Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Quatermass and the Pit (1967)

Well here's an oddity. I don’t mean the film I mean this review. After nearly a year I am actually writing a non top 50 review. Well I couldn’t let the Hammer reviews fade could I?

shot0006Well here’s an oddity. Straying from the horror staple into Sci-Fi this remake of an earlier BBC serial is a film I fondly remember however on reviewing I find it quite dull. Perhaps its the flush of first horrors that give me such warm memories or that I cant accept what seems to be rather odd pacing.

The movie tells the tale of an alien spacecraft found during the renovation of a London tube station and the threat it still holds even after being buried for thousands of years. It is well filmed and acted but the build up to actually finding anything takes an age, then the film feels like it ends until the finale where all hell (almost literally) breaks loose. shot0008

The finale of the movie when it occurs is excellent but it feels like a real slog to get there.

Its worth a look if you haven't seen it but oddly isn't the classic flick I remember from my (mis-spent) youth.

Friday, 29 August 2014

IMDB top 50 No. 44 “Apocalypse Now” (1979)

In 2012 the BFI (British Film Institute) published a list of what, in the experts opinion, are the greatest Movies of all time. They were generally bad.

Here is the comparable IMDB list…. (list generated on 9/7/2014)

Number 44: Apocalypse Now

I knew that at some point I would hit the conundrum of Directors Cuts. After all which movie is the highly rated one? Some directors cuts are greatly different from the originals however this is not necessarily the version that is loved. The conclusion I came to was to use what is the generally most accepted version. In this case the feedback from IMDB forums indicated that the shorter theatrical release is the better film. This is the one I watched.

shot0002Already inhabiting my personal list the biggest risk for Apocalypse Now was the chance of being marked down. I therefore had to watch with a very critical eye.

I really don’t know why I worried, Yes sometime it is slow and ponderous and some scenes seem remarkably frivolous given the war context however that really is the point. The whole push is that war is insane and it makes us insane. Willards (Charlie Sheen) journey to confront the insane renegade Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando) is as much a journey into madness as the Colonels own life. Add to this some outstanding performances, amazingly apt and well produced sound and the most beautiful visuals Hollywood has ever produced and you have a film that really does deserve its place in the list.

RATINGS (at the time of publishing)shot0005

IMDB users acknowledge the horror at 8.5 I agree.
Rotten Tomatoes give the film a napalm coated 99%. The film is far from perfect however and as 99% is almost perfect I cannot agree. I would rate it at a far more reasonable 85%

They really do not make them like this anymore.

Don’t take my word for it. Watch Apocalypse now on YouTube (depending on location) right now.

Monday, 18 August 2014

IMDB top 50 No. 45 “The Green Mile” (1999)

In 2012 the BFI (British Film Institute) published a list of what, in the experts opinion, are the greatest Movies of all time. They were generally bad.

Here is the comparable IMDB list…. (list generated on 9/7/2014)

Number 45: The Green Mile

vlcsnap-2014-08-17-19h04m20s86The Green Mile is a long movie, overly so at its 3 hour running time and this shows in its preponderance of slow and thoughtful scenes. Everything is given time to take hold. By God its magnificent.

The Green Mile was already chosen for my personal list and viewing it simply strengthens that feeling. Stephen Kings source serialised novel was good but Frank Darabonts conversion to the screen makes it great. Never has Kings understanding of human nature and his almost mystical understanding of times and scenarios that he couldn’t possibly know about shone so brightly as it does here. This is simply the best adaptation of his out there.

The story isn’t complex, it has few twists and the twist that everybody wants just doesn't happen. A wise man said “Sometimes bad things happen to good people” this movie illustrates that perfectly.vlcsnap-2014-08-17-19h33m55s182

RATINGS (at the time of publishing)

IMDB users rate the movie at a fair 8.5, as i love it it gets a 9 from me.
Rotten Tomatoes give it 80%, an unfairly low score. 90 % at least.

Watch this movie. It truly deserves its place in the cinematic hall of fame.

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