Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964)

Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte Movie Review

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Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte Movie Review

Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte is a 1964 psychological thriller horror film directed by Robert Aldrich and starring Bette Davis, Joseph Cotten and Olivia de Havilland. It’s a superb movie.

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You’re a vile, sorry little bitch!

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Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte Movie Review

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The film is a spiritual successor to ‘What Ever Happened to Baby Jane’ in plot and characters. Although very similar at first, it is very different in the end with a much more horror infused, menacing approach to it which I loved. Both movies are great, but this one surprised me so much as I did not expect it would be this great and this creepy.

The first half is somewhat slow and the buildup lasts for too long, but the beginning is marvelous as it introduces you to the story in an immediate manner and I was hooked. The murder scene was pretty graphic for its time.

But the second half is simply fantastic. The twist is absolutely spectacular and I actually did not see it coming as the actors are so well cast against type in villainous roles. It truly is one of the best twists of its time. The story suddenly became much more urgent and dangerous in tone and actually very modern as today’s audiences would appreciate it much more than the 1964 audiences.

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Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte Movie Review

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It’s a great story with a bunch of memorable thrills and scares. I would classify it as a psychological thriller, but definitely as a strong horror too because some of the scenes in the third act are very much horrific and pretty scary even today.

So the highlights include the beautiful ending, the way the protagonist got away from the situation, the murder at the stairs which is striking, the plastic head sequence is amazing and unexpected, the imaginary wedding sequence is very creepy and the muddy man scene is very scary and effective. As you can see, the film has a lot of unforgettable scenes which make it a true genre classic and a very underrated one at that.

Bette Davis is very good in the role. Sometimes she overacted, but in the end she gave a very strong performance which isn’t one of her best, but is admirable given that it is one of her last. Agnes Moorehead is the weakest link here as she overacted quite a bit and I do not understand why she of all people in this film got an Oscar nomination. Very underserved.

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Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte Movie Review

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Joseph Cotten is very good here, but Olivia de Havilland entirely steals the show in my opinion, even from Davis. I did not expect her in this role and thus I was surprised and really thrilled to see that she pulled it off beautifully. She created a very menacing, villainous and creepy character and she should have been nominated for her work in the film, not Agnes.

Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte is sometimes overacted and certainly over-the-top, but it’s great because it puts you in the shoes of Charlotte and makes you root for her how terrible she is treated. That made the film thrilling and very effective. I constantly felt danger lurking owing to a fantastic, truly menacing atmosphere that the film creates and a terrific score and sound effects.

The titular song is simply beautiful. When heard singularly, it is a wonderful song. But when heard in the context of the film, it actually becomes quite scary and frankly even disturbing which was the goal of the filmmakers and they should be congratulated for managing to make use of the song so stupendously.

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Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte Movie Review

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The film was nominated for editing, costumes, production design and cinematography. All these nominations are very much deserved as the film looks gorgeous. The house looked magnificent and is so well utilized and explored. The black and white photography is either beautiful or atmospheric here. The direction from Robert Aldrich is also very strong and the film is mostly really well paced and incredibly entertaining to watch. I loved it.

Beautifully shot and scored with a fantastic titular song, Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte is somewhat overacted and certainly over-the-top, but an effective, very modern and highly underrated psychological thriller horror flick that’s a classic in my opinion. This spiritual successor to ‘What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?’ is slow at first, but later becomes very entertaining and quite unnerving. Bette Davis is very good, but Olivia de Havilland actually steals the show here in an unexpected, truly terrific role. The movie is fueled with a palpable sense of danger and is thus a very unsettling experience. The twist is great plus the film is packed with a high number of simply unforgettable sequences from the ending to the immediately intriguing opening to three striking staircase sequences – each one creepier than the last.

My Rating – 4.5

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The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

Image result for the man who knew too much gif

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The Man Who Knew Too Much Movie Review

The Man Who Knew Too Much is a 1956 thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring James Stewart and Doris Day. It is one of the director’s weakest films.

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A man… a statesman…

is to be killed… assassinated in London.

Soon… very soon.

