Mulholland Drive (2001)

Mulholland Drive Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

Mulholland Drive Movie Review

Mulholland Drive is a 2001 mystery thriller film directed by David Lynch and starring Naomi Watts and Laura Elena Harring. It is such a mediocre, extremely overrated movie.

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When you see the girl in the picture that was shown to you earlier today, you will say, “this is the girl”.

The rest of the cast can stay, that’s up to you. But the choice for that lead girl is NOT up to you.

Now… you will see me one more time, if you do good.

You will see me… two more times, if you do bad. Good night

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Mulholland Drive Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

The plot of Mulholland Drive is non-existent and therefore I won’t go into it thoroughly. This is one of those movies that have very difficult to understand narrative, but that narrative is either pointless or frankly annoying and that ‘artsy, cool’ presentation of it is just a facade. The movie may fool some, but it never fooled me as I found it pointless and stupid from the get-go.

The characters are so underdeveloped and basically non-entities. Rita is typical and Betty is so inherently problematic. I get that she is naive and a warm person and although she is an archetype from a different time, those women exist and portraying them isn’t a problem. But what is a problem here is how she is stupid when it comes to Rita and I never really understood why she would help her, let alone get entangled in all the crap that goes with her. And the rest of the characters are all not worth talking about as they are totally unimportant.

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Mulholland Drive Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

The thing that infuriated me most in Mulholland Drive has to be its lesbian relationship. I found the two falling in love with each other totally ridiculous and never real. I found it to be a product of previous eras, mainly the 80s and 90s, where the director lets one of his fantasies unfold on screen and we get the fantasy and fetish instead of an actual loving relationship. That is so frustrating to me and a big reason why this movie feels dated, even for its time.

I never found its noir elements particularly present to call it a neo-noir film. This is basically a mystery and even more so a thriller, a very annoying psychological, erotic thriller. But I have to admit that as a mystery, it works, at least to some degree. Some of the elements and scenes here were so memorable and very intriguing. The first half has that wonderful, otherworldly mysterious quality to it which is why I found its second half to be unfortunate. Whereas the first half is conventional, well made and even involving, the second one abandons any plot structure, meaning or point and it becomes a giant, overly artistic, incomprehensible and ultimately mediocre mess.

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Mulholland Drive Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

Naomi Watts gave a solid performance in an unflattering role and the others did a good job as well. But the characters are so poorly written that the actors are wasted. The tone is pleasantly mysterious at first until deciding to go into a needlessly trippy territory. The movie is original, but mostly in a bad way. And I wouldn’t call its running time excessive as there is a lot going on here to justify it, but the second half is so infuriating and uninvolving that I found it dull nonetheless. Needless to say, this is far from the director’s best works and it is one of the most overrated films of the 21st century.

Mulholland Drive has some intriguing sequences and the first half is pleasantly mysterious, but the second half is so pointless and stupid and the movie is mostly a mediocre effort from the director with such an infuriating and dated ‘artistic’ approach to it, poor characters and a very annoying outcome. It is one of the most overrated films of the decade.

My Rating – 2.5

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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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Leave Well Enough Alone (1939)

Leave Well Enough Alone ReviewPopeye the Sailor Review

Leave Well Enough Alone is a 1939 animated short from Popeye the Sailor series. It is a very interesting, but flawed entry.

This short is flawed mostly because it doesn’t have the vast majority of the series’ signature aspects including spinach and Bluto. And it is too short and relies way too heavily on that joke in its ending. And Olive is basically a non-entity here despite that one very good arm gag.

But Popeye is solid and I loved the use of animals and what it had to say about them. It may seem controversial now, but in this particular situation, the animals were definitely better off in a cage than on the streets where they were in danger of getting caught. And I just loved how that parrot explained that through a song in a very funny ending.

Leave Well Enough Alone is atypical for better and for worse, but at least it does have a solid plot and a great ending.                                         

My Rating – 4

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Applause (1929)

Applause Movie Review………………………………………………………………………

Applause Movie Review

Applause is a 1929 musical talkie film directed by Rouben Mamoulian and starring Helen Morgan and Joan Peers. It is such an interesting, really well crafted movie.

