3-9 November 2008

November 9 2008 at 6:19 pm (The list)

Only one film ticked off this list this week:


network-posterNetwork (1976)

How did that box of moving pictures that we all sit in front of every night become so powerful and dangerous? It’s the story of veteran news anchor Howard Beale (Peter Finch). After being fired, he announces on live television that he will blow his brains out on the show in a week’s time. The network bosses are unsure what to do about Beale, and flit between keeping him on a tight leash and letting him run wild as ‘the mad prophet of the airwaves.’ Satires on the television industry are almost a genre in their own right, and this is one of the most serious and worthy. There’s lots of shouting and big long speeches which do get a bit tiresome after almost two hours. However, Beale’s breakdown is compelling to watch, especially when he riles up the masses into shouting his mantra of ‘I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore’ from their windows. Together director Sidney Lumet and writer Paddy Chayefsky create a formidable drama, but Network is all about the performances – the film is only the second in screen history to win three acting Oscars after A Streetcar Named Desire. While the impressive cast features solid turns from Ned Beatty, Robert Duvall and William Holden, it’s Faye Dunaway who really shines as cynical vice president of programming Diana Christensen, a role which won her her only Academy Award. Peter Finch also richly deserved to become the first and so far only recipient of a posthumous Oscar.


Rating: 4/5


Shame list total: 1,247


Also this week:


finaldestination3posterFinal Destination 3 (2006)

Or Casualty: The Movie Part 3. More gory suspense as the now familiar format does another round. The set up this time is a rollercoaster but that, of course, leads into a series of coincidences based in environments so dangerous that these people should know better than to go. If you suspected that you were going to die in an unbelievably horrific manner, what better place to be than in the DIY warehouse surrounded by sharp objects? How about a gym with all those heavy weights? Or maybe even a fireworks display. So it’s the same again, but different. The tension is all there but there’s little else and the bloody pay-offs seem somewhat lacklustre.


Rating: 2/5


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