters and plot are uninspired and the film is one of the most tedious and forgettable Bond flicks so far.

My Rating – 2.5

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The Lady Vanishes (1938)

The Lady Vanishes Movie Review……………………………………………………………………

The Lady Vanishes Movie Review

The Lady Vanishes is a 1938 thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Margaret Lockwood and Michael Redgrave. It is such a good movie that is one of the director’s best early efforts.

It is about an English tourist traveling by train who discovers that her elderly traveling companion seems to have disappeared. All of the others deny her existence and she, along with her new friend, search the train for some clues. The premise alone here is incredibly original and fascinating even. And thankfully the execution is mostly great as well. The film is very entertaining and almost riveting at times.

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I never think you should judge any country by its politics.

After all, we English are quite honest by nature, aren’t we?

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The Lady Vanishes Movie Review……………………………………………………………………

I really liked Iris and Gilbert and the two are such a phenomenal couple and they serve as a very fun detective duo two. Miss Froy is such an endearing old woman and what is most admirable here is the choice to make her a spy and a great one despite her age. I loved that. And all of the other supporting characters are quite memorable and most of them are important for the story which is commendable.

I found the acting to be great. Both Michael Redgrave and Margaret Lockwood are so charming together and both gave excellent performances. But May Whitty is even better as wonderful Miss Froy. The Lady Vanishes benefits from some tremendous technicalities including of course the direction from Hitchcock which is finally great as his earlier 30s efforts aren’t as great as they could have been. But here he proved what a remarkable artist he is and that will be best seen in his later works.

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The Lady Vanishes Movie Review……………………………………………………………………

The pacing is also excellent despite that first act. Yes, the first act is in my opinion the major flaw of the picture as it is just so incredibly slow, dragging and just way too extended. We basically get over twenty minutes before the train departs and that is just a waste of time. But thankfully the rest is deftly edited with the film flowing smoothly and being very involving all the time.

The cinematography is excellent with some really polished camera movements. The train is such a great setting and is utilized superbly as we get to explore the majority of it. The lack of a score troubled me before, but upon second viewing, I have to agree with Hitchcock’s decision. Yes, that did lead to a more realistic feel to it and it definitely wasn’t necessary. The dialogue is as playful and as fun as you would come to expect from the director. And the film is not only very authentic, but also very memorable with the most unforgettable sequences being the disappearance sequence which is so intriguing and even creepy, the last action sequence which is so well executed and the scenes with the two investigating were awesome.

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The Lady Vanishes Movie Review……………………………………………………………………

The Lady Vanishes is interesting for being a comedic thriller and I don’t know what I think about that. On the one hand, the humor is pretty good at times and the energy is palpable. But on the other hand, it does significantly diminish the seriousness and the realism of the movie as some scenes are too humorous. But the film still mostly succeeds as a thriller, but most of all, as a great spy film as those elements were very interesting and well crafted. The ending made me smile a lot as it was so wonderful and a beautiful conclusion. In the end, it has its problems, but it’s still the finest 1930s Hitchcock film with only ‘The 39 Steps‘ being able to compete with it, but that one is also inferior to it.

The Lady Vanishes is definitely too comedic in tone and the first act is just needlessly extended, but the film is mostly great with excellent performances and characters, a palpable energy to it, very intriguing spy elements, an authentic and intriguing premise and a very well crafted, consistently involving storyline. It is without a doubt Hitchcock’s finest 1930s film.

My Rating – 4

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Moonraker (1979)

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

Moonraker Movie Review

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

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

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I think he’s attempting re-entry, sir

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Rating – 2.5

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Sabotage (1936)

Sabotage Movie Review…………………………………………………………………..

Sabotage Movie Review

Sabotage is a 1936 thriller spy film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Sylvia Sidney and Oskar Homolka. It is one of the weakest entries in the director’s filmography.

 

It follows an agent who hides a time bomb in a delivery package to blow up London. Not only is the execution of this plot mediocre, but the story itself is never memorable or intriguing at all. I just was never invested in it. It isn’t a boring movie per say, but it also isn’t particularly involving and it is never riveting.

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Wilful destruction of buildings or machinery
with the object of alarming a group of persons or inspiring public uneasiness
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Sabotage Movie Review…………………………………………………………………..

The spy elements here were quite boring and standard and the thriller elements were lacking to the point of this basically being a spy flick, way more so than a thriller. I was so disappointed by the choice to not have any signature intense scenes that we have come to expect from the master of suspense.

