19-25 May 2008

May 27 2008 at 10:08 pm (The list)

I ticked three films off the list last week, as well as watching a few others. I’ll start with the list.

A Night At The Opera (1935)
My first Marx brothers film. I was hoping to enjoy this film and wasn’t disappointed. It is hilarious from start to finish with some great slapstick sequences and verbal verve aplenty. The ‘stateroom’ sequence in particular in which 15 people pile into a tiny room is brilliantly crafted as is the finale. While the musical interludes detract from the sheer vitality, they do showcase the extraordinary non-comedic talents of Chico and Harpo.
Rating: 5/5
Red River (1948)
I’ve never been a huge fan of Westerns, although I don’t really think I’ve given them a chance. This remake of Mutiny of the Bounty benefits from the talents of John Wayne and Montgomery Clift in only his third screen role. The father-son dynamic between the two leads is believable aided by a terrific supporting cast. Wayne as the gruff, cold-hearted cattle boss Tom Dunson is all the more sinister after his crew abandons him. However, the happy, almost jokey ending jars slightly after the tense build up.
Rating: 4/5

United 93 (2006)
Released just five years after 9/11, one might consider this film to be insensitive and crass. On the contrary, it is a brave piece of filmmaking, which does well to depict the events of that fateful day in a deeply realistic light. Focussing on the normal lives of the people involved from the air traffic controllers to the passengers on board the flight, the film puts us right there with them, allowing us to see each individuals point of view in real time. Watching this film, you almost feel guilty being swept along by it as if it is an ordinary thriller. It’s hard to believe that these events actually happened in the all-too-shockingly recent past.
Rating: 5/5

Total must sees seen: 221
Shame list total: 780

Also watched last week for the first time:

The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989)
An entertaining film with good music and great performances. Michelle Pfeiffer has never been sexier and the real life Bridges brothers spark fairly well off each other. Jeff Bridges is always great to watch but here his performance requires little more than bored mumbling. The ending is a bit of a letdown as well.

Rating: 3/5

Wag The Dog (1997)
A very enjoyable and fast-paced comedy about a Washington spin doctor (Robert De Niro) joining forces with a Hollywood producer (Dustin Hoffman) in order to divert America’s attention away from a presidential scandal… by fabricating a war. This inventive and often frightening political satire reveals just how gullible people can be and how much faith we have in the media. Plus it’s great to see De Niro and Hoffman, two of the greatest living screen actors, working so well together.

Rating: 4/5

Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous (2005)
Hmm… I quite enjoyed the first one. I thought it was better than other films like it. The sequel, however, is predictable, forgettable and too long.

Rating: 2/5

An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)
I never realised the cultural impact of this film. Watching it, I noticed how many parts of it were referenced in other films and TV programmes from Wayne’s World 2 to Red Dwarf. Louis Gossett Jr. is terrific as the sadistic Gunnery Sergeant Foley and there are some good training scenes but this is just Dirty Dancing: Boot Camp.
Rating: 3/5


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