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I’m not goin’ to get married unless I’m gonna be the boss

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The plot itself is a pretty standard fare and quite familiar. You have a woman who is a burlesque star, but had sent her daughter to live in the convent many years ago. Now, the girl comes to the city and you get the conflict in that she doesn’t want to work with her mother and wants to go live with her newly acquainted boyfriend. Yes, that all seems to melodramatic and too typical. However, I still really liked the plot in Applause because it is very well told and at times so moving and dramatic. It is also really heartbreaking in the end, but more on that later.

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Applause Movie Review………………………………………………………………………

The characters are mostly archetypes here, but those archetypes usually work when done right and this is no exception. The character development is truly good here with Kitty Darling being such a likable, tragic figure for whom you really feel sorry. Her devotion and care for her daughter is evident and so heartwarming. As for April, she annoyed me in some scenes, but she is mostly a realistic and likable character as well. The same goes for Tony who is a typical, impossibly perfect male love interest, but he is so good-natured and so sweet that you can’t help but love him. The relationship between the two is absolutely fantastic and the movie is so romantic. As for Hitch, I have to say that he is my least favorite character in this picture. He is just such a typical mean character who never has anything that distinguishes him from others of his type.

Applause is a very weird movie, mostly due to its ending. It ends on such a tragic note that seemed too harsh to me. Yes, this is a melodrama, but that incredibly brutal conclusion still seemed too unhappy. But I still give kudos to the filmmakers for being brave enough to end it on such a brutal note and the ending is overall really well executed and it wraps up the film wonderfully.

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Applause Movie Review………………………………………………………………………

The film is the finest when being a romance because its romantic scenes are just so lovable and just beautiful to behold. I loved how they were shot, but also acted and the lines of the dialogue, though typical, are moving and they brought a smile to my face. I absolutely loved those sequences and I enjoyed them the most here.

Yes, Applause is such a weird mix of romance, melodrama and musical. And it does succeed as it uses all of those elements in a great fashion and to its fullest advantage. The songs here are okay, but nothing spectacular and the film should have had more dance and musical scenes in it. But those that were present are good and well utilized. The melodramatic elements are also pretty good and despite being too brutal at times, the film manages to be not only dramatic, but also really emotional at times. And as I said before, its romantic elements are the finest as the film is so charming in tone.

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Applause Movie Review………………………………………………………………………

Applause succeeds as an early sound film for various reasons. It is one of the rare early talkies that is actually well executed and not amateurish in its realization. The directing from Rouben Mamoulian is really fantastic and the acting is also pretty good with Helen Morgan being particularly good in her role. The cinematography and its camera movements are in my opinion still not as good as they would become later on, but for the time being, they are excellent and the movie is truly groundbreaking because of that. There were many scenes here where the camera moves freely and it gives us some really intriguing shots that I really admired its ambition. And the sound quality is phenomenal and so revolutionary.  The film is also original in its execution, if familiar in its substance. It is also really well paced and always involving to watch, but the running time is arguably too short and the first third drags a bit. But it is such a memorable film that I will remember with fondness for sure, it has a big heart and it has many great sequences with the romantic ones being the highlights.

Applause is familiar in its plot and characters and its ending is admittedly ridiculously harsh, but this is still such a good early sound film with some excellent, really groundbreaking camera movements and sound quality at display here and it is an excellent mix of musical, melodrama and romance with many dramatic and heartbreaking scenes, but also having many truly wonderful, romantic sequences that are so charming. It is a weird, but memorable early talkie.

My Rating – 4

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Green Room (2016)

Green Room Movie Review…………………………………………………………

Green Room Movie Review

Green Room is a 2016 horror thriller film directed by Jeremy Saulnier and starring Anton Yelchin and Patrick Stewart. It is such a bad, disgusting movie.

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We’re not keeping you here, you’re just staying

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Green Room Movie Review…………………………………………………………

It is about a punk band who find themselves attacked by Neo-Nazi skinheads after they witness a murder. The premise says it all. It basically sums up everything you need to know about this stupid movie. Yes, this is basically a slasher sort of horror, one of those stupid genre films that they made a lot during the 80s and 90s where you have no plot or inspiration whatsoever.

The characters are all retards, stupid and incapable as they can get. Yes, definitely the characterization and the ineptness of the characters is the major reason why this movie is so annoying as it is a typical genre flick because of that.