Tell them in London…

tell them to try Ambrose Chapel…

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The Man Who Knew Too Much Movie Review

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Yes, I have to be honest and state that this film disappointed me tremendously. It is so well regarded nowadays but is actually rather weak in my opinion. It is along the line of ‘Foreign Correspondent’ when it comes to my ranking of his films – a movie from which I expected much bigger things but it ended up being a major letdown.

The Man Who Knew Too Much is basically a remake of the 1934 eponymous film. And there lies the biggest problem – the film is just never as good as the original is and the original itself is flawed and only solid. But this one takes everything from the original and does it in a much less interesting and, needless to say, much less suspenseful manner making the end product surprisingly stale for Hitchcock’s standards.

James Stewart gave such a strong performance as he usually does being possibly the greatest actor who ever lived. Critics pinpoint his confused character as being different and interesting for Stewart to play and I agree. He really delivered a terrific performance here in the main role.

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The Man Who Knew Too Much Movie Review

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As for Doris Day, she is also quite memorable and immensely likable as she always is. I really enjoyed both her singing and her acting here. So these two deliver for sure as they are almost always reliable actors, but unfortunately the others aren’t as memorable in both acting and characterization with the villains being disappointing.

Let’s talk about the technical aspects and then I’ll touch upon the music.. There is no denying that The Man Who Knew Too Much is more polished and less crude than its predecessor. However, it is way too long and basically just an extended version of a previous film. The problem here is that the story did not need all this extended runtime leading to a very dull, prolonged movie with many overly slow, unnecessary scenes.

Of course I really liked its cinematography and the fact that we got to visit Morocco is great and those scenes are definitely well shot and intriguing, but then again making a film boring and too much lake a travelogue. Hitchcock’s direction is surprisingly weak this time around.

So the film is famous for introducing Que Sera, Sera to the audiences and I have to say that this song is one of my all-time favorites. I consider it to be one of the best songs of all time as it is such a sweet, beautifully written and simply wonderful number which melts my heart every time I hear it.

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The Man Who Knew Too Much Movie Review

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However, in the movie itself the song is rather misplaced. I liked the first rendition of it in the first scene, but then at the end it doesn’t really correspond well to the action on screen. It serves its purpose when it comes to reuniting the kid with his parents, but thematically speaking the song doesn’t belong in that scene at all which was odd and very disappointing to witness.

The Man Who Knew Too Much introduced the world to Que Sera, Sera which is in my opinion one of the best songs of all time. However, the song is pretty much misplaced and doesn’t belong in this film which was odd to witness. The movie is very well shot and competently acted by Doris Day and James Stewart, but a major disappointment nonetheless owing to a prolonged runtime, many slow and unnecessary scenes and a lack of strong tension leading to one of the most overrated and weakest Hitchcock films which is basically an unnecessary remake of a superior 1934 original.

My Rating – 3

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Thelma (2017)

Thelma Movie Review

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Thelma Movie Review

Thelma is a 2017 Norwegian thriller film directed by Joachim Trier and starring Eili Harboe. It is a very authentic, but flawed film.

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A little knowledge doesn’t make us better than others

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Thelma Movie Review

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It follows a girl who is a young student in Oslo. She develops feelings for another girl but because she comes from a very religious family, she rejects those feelings and thus triggers powers. There is no denying that this premise is so incredibly offbeat and admirably original even if the execution leaves a lot to be desired.

It is a great metaphor for sexually repressed gay adolescents who question and reject their homosexuality as well as an examination of gay people coming from religious backgrounds. The fact that it was mixed with supernatural elements made this film very modern, cool and undeniably intriguing.

However, the film is flawed because it doesn’t take the premise to the fullest extent possible and it only touches the surface of this story. The first half is very good and interesting, but some of the parts in the second half weren’t as interesting and the film needed stronger thriller/horror overtones and sort of just remained a mystery drama in a way. It didn’t delve deeply enough into its themes and it wasn’t atmospheric enough. It was too much like a tame psychological thriller.

As for the characters, I expected a bigger romance, but still it was interesting and at times even wonderfully sensual as well as sexy. Eili Harboe did a very good job in the main role and although Thelma is not a particularly likable person, she it was still interesting following her troublesome journey and she is quite a complex person.

