One of the great films about filmmaking. When I’m working, ( and bored to death, or slow, I too find myself drifting off into previous memories, and sometimes make up situations I’d rather be in).
Finally it came! Id waited for a month for this to come and boy it was worth every second. every second! every second! Starring the wonderful Anthony Quinn as Zampano, know for his rough, strongman, fierce and dirty image on the outside, ( but deep within is man soft spoken man who struggles to make difficult decisions, and is too just a human being like everyone else.) Bravo performance! Bravo! i’d be crazy if not downright ignorant not to mention Giulietta Masina!!! as Gelsomina, a poor girl, who travels with Zampano in search of money, love, learning the trade of being an artist, and happiness. Fellini shows us the darkness sometimes can come as a result of pain and sacrifice, but also sends a message that everyone and everything was created for purpose. ( down to the last pebble). I personally couldn’t put this above Nights of Cabiria buts it a close second and certainly one of the best films I’ve seen all year! 10/10. As the final scene ended, I was speechless! Bravo Fellini!! You capture what it means to be human!
‘The Long Good Friday’
Great music, great film…superlative acting from Bob Hoskins.
Taken all my time to come back on SWDB site.
This film, and this theme, by Francis Monkman, has, literally, kept - and still keeps - me alive.
Great lines from Bob Hoskins (as Harold Shand):
“The mafia, I’ve shit 'em.”
“Shut up, you long streak of paralysed piss.”
“A sleeping partner is one thing, but your’e in a F…g coma”!
“What I’m looking for is what England has given to the World. Culture, sophistication, genius,…a little bit more than a hot dog, know what I mean?”
Sheer genius writing, and what should have been an accolade for the late, great Bob, who was the character of Harold Shand’.
Beautiful, to see an actor portraying a thug, but also is able to make us laugh at the irony of what is happening, on screen.to their character, That takes talent…and Bob Hoskins had it, in buckets.
I have never seen an actor convey so many emotions as Bob did, in the final scene, accompanied by the great soundtrack, by Francis Monkman. I’ve re-watched this scene so many times, and you can…literally…see the emotions flowing through the character portrayed by Bob Hoskins…
Also, an early appearance by Pierce Brosnan, as the IRA man.
Starring Steve McQueen & Dustin Hoffman.
Been a while since I last communicated…
The film now resonates with me…the confinement, the abandonment, and the absolute feeling of desolation, and devoid of hope.
Decided to share the following from a film that now is close to how I feel.
“Hey, you bastards, I’m still here!”
Steve McQueen should have been awarded a Best Actor award for this performance, in ‘Papillon’.
I thought he was superb in ‘The Sand Pebbles’, but his performance in ‘Papillon’ defies belief.
It is the portrayal of a life-time, when age means zero, and so-called ‘wisdom’ counts for nothing. Being alone, in the grand old scheme of things, is something that only you care about.
The end scene, of ‘Papillon’, is heart-breaking, yet also exhilarating, when he escapes to freedom.
Due to circumstances, his eventual release almost reduced me to sentiment.
‘The Long Good Friday’
Confronting the mafia: “Shut up, you long streak of paralysed piss”…
“The mafia, I’ve shit 'em”
“Britain can provide the world with more than a hot dog, know what I mean”…genius.
…only Bob Hoskins, as Harry Shand could say this!!
What I love is that Harry Shand ((gangster that he is) believes that ‘British is Best’. There is a power, and energy, in Bobs performace, that makes you want to watch.
Mag film. Makes you realise how great an actor that Bob was…
Welcome back, Toscano.
Check out by thoughts on ‘Long Good Friday’ and ‘Papillon’…they are heart-felt.
‘Mary and Max’.
Couple of days ago: The Blackcoat’s Daughter (Perkins, 2015)
Released to festivals a couple of years ago and originally entitled February but didn’t get a proper release until a few months ago under its new name, when it got a VOD release and a very limited theatrical run.