But I also disliked it because this is the film that has one setting basically and unlike many movies that use one setting but benefit from it, this one only makes it worse as it never uses its setting appropriately and it just becomes boring to watch.

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Green Room Movie Review…………………………………………………………

There is no plot or emotion to Green Room whatsoever and you basically just watch the band attacked. Now, I have nothing against slasher and home invasion horror subgenres because those can be fun, but this is just never entertaining in any way and it is even annoying which is the worst quality you can have. And the fact that it is mostly a thriller also didn’t work for me as the horror/thriller mix is pretty weak here.

Green Room isn’t an awful movie because it is pretty solidly made and directed and I have to say that the acting is pretty solid, especially for this type of film. Most of the performances are quite good with Anton Yelchin and Patrick Stewart being the highlights. But everything else is either dull or frustrating.

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Green Room Movie Review…………………………………………………………

The movie is also incredibly difficult to watch as it is just unpleasant in its gore and sometimes even disgusting. The violence is overwhelming and weak because it is never done in an entertaining fashion, but rather in an unpleasant, almost at times unwatchable manner. And that unpleasant feeling I’ve had throughout most of its running time and that is never a good sign. Needless to say, Green Room is such an overrated, mediocre movie that I have no idea how anyone could like.

Green Room is not only disgusting, but also thoroughly unpleasant to watch. The violence is overwhelming, but the premise itself is also pretty uninspired and the movie is not only overrated and dull, but also pointless and at times stupid and it’s mostly just a tired, mediocre and annoying excursion that is never entertaining at all.

My Rating – 2

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Everybody Wants Some!! (2016)

Everybody Wants Some!! Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

Everybody Wants Some!! Movie Review

Everybody Wants Some!! is a 2016 comedy film directed by Richard Linklater. It is a middling effort for the director.

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I’m too philosophical for this shit!

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Everybody Wants Some!! Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

The film is basically a sequel or so called spiritual successor to both ‘Dazed and Confused‘ and ‘Boyhood‘. But it is basically another ‘Dazed and Confused‘, but with the change in setting and time. This time we have college and the eighties. And of course, the nostalgia kicks in. The only point to this movie is to evoke nostalgia as it is otherwise pretty pointless in terms of storytelling and themes.

No matter how pointless and shallow it all seems, it is still solid just for the fact that it is so fun to watch and I would even call it cozy and comforting as it really induces those feelings sometimes. The film is as light as it can be, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing as it can lead to a charming and fun experience. And of course we get Richard Linklater’s signature realism approach in the direction and I liked that once again.

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Everybody Wants Some!! Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

The characters are all pretty solid, but none of them is extremely memorable. Jake is solid, but too annoying sometimes. But I liked his relationship with Beverly quite a bit and those two held the only somewhat intellectual conversations in the film. But Glen is easily the highlight as I really found him amusing and funny. He is 30 and yet still at college and that produces many hilarious moments. Overall, the characters aren’t great, but they work as a team quite well.

Everybody Wants Some!! has some fine performances as well with the standouts being Tyler Hoechlin and Blake Jenner. But the casting director did an amazing job as all of these actors look the part and perfectly fit this timeframe.

Yes, the reason why the movie works lies in its technical aspects. The cinematography is superb as the scenery is stunning and especially those river scenes were mesmerizing to watch. The film is beautiful in its looks and so pleasing to the eye. And yes, it is uneventful and the running time is awfully long for this type of a film, but because it is mostly pretty entertaining, it isn’t boring at all and that’s commendable.

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Everybody Wants Some!! Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

Also, the film works as a time capsule because it succeeds in bringing the period to life wonderfully. Everything here looks as it should look and sounds as it should sound. The music is pretty good as the songs are catchy and fun, the attention to detail is overwhelming, the clothes are realistic and everything else is magnificent. But the only thing that bothered me is the year which is 1980. I would have liked to have seen the second half of the decade as it was much more interesting, especially in music, but I get why Linklater chose this year in particular as that was the year he went to college obviously. And that decision to go personal only led to a much better film than it could have possibly been had it been made by another director. The ending is abrupt and disappointing as it sort of just ended. The humor is also solid, if not great and the same goes for the dialogue. Everything here is solid, but nothing is great and Everybody Wants Some! certainly isn’t one my favorites in his filmography.