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Thelma Movie Review

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Thelma is well directed by Joachim Trier and although weakly paced, it was well shot and very well scored. I loved the ending and some of the conversations with her father especially concerning religion were quite interesting. That is why I liked the first half more as it was much more engaging and sophisticated whereas the second half was somewhat boring to me. However, it did end wonderfully with that beautiful ending plus some of the mysteries surrounding her family history was fascinating to discover.

Thelma is a film with an incredibly offbeat, intriguing premise and it remains a fascinating experiment even if the execution of said premise isn’t great or fully realized. The first half was much more interesting than the second one. The film is a psychological thriller with some mystery and horror elements and it is such a cool, modern lesbian film with an interesting metaphor and main character.

My Rating – 4

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Gerald’s Game (2017)

Gerald's Game Movie Review

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Gerald’s Game Movie Review

Gerald’s Game is a 2017 survival film directed by Mike Flanagan and starring Carla Gugino. It is a flawed, but very good and memorable chiller.

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The people who were supposed to protect you from the monsters

turned out to be monsters themselves…

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Gerald's Game Movie Review

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Being based on a Stephen King novel, it is thus bound to have a great, original story and surely a woman being handcuffed to a bed and attempting to survive is a very authentic premise. And it was mostly well executed as well. Of course ‘It’ is a much better King adaptation of 2017 but Gerald’s Game is also surprisingly good and entertaining.

I respected the film for handling some very serious issues. Yes, it made for one quite uncomfortable viewing experience, but it also made for a surprisingly powerful feminist picture which resonated with me in the end.

So Jessie is the main character and once she gets handcuffed and her husband dies during their sex adventure, she is all alone and has to survive on her own. But not only do we see her struggle to survive, but also her examination of everything that led to that moment – she reconciles with being a victim of child abuse and she realizes that her husband has always been terrible. This film definitely is a very deep character study and not just your typical horror thriller.

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Gerald's Game Movie Review

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However, there lie a couple of problems. Because the film is based on a book, some scenes are so obviously book-related that it was distracting. Yes, they mostly managed to spread the film to an hour and a half without it being boring by adding the flashbacks and her husband and adult as well as child self talking to Jessie. But some of those scenes featured too much dialogue and were not really meant for cinematic treatment. Let’s just say that it is instantly recognizable as a book adaptation which is never a good sign.

Gerald’s Game is well filmed and I liked the choice with no sound as it added to the suspense. The film is never really terrifying and is way too gory and disgusting with the dog eating her husband being overly shown, but I liked how it was more of a psychological thriller instead of pure horror.

The twist at the end with the “death figure” was actually incredibly intriguing and that final scene was so powerful emotionally and in terms of delivery from the actress and how it was shot. I loved that aspect here and I really liked that the ending was prolonged.

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Gerald's Game Movie Review

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The dialogue is for the most part smart and quite good, but sometimes silly and too on-the-nose and typical for this type of film. As for the performances, Bruce Greenwood is sometimes too theatrical, but mostly quite good and creepy in the role. But this is of course Carla Gugino’s show and she absolutely excelled playing this role. This surely is a breakout role for her as she showed incredible range in a very demanding role and delivered what is definitely one of the best and most underrated female performances of the year.

Gerald’s Game has too much dialogue at times, too much gore and some pacing issues, but it is for the most part a very strong Stephen Kind adaptation with memorable thrills and plot points and a very offbeat premise. But it is also a character study and a very powerful and resonant one. Carla Gugino gave a fantastic performance in a breakout role. It is definitely the most underrated performance of the year.

My Rating – 4

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To Catch a Thief (1955)

To Catch a Thief Movie Review

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To Catch a Thief Movie Review

To Catch a Thief is a 1955 romantic thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. It is one of his lesser, but more entertaining and charming flicks.

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So this is where you live?

Oh, Mother will love it up here!

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To Catch a Thief Movie Review

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Its main problem is the story which is a lot of fun but too low-key and lacking in tension and conflict. It lacks in the area of tension mainly because it is about burglars which is a lot less dangerous than murderers and thus the film is devoid of the director’s usual atmospheric and thrilling sequences.