Kat (Kiernan Shipka) is a freshman at a Catholic boarding school for girls in upstate New York. Rose (Lucy Boynton) is a senior at the same school. It’s the start of the week-long Winter school break and all the other girls have been picked up by their parents and taken home. Rose’s parents haven’t arrived yet because she purposely told them the wrong break-up date, because she fears she may be pregnant and wanted to arrange one more clandestine meeting with her boyfriend to let him know before her parents took her home. Kat’s parents… well, they just haven’t shown up. Why? Kat had a vivid dream in which they’d been killed in a car crash en route to the school, and she’s convinced that that’s what’s happened. Ridiculous fancy of course, but then again nobody seems to know where they are right now…
Meanwhile in another part of the state, a young woman called Joan (Emma Roberts, Eric Roberts’ daughter) sits in a bus station. She appears to have no money and seems uncertain as to what her next move will be. Waiting in the freezing snow for another bus, she’s approached by a gentleman (James Remar) who takes pity on her and offers her a ride with him and his wife (Lauren Holly), who is considerably less amenable. Where are these folk headed? Well, they’re headed to a boarding school for girls in upstate New York. But where is Joan going?
The Blackcoat’s Daughter, directed by Oz Perkins (the son of Anthony Perkins) and featuring a wonderfully unsettling score written by his brother Elvis Perkins, is the finest horror movie I’ve seen this year, hands down. Now, it won’t be for everybody. It fits squarely into the on-trend “post-horror” category, meaning that it’s very slow-burn, largely gore-free, and entirely bereft of even one jump-scare. Use Robert Eggers’ 2015 classic-in-waiting The Witch (to which The Blackcoat’s Daughter would make a fine companion piece despite the vastly different time period settings) as your yardstick: If you thought The Witch was a dreary, artsy-fartsy snoozefest - and many did - you’re very probably not going to like The Blackcoat’s Daughter. But if The Witch, with its all-pervading sense of dread and dreamlike, off-kilter quality pushed all your buttons (as they did mine), The Blackcoat’s Daughter is an absolute must-see.
JASON BOURNE (2016, Paul Greengrass)
The fifth entry in the series, and we’re back on track after the fourth, The Bourne Legacy, a misfire with a Bourne in the title but no Jason in the movie (instead it featured a would-be Bourne played by another actor than Matt Damon). Damon and director Greengrass are back and the movie is remarkably entertaining, if a bit typical: basically it gives fans more of what they’ve come to expect of the franchise. Bourne Born Again.
While still trying to reconstruct his own past, Jason Bourne discovers that the man who inspired him to join the CIA black operations program Threadstone, his own father, was in fact no supporter of the program and wanted to expose it because he thought it was un-patriotic. As a result, he might have been killed by dark forces within the CIA itself. In the meantime the force has a new head of the Cyber Ops division, a brilliant young woman who soon manages to trace the resurfaced Jason, waking up all sleeping dogs within the force wanting to eliminate him …
The chase scenes go on too long (and look too chaotic) and we get too many scenes of people watching computer screens, but the action is frenetic and the story fast and furious and … for once it’s not too hard to follow; if you pay attention you might understand what it’s all about halfway through. A wrinkled Tommy Lee Jones looks bored as the main villain, but there’s excellent support from Vincent Cassel (as the hitman put on Bourne’s trail) and especially Swedish actress Alicia Vikander (some might know her as the sensuous android from Ex-Machina) one of those actresses able to ignite the screen once the camera has captured them
Swashbuckler, 1976, starring Robert Shaw… It’s awful. A struggle to finish watching after realizing that the plot was going nowhere. There aren’t any meaningful shipboard-scenes till 46-minutes in. And those are only a couple of deck-shots and a cabin-shot. The crew just changes positions. The ship has no ‘character’, hence the rooster-mascot has none. The director shows us a closeup-or-two of the rooster without any pirate-connotation. -With its film-name actually in the credits with its real name. Twice.
The pirates take longboats to shore, but a key scene has them swimming back to the ship, leaving the longboats behind for some reason. A couple scenes later, the entire, totally dry crew is back on-shore again. The film is full of inconsistencies like that. Not to mention the horrid casting choices. James Earl Jones was there to provide strongman-stunts and ‘pirate wisdom’, but comes-off as a providing neither. It’s all boring and ridiculous. 2-out-of-10.
Today: The Triangle (Pitman/Rizzo/Blair/Peterson/Stilwell, 2016)
Disappointing cinéma vérité-style horror in which a group of filmmakers go to find their friend who they haven’t seen in three years since he retreated to a hippy community in Montana having previously attended the Burning Man festival in Nevada. What’s this commune? Is it a witchcraft thing? A Lovecraft thing? A scary death cult? The Triangle creeps towards its reveal (and, incidentally, is quite enjoyable for the first hour when very little is happening and it’s all setup, setup, setup) but alas, once it gets to the meat of the movie, it falls to pieces. What a shame; the movie had some good buzz from a few decent horror movie blogs and review sites and it was well shot as these things go, and featured a likeable enough gaggle of characters, but… I don’t know if it was the lack of an idea or the lack of a budget which could do that idea any justice (though I suspect it was a fair bit of both) but the final twenty minutes or so, during which the filmmakers probably felt The Triangle went through the gears, actually felt like a further two hours of shaky-cam nonsense.
