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|"LA VITA E BELLA" (LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL)|
|What is unfortunate is that many moviegoers are hesitant about a subtitled foriegn film. A good story knows no language barrier. Roberto Benigni wins you over in a performance that is comical and poinent. It's a charming tale of a man who does everything to win the heart of a woman, and as we glimpse a world through his eyes his passion is infectious. While Benigni is a master of physical comedy, the geniune chemistry between him and the leading lady, played by his wife Nicolettea Braschi shines...and brings many serious and wonderful moments to the screen. Who can forget his famous line "Bon journo Princepessa!"|
|Together they begin a life together, one of happiness that they share with their child. But the time is WWII, and the nazi's are sending away many to concentration camps. The portrayal of the camps is not meant to be realistic (like "schindlers list"), because the story is a fable.|
|To emphasise too much on this aspect would direct attention away from the heart of the story. A father's love teaches his son there is always hope, but to always relish in the simple joys of life. I strongly recommend this film, it's not just an example of a great foriegn film, it's simply a great film. You cannot watch this movie without laughter and tears. In the end you see just how powerful love is.|
|"The Color Purple"|
|Steven Spielberg is undoubtedly one of the finest filmakers of our time. Here is an example of what I consider one of his best. Celie (Whoopie Goldberg) is a young black girl growing up in the rural south in the early 1900's. By 14 she had 2 babies by her father that were taken. Her love in the world is her sister, Nettie. An arrangement is made for her to marry an older man...played by Danny Glover. He resents her as he wanted her sister, so her life becomes hard as she's abused and forced to care for his home and children. He eventually sends away her sister and refuses them further contact for many years to come. In this period it seems that she suffers more for being a woman than an African American. While race is a very strong thread here it seems that the sufferings that women have endured are given equal attention.|
|Many characters become part of this film as we follow the events of their lives. The seperation between her and her sister by her husband becomes a focal point, as well as the relationship that forms between her and her husbands lover...sisterhood among women is a common thread. Glover plays a man that we despise, and yet somehow pity. Celie grows into a complex character, the opression she suffers is representative of race as well as being a woman. It's a poignent story of sisterhood, forgiveness, and redemption. Not enough can be said on the overall look, the score, or the direction. Outstanding cast. Based on a novel by Alice Walker.|
|Until you do right by me, everything you even think about is gonna fail!|
|Everyone loves a good scare. But just what is it about this movie that has people watching it again and again? Perhaps not so much the maniacal performance by Jack Nicholson as he shouts "Heeere's johnny", but it being a true psychological thriller. Jack takes his wife and son to the Overlook hotel where he is given a position as the caretaker. They are isolated in winter, and strange things begin occuring as well as the personality change of Jack. But his character is very dimensional, one of not only a recovering alcoholic who had been known to rage, but a man under some serious pressure. Pressure to be the right kind of family man, pressure to prove himself in his work..and that nagging voice in his head that perhaps reminds him over and over that he's a failure.|
|Shelly Duvall is his wife, Wendy. One who seems more willing to chuck up her husbands rages to something she did or her son, Danny. Danny, who if you removed all the ideas of the supernatural, might seem more like an emotionally traumatized child. He has a friend "Tony" that lives inside his mouth, that type of manifestation can be common in abused children. Is it truly that the hotel is haunted? Strange forces *seem* at work, maybe they aren't alone. But the root of the film seems to be that only the living can hurt you, not the dead. Either way it's a film that is frightening with each viewing. Kubrick masters the increasing sense of unease from scene to scene. We observe how the powerful effects stress, a troubled relationship and a touch of cabin fever can ebb at the sanity of a person who is on the brink of a psychological breakdown.Thanks to the writings of Stephen King and Stanley Kubricks' vision...a splendid masterpiece of horror is born.