But it does succeed as a romance far more so than a thriller. That is because the relationship between the two characters is very dynamic, fun and memorable. I loved some of their romantic scenes. Kelly and Grant truly shared a great chemistry here that even a long age gap did not hurt the movie too much. They were perfectly cast together and it’s a shame that they did not film more movies.

Grace Kelly is as elegant and as beautiful as she always is and here she is in one of her more glamorous appearances with the various wonderful gowns and dresses. She played this fun and funny girl so well.

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To Catch a Thief Movie Review

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Cary Grant is of course reliably great and believable not only in romance but also in action scenes. He was a great choice for this type of more fun and light-hearted movie. Other characters are unfortunately not as memorable and Danielle is solid and the twist was fine, but obvious and it needed more build up in my opinion.

To Catch a Thief has a lot of great scenes. The highlights include the entire car chase sequence as well as their picnic, the first meet up of the two and the action on the roof was a lot of fun and should have been extended more in my opinion as the film desperately needed more thriller, action elements to go with all the glamour and romance.

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To Catch a Thief Movie Review

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It is well directed by Alfred Hitchcock but this is obviously one of his more casual, laidback films where he didn’t stretch his imagination and skills too much. That is fine and the film is solid, but just not one of his more memorable works. It is well edited and stupendously shot with a great color and a lot of memorable imagery. The score is also really good and the costumes are splendid. It is such a glorious feast for the eyes that its lack of substance can be forgiven.

To Catch a Thief is definitely one of Hitchcock’s lesser works thanks to a lack of substance, more thriller elements and an absence of danger and high stakes, but the film makes up for it due to a highly glamorous feel that it has thanks to beautiful costumes and splendid locations so gorgeously shot in VistaVision. The dynamic and chemistry between Kelly and Grant are superb as well and they add a lot of playful charisma and charm to this very fun, but flawed outing.

My Rating – 3.5

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The Most Dangerous Game (1932)

The Most Dangerous Game Movie Review

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The Most Dangerous Game Movie Review

The Most Dangerous Game is a 1932 Pre-Code thriller film directed by Ernest B. Schoedsack and starring Joel McCrea, Fay Wray and Leslie Banks. It is a solid, but disappointing flick.

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Here on my island, I hunt the most dangerous game

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The Most Dangerous Game Movie Review

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So the story follows a shipwrecked man who enters a chateau of a rich man who like him has a hobby of hunting, but he got bored of hunting animals so he started hunting humans for sport. He eventually starts to hunt the protagonist and his newly acquainted female friend.

I really liked the clever dialogue exchange at the beginning and some of the lines were interesting later on as well. The film has a structure that goes like this – the first half is all dialogue, action-free build up and the second half is all action-oriented, thriller chase. And I liked both of them, but both are flawed.

The major problem with this film is that it just isn’t scary or atmospheric enough for obvious reasons – the movie was cut and at least twenty gruesome minutes from it are not there anymore. And that is a problem as it strips the film of its urgency and scares and it ended up being just a chase thriller and certainly not a horror.

The Most Dangerous Game is also way too campy and dated in some areas. I liked the over-the-top but memorable performance from Leslie Banks, but Fay Wray is just okay and Joel McCrea is the weakest link as he seemed bored and unenthusiastic in the role. A very mediocre performance from a usually competent actor. And I was so sad to see Robert Armstrong’s character killed and I guess that is the strength of the film that they made me feel sorry for the poor guy.

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The Most Dangerous Game Movie Review

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It is actually stupendously shot as it feels that it was shot on location but it wasn’t. I loved some of the action and chase scenes. Some felt dated, but some were exhilarating and so well imagined. The jungle and the chateau looked great. The score, on the other hand, is overly loud and just too bombastic that it annoyed me tremendously.

The Most Dangerous Game has a couple of interesting lines of dialogue, a memorable performance from Leslie Banks, it is very well shot, a lot of fun and with such a killer premise, but because it was severely cut for its release, it ended up being tamer than it should have been. Joel McCrea’s performance is very mediocre as well and the score is just overly bombastic to me. It is a solid film in the end, but very flawed.