Ah, well. Can’t win 'em all.
Saw it a couple of weeks ago and your opinion of it parallels my own. There are a lot of horror/mystery movies that are great at building up but seem to have no idea what that buildup should lead to in the end and we are often stuck with half-assed endings. Might as well end these movies after an hour and throw a board up saying it was all a dream. Would leave you with the same feeling.
DON’T BREATHE (2016, Fede Alvarez)
A low-budget production that became an unexpected hit. Some even called it the best suspense-horror movie in 20 years. Three teenagers break into the house of an old man to rob the $300.000 reparations money he received after a rich kid had overrun his daughter. The old man is blind and the youngsters - two guys, one girl - think it’ll be an easy job, but they’re wrong, completely wrong …
Director Alvarez (the man behind the Evil Dead remake) plays with viewers’ expectations, elegantly flipping some genre conventions, effectively using others. The old man may be blind, but he’s also a war veteran and that’s is not the only unpleasant surprise waiting for the intruders … 64-year old Stephen Lang is brilliantly cast as the old man who’s physically in better shape than any of the three young people who have broken into his home. There’s a brilliant sequence, set in the dark, filmed in shades of gray, with occasional gunshots piercing the dark like flashes of lightning.
So is it really one of the best in years? Well, it’s good, but … Let me put it this way: For about three fourths of the running-time, Don’t Breathe lives up to its quickly earned reputation, but like many movies in this genre, it becomes more predictable once it gets to its conclusion (and cheap - occasionally rather tasteless - shock effects take over). And were these final moments an afterthought, filmed with a possible sequel in mind?
I found Don’t Breathe to be quite astonishingly overrated, given the hoopla surrounding it. I would imagine a sequel is a cast-iron certainty.
Lang also played Gen. George Pickett in “Gettysburg” (1993) and Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson in “Gods and Generals” (2003).
I thought it was a very effective horror thriller, but it doesn’t transcend the genre, it is and remains a genre movie, no more than that. So in that sense you could say it’s overrated.
I think Lang was also in Manhunter and Avatar.
Kong: Skull island (2017, Jordan Vogt-Roberts)
A new Kong movie, but is it really a Kong movie? The 1976 movie had a funny line when Jessica Lange told the ape that their romance wouldn’t ever work because there were physical complications. In this movie the ape is so huge that jokes about the size of certain body parts would be completely ridiculous.
Okay, this is popcorn movie, but even on popcorn level, it doesn’t really work. It’s Godzilla meets Jurassic Park meets Apocalypse Now plus an Ape to explain the title. Wait a minute, Apocalypse Now? Yes, the film is set in 1973, in the days after the Vietnam war, and a helicopter squadron that tried to defend democracy against Charlie, is now directly sent to an uncharted island to defend scientists against Kong, but eventually Kong will have to defend them all against other monsters.
There’s a nice scene of a buzzing insect joining a helicopter squad (you’ll understand this when you watch the movie) and there are a few nice photographic effects that make it look like a horror movie (rather than an popcorn adventure movie), but the action is too silly to be scary. I did like the score though, notably the rock classics that were supposed to give us a Vietnam experience. Black Sabbath, Jefferson Aiplane, Creedence Clearwater Revival, they’re all there. And thanks to a WWII veteran we even get Vera Lynn. We’ll meet again, no doubt, because the movie did well at the box-office and viewers and critics seemed to like it. I have lost touch with this world.
Legendary Pictures have sized him up to 100ft in readiness for their Godzilla vs Kong mashup, scheduled for 2020, since their Godzilla stands at over 350ft and Kong traditionally stands at around 25ft (although that veers quite drastically during the 1933 original picture). I think I read somewhere that the Kong of Kong: Skull Island was still a juvenile (although he didn’t look to have grown substantially between 1944 and 1973), so I daresay the folk at Legendary will have doubled his size by the time the big fight rolls around, to give him a puncher’s chance.