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|Quentin Tarrentino says the inspiration for this movie does not look like the real world but from old movies. You have the mysterious contents of a briefcase being sought, a boxer on the run, two hitmen, and various other characters who's live intersect. The great thing about the movie is there is no confusion with flashback scenes, but seperating the movie into large chapters. Each one we view events as they unfolded which often explains in more detail about what we saw earlier or what we will see. John Travolta (who made his big comeback on this film) and Samuel L. Jackson play hitmen. What Tarrentino does is lavishly mix violence with...get this..conversation! Ah yes, something missing from many films. Without clever dialogue you have no film, and most films seem to add it in as an afterthought. Bruce Willis is a boxer who throws a fight, causing a mobster who lost money on him hunt him down.|
|The mobsters girlfriend, Uma Thurman, is entertained by Travolta for an evening with some delightful moments and unforseen disasters. The movie opens and closes in the same scene where a store is about to be robbed by a pair of lovebirds - and yet in the end we are more enlightened. Violence isn't romanticized anymore than it's condemned, it's a world in which it simply exists. This is where the film differs from most violent movies of this nature, it places more importance on knowing about the characters and their personal thoughts on life than simply leading us to the next big scene...making each moment of the movie an important one.|
|It's compared to those old pulp magazines, I can clearly picture nearly every scene as comicbook image. It's a great arrangement of casting, writing style and visuals.|
|"THE PHILADELPHIA STORY"
This film, and rightly so, is considered to be among the best films of all time. The talents of Katherine Hepburn, Carey Grant and Jimmy Stewart seem at their peak, and you couldn't ask for better chemistry. It won James Stewart an Oscar. It is a delightful and yet touching comedy that endures even since it's release in 1940.
|Katherine Hepburn plays a firey redhead who is about to marry a rich executive (John Howard). Her ex-husband, played by Carey Grant, works for Spy magazine and is sent in to cover the event. Jimmy Stewart is the tabloid reporter who tries to dig up some dirt, unfortunately he ends up smack in the middle of it after a late nite swim with the bride to be. She gets gloriously drunk the night before, and Stewart ends up smitten with her. Pre-marital jitters highten the next day when she must come to terms with what she really wants. She's strong and yet vulnerable, Grant seems to want her to recognize her faults...tho it comes across as often harsh. She has such high standards as she is a spoiled socialite and yet all she yearns for is some old fashioned romance. But because of the way she treats others, she comes across as someone who feels they are above it all. Men adore her, but for the wrong reasons. They don't truly love who she is inside because she never really shows that, she is more concentrated on projecting an image. All the events lead to a climactic ending where the audience is left guessing. The comedy is brilliant and yet the root of the movie is quite dramatic. The chemistry among the actors is wonderful and it has plenty of wit and character. Years later there was a musical remake of it starring Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly, yet it lacked all the spark and brilliance of the original. "The Philadelphia Story" has remained one of my favorites.|
|"Have you ever had a dream Neo, that you were sure was real. What if you were unable to wake from that dream. How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?"|
|"The Matrix" is a complex movie that follows a computer hacker named Neo into a alice in wonderland plot, where what's real isn't real and that everything around him is part of The Matrix. Just what is the Matrix? A world created by computers for humans. But Neo is awakened by a group led by Morpheus, who thinks Neo is "The One", who is prophesized to save the world by leading a revolution against the machines. Neo discovers the future is bleak, it's a world he awakens into where humans are used as mere batteries. There are Agents in The Matrix however who keep things in check, and they are after Neo and his group as they are perceived as a threat, a virus in the system that must be destroyed.
"The Matrix" single-handedly managed to popularize a new style of filmmaking - bullet time. An ability to slow a scene down by seconds and rotate the camera in every angle...bringing a fresh style to the screen. The effects in this movie are nothing short of spectacular. It's eye-candy, but has such a complex and thought-provoking storyline that you can literally see the movie a dozen or more times and discover something new or come up with new theories. It's not just watchable, it's RE-watchable and one of the better films to view on DVD. Stars Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Ann Moss. Clearly ahead of it's time. Read full review here
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