My Rating – 3.5

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Rear Window (1954)

Rear Window Movie Review

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Rear Window Movie Review

Rear Window is a 1954 mystery thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly. It is one of the best films ever made.

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We’ve become a race of Peeping Toms.

What people ought to do is get outside

their own house and look in for a change

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Rear Window Movie Review

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It follows a professional photographer who injured his leg and is bound to a chair until it heals. He spends the majority of his type spying on various neighbors from his apartment until he comes to suspect that one of them is a murderer.

So the film is very much a mystery but also a strong suspense thriller in its third act. As a mystery, it fully works because I was intrigued from the beginning and I wanted to know what happened and is this man truly a murderer. It features an abundant amount of detail and I loved how we got to solve the mystery along with Jeff. Very well realized.

But it is maybe even stronger as a suspense flick because that third act is downright thrilling to behold. Of course the ending is great, but to me the highlight was following Lisa go into the murderer’s apartment. That was inventively shot, unforgettable and simply riveting to watch. The tension there was so palpable that I even got goosebumps.

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Rear Window Movie Review

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But where Rear Window truly succeeds and is remembered the most is in its themes. It is the ultimate picture about voyeurism as it explores it to the fullest degree. It never goes too far, but just right. It portrayed the loneliness and boredom of people so truthfully while giving us a wonderful glimpse at a 1950s neighborhood.

And as many have pointed out, the film is very feminist which was not expected from Hitchcock who honestly did not portray women all that well usually. But here the women are actually active in solving the case, even going so far as to go into the murderer’s apartment to look for clues. So the man stays bound to his chair, while the women investigate and go into action. That was fantastic to witness in a 50s movie.

So let’s talk about these women. The film really has only four characters and thus all four are superbly developed and highly memorable. It is a wonderful indoors, confined chamber flick and probably the best example of such a film.

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Rear Window Movie Review

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Stella is very funny and is the comic relief in the film which is usually very serious and dark, but she provides the much needed humor and some of her morbid lines were so funny. Thelma Ritter did a phenomenal job in this role and she ought to have gotten a seventh nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

Lisa is simply fantastic. She at first seemed like a typical younger love interest, but eventually proved to be anything but. She is very strong, capable and brave while still remaining elegant and ladylike. Grace Kelly probably gave her finest performance here and she simply shines in all of her scenes.

Raymond Burr is memorable and creepy as Lars Thorwald who is not too much in the film, but is always a very intense presence. And Jeff is awesome and a very complex main character who is never portrayed as too heroic which was a nice change in pace. James Stewart here gave one of his best performances and that really says a lot for a man of his caliber. His performance is brilliant and extremely powerful and nuanced.

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Rear Window Movie Review

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Rear Window is a glorious achievement technically speaking as well. The dialogue is playful, smart and outstanding with a couple of funny as well as observant lines. Hitchcock’s direction is amazing and this is his very best film in my opinion which says a lot as he’s the best director who ever lived. Here he not only showed that he is the master of suspense, but he also showed his deft hand at structure and inventive storytelling. The scene where we follow each neighbor and we witness a woman preparing dinner for an imaginary guest is one of the best sequences of all time and an incredibly moving, powerful piece of filmmaking.

The film is the most inventive thriller of all time. The cinematography here is of the best in film history as each shot is beautiful, elaborate and immaculately conceived. The camera moves elegantly to capture every single moment that matters and the camera can be said to be the character in itself here. We become Jeff as we follow the action through his binoculars and thus this is the ultimate ‘put in the protagonist’s shoes’ movie.

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Rear Window Movie Review

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The score is nice as well and the film looks and sounds great throughout its whole runtime. It lasts for just about the right time and is consistently riveting from the very first to the very last moment. Nothing is wasted or rushed here and every single scene matters. It truly is a masterpiece and an almost flawless film which currently sits at number seven on my all-time list.

With not a single wasted or rushed scene, immaculate camera work, highly inventive storytelling and many brilliantly conceived, highly suspenseful sequences, Rear Window is also thematically observant and very sophisticated with phenomenal dialogue and a couple of highly memorable lines. Grace Kelly probably gave her finest performance here and this is also one of James Stewart’s best works which says a lot for the actor of his caliber. The film is also admirably feminist, especially for its time. Palpably intense, brilliantly authentic and almost flawless, Rear Window is in my opinion one of the ten greatest films of all time.