Everybody Wants Some!! doesn’t have any point to it whatsoever besides the obvious nostalgia element  and the ending is abrupt, but the humor is pretty solid as some lines are really funny and the film succeeds as a time capsule because it brings this period back to life with a lot of detail and care along with some solid performances and a pleasant, cozy feel to it.

My Rating – 3.5

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Black Orpheus (1959)

Black Orpheus Review………………………………………………………..

Black Orpheus Movie Review

Black Orpheus is a 1959 Brazilian fantasy drama film directed by Marcel Camus and starring Marpessa Dawn and Breno Mello. It is quite a good film and a deserved Oscar winner.

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The happiness of the poor is the great illusion of carnival

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This is such an interesting experiment that is for the most part successful. The mix of modern and traditional is particularly strong as the story is basically Greek mythology, but the setting is modern Brazil. That was so authentic and intriguing. I like the inherent energy of the film as well as that classical, moving feel to it.

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Black Orpheus Review………………………………………………………..

The problem here is the music. It is great and I loved watching the dance sequences, but they were just overly abundant to the point of affecting the overall story by reducing some of its impact and seriously slowing the pacing. Again the energy is palpable, but I wanted to have much more emphasis on the plot itself.

The highlights for me are the ending which is breathtakingly beautiful and majestic as well as that entire third act that is poetic and so strong. I really enjoyed how the movie suddenly became a fantasy whereas it was realistic drama before that. The mix of realism and fantastical is so well incorporated here which is a huge accomplishment as those two are hard to pull off together.

But the biggest highlights in Black Orpheus are the small moments. The use of the kids is really well established, the looks and facial expressions, the infectious energy, the sexiness and exotic quality to it and that one moment where a woman stuffs a watermelon in a man’s face. Those moments were precious to me and they lifted the entire picture to greater heights.

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Black Orpheus Review………………………………………………………..

Orfeu is a bit too annoying at first, but he becomes much more likable later on. Mira is annoying, but she has to be for the story. And Eurydice is quite sympathetic. The two are great together and Marpessa Dawn and Breno Mello aren’t great, but they did a perfectly solid job having in mind that they aren’t actors.

Black Orpheus benefits from such a strong direction from Marcel Camus who really superbly crafted this movie. The pacing is problematic in the first half and the music is overwhelming, but the second half is mostly fantastic and so well crafted. The film has a voice which is evident from the start and it also has the originality factor to it as it really is a one of a kind experiment. And the fact that it is largely successful is all the more admirable.

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Black Orpheus Review………………………………………………………..

I really liked the color photography and the music, though overwhelming, is pretty good. I would have liked to have seen stronger character development and dialogue in particular, but those weren’t bad either, they were just disappointing. The movie is so well filmed and sometimes even breathtaking to witness. That grand quality to it is overwhelming and felt from the start, but fully came into its own during the third act. It is a technical marvel and even though it certainly has its problems, it is mostly such a good, memorable experience and a movie that rightfully won an Oscar. In fact, it is one of the best early winners in the foreign category.

Even though the characterization isn’t great and the music is overwhelming, Black Orpheus is still such a strong, really memorable experience and a film that benefits from some great technical aspects, superb direction, an infectious, palpable energy, some moving small moments and a breathtaking ending. But it is above all a unique, intriguing mix of modern Brazil and Greek mythology and it’s largely a successful, admirable experiment.

My Rating – 4

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Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Movie Review………………………………………………

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Movie Review

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Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a 2007 musical horror comedy film directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall and Sacha Baron Cohen. It is solid, but far from the greatest Burton flicks.

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I can guarantee the closest shave you’ll ever know

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Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Movie Review………………………………………………

Sweeney Todd is about an English barber who is also a serial killer who murders his customers with a razor. This is a very weird movie which is expected from the director, but it isn’t always pleasantly weird, but rather odd at times. That is most evident in its genres. This film thoroughly succeeds as a musical because it has some quality songs in it that are well sung and memorable. It also succeeds as a comedy of sorts as it does have a couple of funny moments in it. But what it doesn’t succeed in is horror which is unfortunate as it needed strong horror elements. But it just wasn’t scary or atmospheric to me. Instead, it was too violent and sometimes the gore was not only overwhelming, but also repulsive.