 

All of the characters here are quite forgettable. Neither of them stands out and I only liked Mrs. Verloc as she was the most interesting and most relatable character. And Sylvia Sidney also is the best actor and easily gave the finest performance. The choice to kill Stevie was incredibly unnecessary and that sequence was ultimately so subpar when it should have easily been the highlight of the movie.

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Sabotage Movie Review…………………………………………………………………..

Sabotage is definitely well filmed and it has some very interesting scenes. The cinema setting in particular was great for me and I just loved the inclusion of the Silly SymphonyWho Killed Cock Robin?‘ as that not only warmed my heart, but was also clever as it fitted thematically to the story.

 

Sabotage is solidly scored, but never original at all in its story or characters. And the tone is also odd as it feels comedic at times while mostly being serious and it never strikes the balance. The film is well paced and it has just the right amount of running time and doesn’t feel short. But it never has any momentum to it and not even the ending felt big. That was weird for the director as even his worst movies (‘Murder!) have that suspenseful and memorable ending, but here that was unfortunately lacking. But it isn’t a bad movie, it is perfectly okay. It’s just that comparing it to other 1930s Hitchcock films, it is easily one of the weakest.

Sabotage is well made and it has some quite interesting scenes in it, but it is mostly lacking in terms of suspense, the plot is neither memorable nor authentic, the characters are forgettable and it is so uneventful and never particularly riveting. It is very weak and oddly not suspenseful for the master of suspense.

My Rating – 3

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The 39 Steps (1935)

The 39 Steps Movie Review…………………………………………………

The 39 Steps Movie Review

The 39 Steps is a 1935 thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll. It is one of the better early films from the director.

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I know what it is to feel lonely and helpless and to have the whole world against me,

and those are things that no men or women ought to feel

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The 39 Steps Movie Review…………………………………………………

It is about an ordinary civilian who becomes caught up in preventing an organization of spies from stealing British military secrets. This is one of a number of Hitchcock films to use the plot of a man wrongly convicted of crime who is on the run. And this particular storyline is quite solid, if far from great. It is pleasantly thrilling, engaging and mostly well detailed, but it is also way to implausible in way too many scenes with the sequence in which the protagonist is shot but is accidentally survived by a book being just way too improbable and unrealistic, not to mention an obvious contrived plot device.

But for every contrived scene, we get another truly great one and there are a number of scenes here that are not only terrific, but also truly unforgettable. The highlights for me were the entire sequence in the crofter’s house which is just perfectly constructed in every detail, the entire trip down the countryside was awesome and that waterfall scene is instantly recognizable. The film is interesting for revolving outdoors in the majority of its running time which is not only great, but also incredibly rare for the films of this era.

The 39 Steps is too fast paced and too action-oriented which is the reason why it appeals to modern moviegoers, but not as much to me as I personally dislike those things. And even though the action is very well executed and the film is genuinely exciting and entertaining, it was still done at the expense of plot and character development.

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The 39 Steps Movie Review…………………………………………………

The characters are solid, but not great. The exception is Hannay who is an excellent, relatable main character with a very good sense of humor. Annabella Smith is memorable, but Pamela was very disappointing as I expected so much more from her and their pairing. The crofter and his wife are both great and Professor Jordan is certainly good with a memorable defect.

The acting is pretty good as Madeleine Carroll is quite good and of course Robert Donat is terrific in one of his most memorable roles. He is very funny and charismatic here and I did not expect that from him which is why he pleasantly surprised me.

Hitchcock’s directing here is pretty strong and his talent is obvious even more here than in ‘The Man Who Knew Too Much’ and this movie is a much better and more coherent effort. In fact, it is one of his better efforts of the era and a film which I rate a 4, but only a slight four owing to its many obvious detractors.

The 39 Steps looks really good with some outstanding cinematography and scenery at display. I loved the countryside, that house and every location here is magnificently utilized into its thrilling plot. And it truly does succeed as a thriller and one of the better ones of the thirties for sure. It is pretty exciting and intense in some moments and mostly really well executed.

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The 39 Steps Movie Review…………………………………………………

I also really liked its comedic tone at times as the humor is quite good and I chuckled quite a few times actually. It is deftly edited, but too fast paced. The dialogue is solid and I have to mention the ending which is so great with Mr. Memory being heartbreaking. I just found his character to be incredibly intriguing and moving.

Even though it is too fast paced and action oriented at the expense of character development and some scenes are highly implausible, The 39 Steps is still a pretty good thriller with some intense and thrilling moments, many instantly recognizable and perfectly constructed scenes, quite a good humor and great locations. It is flawed, but highly memorable and atmospheric.

My Rating – 4

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