My Rating – 5

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Wind River (2017)

Wind River Movie Review

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Wind River Movie Review

Wind River is a 2017 western mystery thriller film directed by Taylor Sheridan and starring Elizabeth Olsen and Jeremy Renner. This is a very competent genre film.

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Why is it that whenever you people try to help us,

you always insult us first, huh?

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Wind River Movie Review

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I am usually not a fan of thrillers, but this one is surprisingly strong, moving and rich that I ended up liking it quite a bit,  as much as the critics for sure. It is even more so a mystery than a thriller and with strong western elements to it as well and that interesting mix really worked in its favor.

There are not a lot of films that revolve around snowy, remote parts of America and thus I loved this one. It has a different setting and a different mood to it and both complement the story beautifully. And an even bigger reason why I admire the film is its inclusion of Native Americans which was wonderful.

They are portrayed as good people and the end credits stating that missing Indian women are the only group that is not evidenced by police was just terrible to realize and I admire the film for taking a stance against that and for finally promoting their rights and giving a good name for their people.

Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen are both of the MCU fame having together appeared in ‘Age of Ultron’ and again their dynamic here is very strong. I loved the relationship between the two. He struggles with his grief of having lost his daughter and she is a tough agent who tries to remain calm and tough despite the awful circumstances. The villain is typical, but I loved Martin as he is such a great character. The highlight was seeing him and Cory share their grief at the end.

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Wind River Movie Review

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Wind River should have had better character development. It is pretty good, but the film demanded somewhat greater characterization. But the acting is very strong across the board. The direction is also strong as is the dialogue. The film is sometimes even unexpectedly smart thanks to sophisticated script and a couple of terrific conversations. The emotional resonance is very strong as it is very tough to watch and heartbreaking at times. I loved the cinematography plus the mood and atmosphere of the film are quite remarkable and different.

Wind River needed stronger characterization, but the acting is very good across the board and the film is emotionally resonant and sometimes difficult to watch and quite heartbreaking. It mostly succeeds because of its different than usual setting, excellent atmosphere and mood and good direction. It is also very admirable that finally Hollywood gave us a movie about Native Americans that strongly spotlights their issues with that important and alarming final statement.

My Rating – 4.5

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Children of Men (2006)

Children of Men Movie Review

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Children of Men Movie Review

Children of Men is a 2006 science fiction thriller film directed by Alfonso Cuaron and starring Clive Owen. It is one of the best genre films of the 2000s.

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Your baby is the miracle the whole world has been waiting for

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Children of Men Movie Review

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It is set in 2027 Britain. In the future, humans are infertile and for the last eighteen years there has not been a single birth. To me this concept is highly original and ripe for solid thrills which it does have a lot to offer. But there is one problem here and that is the ambiguity of it. I do realize that most may prefer this, but I wanted at least bits of information when it comes to infertility and why it came to be in this bleak future world and the movie did not give me any answers whatsoever which was pretty lazy.

I liked the mix of science fiction concept, drama and intense thriller. This is one of those dystopian films that are very dark, but not overly dark as I loved the theme of hope which was well explored. So the film is bleak, but still hopeful and ending on such a wonderfully ambiguous, but still hopeful note. And I really liked its religious parallels. My favorite scenes are the ending, the death of Caine’s character which was beyond tragic and that famous car chase which was brilliantly and so realistically executed.

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Children of Men Movie Review

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Clive Owen is excellent in what is arguably one of his best performances. Julianne Moore is surprisingly underutilized here, but she still made an impression. Both of their characters are great and Kee is also very likable, but it is Michael Caine who surprised me the most here as he played a very different character than usual. He portrays a hippy and a highly endearing one and never has he been more likable in a role, at least for me.

Children of Men is technically terrific. Certainly the film is a cop-out in terms of special effects and I disliked that this future was way too restrained technologically speaking, but it was believable having in mind that infertility happened. The despair and also hope was felt as the film conveyed its atmosphere so well.