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Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Movie Review………………………………………………

The titular character is a solid, albeit not that well developed creation. But the relationship between him and Mrs. Lovett is quite good. Speaking of her, I really liked her character as she is not only funny, but also an interesting mix of at times pleasant and scary, but mostly crazy and violent. Judge Turpin serves his purpose, but should have been stronger. Beadle is quite solid, Pirelli is memorable and Anthony and Johanna are an okay, but forgettable couple.

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Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Movie Review………………………………………………

The acting is strong here with a fantastic ensemble cast. It is interesting for having more than a couple of Harry Potter stars in it which was fun to see. Johnny Depp is quite good in his role. This is a typical role for him, but it is atypical in the musical format as this is the first time that he sings in a film and he was quite solid in it. In fact, all of these actors did such a good job with their songs which is stupendous having in mind that they are actors, not singers. Helena Bonham Carter in particular is great here and her songs are the highlights. She is quite memorable as well. Timothy Spall and Alan Rickman are quite good and of course Sacha Baron Cohen is as pleasantly comedic and goofy as always.

Let’s talk about the songs. No Place Like London is such a good opening number accompanied by an intriguing scene. It works great at introducing you to the movie and is one of the better songs here. The Worst Pies in London is also a solid, crazy song. Johanna is pretty good and it is a catchy, well sung tune. But all of the other songs are either forgettable, dull or overlong. And that was a problem as the movie is filled with a lot of songs. But at least those that are good are excellent.

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Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Movie Review………………………………………………

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street has too dark photography which annoyed me. Yes, the darker visuals fitted its dark tone, but it was still too dark at times which is a problem most modern movies share unfortunately. But it is well filmed and very well directed by Burton who managed to make a pretty solid musical on his first try which is commendable. The tone is dark, but also sometimes quite humorous which I liked. The gore is overwhelming, but I really liked the imagery here and London looks great. It is well edited and involving to watch, but it should have been more dramatic and more emotional. Overall, it is a solid effort, but not one of Burton’s best.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a solid and even commendable musical effort from Burton with an excellent ensemble cast, good imagery, some excellent songs and the film succeeds as a musical and also as a comedy as it is pretty funny and crazy at times, but it doesn’t succeed as a horror because it isn’t scary nor atmospheric, but rather relies on overwhelming and repulsive gore. Also, not all of the songs are memorable and the film is too weird at times. In the end, it is a solid, but far from great Burton flick.

My Rating – 3.5

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The Time Machine (1960)

The Time Machine Movie Review……………………………………………….

The Time Machine Movie Review

The Time Machine is a 1960 science fiction film directed by George Pal and starring Rod Taylor. It is a solid and frequently great, but ultimately too typical and dated film.

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He’s got all the time in the world

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The Time Machine Movie Review……………………………………………….

Based upon the eponymous book, the film follows an inventor in Victorian England who constructs the time machine and travels to the distant future where humans have divided into two species: the passive Eloi and the cannibalistic Morlocks who feed on the Eloi. I’ve realized that the source material doesn’t contain those trips to the 1910s and 1940s for obvious reasons and those were the highlights for me. Not only were they interesting to watch, but also visually arresting, but I’ll talk more about that aspect later.

But the second half in the future is so underwhelming, clichéd and dated that I didn’t enjoy it. Some aspects and some conversations were great there, but the entire concept is so archaic by now and I personally would have gotten rid of the Morlocks and just stayed with the Eloi and that would have made this movie much better. I liked the structure with the beginning and ending being in present time and the film tied up pretty well, but the entire future segment still felt weak and unfinished.

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The Time Machine Movie Review……………………………………………….

George is a typical protagonist and Weena is very underdeveloped. Even though I really liked their relationship, it was too rushed and underdeveloped in nature. As for the other characters, they are fine and the highlight is the dynamic between the scientists at the beginning and the end of the movie. As for the acting, Yvette Mimieux did not do anything special with her performance, but Rod Taylor is pretty good in the main role.

The Time Machine is a visually memorable film and its visuals are easily the standout aspect here. Those time-lapse photographic effects are awesome and deservedly won an Oscar. I just really liked those scenes where we follow how fashion trends changed throughout the decades and the entire first half in the 20th century was so fun and charming that I just wished that the entire movie revolved just around that period.