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Children of Men Movie Review

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The direction from Alfonso Cuaron is terrific and this surely is one of his best works. His deft hand behind all of this project is definitely felt. The score is also very good, especially the use of religious score to accompany its religious imagery. I loved the atmosphere and I really liked the cinematography which is particularly accomplished here along with the editing. It is deft and the film is never at all boring or rushed. It works as a pretty great chase thriller above all else and it is one of a few dystopian films that never overstays its welcome.

Children of Men has a very strong concept despite not giving any answers when it comes to it. It is a phenomenal chase thriller and a dystopian film that earns its bleakness and darkness as the atmosphere is so strong and the sense of despair and also hope is felt in almost every scene. It has a bunch of unforgettable sequences such as that wonderfully ambiguous ending and that highly memorable, perfectly executed car chase sequence. The performances are great, Cuaron’s direction is superb and the film has memorable imagery leading to a highly competent sci-fi thriller.

My Rating – 4.5

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Strangers on a Train (1951)

Strangers on a Train Movie Review

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Strangers on a Train Movie Review

Strangers on a Train is a 1951 thriller noir film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Farley Granger and Robert Walker. It is one of the director’s better films.

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Poor unfortunate girl.

She was a tramp.

She was a human being. Let me remind you that

even the most unworthy of us have a right to

life and the pursuit of happiness.

From what I’ve heard she pursued it in all directions

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Strangers on a Train Movie Review

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The story of two strangers who meet on a train and arrange to exchange murders is a very intriguing one and not to mention highly original and unlike any other story in thrillers. But the reason why this story works so well is because it is not as implausible as it might seem at first. The psychopath Bruno kills Guy’s girlfriend, but Guy doesn’t want to complete “the end of his bargain”. That made the movie much more plausible and entertaining as it led to more suspense.

The film is not perfect and it isn’t one of the greatest Hitchcock films. It is one of the better ones, but not one of the best ones and that’s mostly because it doesn’t hold quite as well upon second viewing as some of its flaws crept up on me only now. One of those flaws is the ending. It is very intriguing in its setting and really well executed, but too much of a spectacle. Also, some scenes were obvious and sometimes Bruno wasn’t the smartest guy he claimed to be. And the film is very much a repeat of ‘Rope’ in terms of the villain and the themes and I have to say that ‘Rope’ is the more accomplished of the two.

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Strangers on a Train Movie Review

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But still Strangers on a Train is a very good, competent film which benefits from many unforgettable scenes. I absolutely loved that hall scene where Bruno stands why Guy passes by in a car. That was visually arresting. The tennis match was well utilized into the suspense and the story, the cigarette case in the sewer was stupendously filmed and I loved the scene at Bruno’s house.

The characters are very well established and especially their motifs. Both Bruno and Guy are excellent and especially Bruno is such a memorable villain. Robert Walker played him so well and it’s a shame that he passed away at such a young age of 32 two months after this film’s release. All of the actors did a good job, but as in ‘Rope’, I again am not a fan of Farley Granger. This role fits him, but his performance once again left a lot to be desired.

Strangers on a Train succeeds the most in its technical aspects. The striking black-and-white photography is stunning here and the film is so suspenseful and visually remarkable in some scenes that it definitely belongs in the noir genre as well as the thriller one. The cinematography is so exceptional that it manages to create a very suspenseful atmosphere. The dialogue is also terrific and I really liked the film’s humor.

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Strangers on a Train Movie Review

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Yes, Hitchcock was very talented at humor too which not a lot of people realize. The humorous scenes here are rare, but they are definitely there and some lines of dialogue and facial expressions honestly made me laugh.

So the film is a very entertaining mix of light and dark, serious and comedic and it is delightfully atmospheric and dangerous from start to finish, not to mention highly authentic in premise and also in execution. It’s flawed, but certainly one of the director’s most purely fun flicks.

Strangers on a Train has its flaws such as the ending which wasn’t my cup of tea, but it surely is one of Hitchcock’s better films which features a highly memorable villain and a very authentic and fun premise wonderfully executed. There are a lot of unforgettable moments here and the film succeeds the most in its striking black-and-white cinematography, an amusing sense of humor and a suspenseful atmosphere.

My Rating – 4.5

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