The future segment contains some interesting aspects to it with the large and unknown fruit being quite intriguing, but the entire Eloi concept of being is very clichéd and I strongly disliked the Morlocks. That entire concept was too archaic for me. But the production values are solid and the score is also pretty good. The direction from George Pal is also pretty good and I really liked the effervescent tone of the picture and that is one of its strongest points. It does have a good adventurous spirit, especially in that first half.

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The Time Machine Movie Review……………………………………………….

The dialogue is solid and at times very interesting, but mostly too preachy and typical for this kind of film. The pacing is good and the film is quite entertaining throughout most of its running time, but once again, those future scenes were sometimes even dull to me and they really diminish the quality and impact of the end product. Overall, The Time Machine is far from the best that 1960s sci-fi has to offer, but it is still a solid, fun and charming flick that is enjoyable to watch.

The Time Machine is a solid, but very flawed movie. The first half is excellent and filled with a wonderful adventurous and charming tone to it, the effects are exceptional for its time and the film is mostly fun to watch, but the second half is quite disappointing with the future segment not only being somewhat tedious, but also pretty dated and clichéd.

My Rating – 3.5

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The Killing (1956)

The Killing Movie Review……………………………………..

The Killing Movie Review

The Killing is a 1956 noir film directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Sterling Hayden. It is a solid, but ultimately a weaker film for Kubrick.

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You’d be killing a horse – that’s not first degree murder.

In fact, it’s not murder at all.

In fact, I don’t know what it is

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The Killing Movie Review

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The plot here is nothing spectacular and it is the film’s biggest obstacle that it never managed to overcome. I just didn’t find it either riveting or particularly authentic. It is a basic heist, crime movie and that is also very annoying to me as it is called a noir film when in reality it is much more of a crime film. That was frustrating. Another annoying thing is its structure. The first half is somewhat slower and even a bit confusing as it is filled with too many characters, but the second is the opposite as it’s too rushed and even abrupt. But yes, that ending is worth watching alone as it is so powerful and instantly memorable.

The character development in this movie is solid, but frankly far from great. Johnny Clay is pretty forgettable for a supposedly main character and only Sherry is memorable and interesting here. Yes, she is a typical deceitful noir dame, but that worked here and she had some of the best sequences.

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The Killing Movie Review

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The acting is pretty good. None of these actors are greats, but they still did a pretty good job, all of them. Sterling Hayden is the highlight, but Marie Windsor is also quite solid. As for Kubrick’s direction, it is good, but far from great. Yes, The Killing is inarguably one of his weaker movies, at least for me it is. Of his 50s efforts, ‘Paths of Glory‘ is an infinitely better movie and I think that he unfortunately didn’t add anything new to this genre like he did to other genres in his greatest pictures.

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The Killing Movie Review

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The Killing looks really good as it has fine cinematography and some excellent shots. But as I said, it is never as atmospheric as the best noirs are and that was extremely annoying to me. It succeeds as a solid crime film and a heist one, but never as a thriller or full noir. The highlights are the airport end scene which is just awesome and those many scenes with Sherry who is very entertaining to follow.

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The Killing Movie Review

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The Killing is well paced and I have to say that it is pretty engaging to watch, especially for a crime film. Its running time is suitably short and it never drags, but admittedly is rushed in its second half. It is also quite unpredictable and even though I wasn’t such a big fan of its structure and of all its plot developments, I really liked how it all ended and how dark and mature the film is. You can evidently sense the danger in air and that was excellent. So the tone is great, but what about its realism? Well, it isn’t particularly realistic in some of its mob sequences as they are too mild given the subject matter. But having in mind its era, you have to watch it in context and that is why it wasn’t a problem for me. The score is okay and the dialogue is pretty good with some great lines early on. Overall, it isn’t great, but it is perfectly solid as an early Kubrick flick.

The Killing is a pretty solid early Kubrick picture with excellent cinematography, very good performances, solid characters and such a superb, memorable airport end scene, but the entire movie is admittedly a disappointing effort from Kubrick with not that authentic plot and not enough noir thrills to take it to the next level. It is solid, but far from great.

My Rating – 3.5

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