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Above Suspicion (1995)
underrated and rather sad
Christopher Reeve was a very good actor - a talented man. Pity his career suffered because of the Superman role that made him. In this telemovie he plays a (super)cop shafted by his brother and his wife. It is a complex plot with many a twist - a great script with a number of the supporting cast playing against type. Reeve's character is always one step ahead of the game. The plot is vaguely similar in premise to "Investigation of a Citizen above Suspicion" starring Gian Maria Volante. Kim Cattrell is not sexy to my eyes but she shows good acting chops and isn't afraid to get down on screen. Joe Montagne is generally underrated and this movie shows the range of his talents well. In the end, Reeve is the star and shows extreme skill in the way he develops Cain (it's all in the eyes!). Great ending, with a slightly comic judge's role, which makes the climax even more impact full.
The Keep (1983)
Dracula verses the Nazis
I haven't read the book - maybe a good thing!! This movies' plot is
like placing Dracula in WWII instead of 1897. It would've been
placed around 41-42 when the Nazis were winning. People would
turn to any saviour - even if, ultimately, that entity were a 1000
times worse than the Nazis. The movie is about power - power
over people, in varying degrees and forms. Hollywood likes visible
villians-hence the guy in the demon suit. It would have suffered
less if a Euro director had done it. Good points: cinematography,
lighting,some of the miniture work, some of the music,the
atmosphere. Bad Points: the acting by just about everyone. the
jerky editing, the muddy dialogue in places. All in all though, not a
bad effort and better than having no movie like this at all. 7 out of
C'era una volta il West (1968)
Sergio Leone:I salute you
I have recently commented on Leone's GBU and was intending on reviewing AFOD and FAFDM as well as this one - OUATITW, but after reading a number of the comments about these from all the avid fans on this great site, I will simply give you a short account of how these films have affected my life. I am 55years young and saw all these films on their first release in Sydney.(late '60's) They were cut, but it didn't stop me seeing the brilliance in them. I would imagine that a lot of the members of this site are much younger than myself and have only watched these films on DVD or TV quite recently. (Stood the test of time, eh!!) (WideScreen is a must for these.) Leone's films exhibit an idealism in art that surpassed his Hollywood models (eg: Ford). Although, at the time of creation, I doubt he would have thought he was. He simply had a vision.
From film to film he improved on this. Like most artists, I don't think he was too concerned with the financial gains that might or might not be realized.(This was probably his downfall). That these little films can impress all you younger fans so much says a lot about good taste and the sad lack of it in American films of recent times.
Great directors, like Leone, don't come along every day and it saddens me greatly to know he died before he was recognised for the genius he surely was. Morricone must be 75 now, soon we will loose him too. I am a successful composer in Australia and can tell you, without bias, that Morricone is in the top five best ever film composers just from these four films alone, if not one of the best composers in general (yes, this includes Stravinsky, Bartok, Debussy and Schoenberg.) of the 20th century. Eastwood is also reaching the end of his life and although I'm not a huge fan of his recent work, he is one of the last living greats. Without the inspirations put forth by these men, I might not still be writing and recording my music these days. Plenty of times I could have stopped when things got tough but all I had to do was revisit these gems of modern art to realise that greatness does still exhist , all you have to have is the love and desire and guts to make your visions a reality. Leone, Morricone and Eastwood: I salute you.
love never tries
Everybody, wake up!!!! Refer to Stokers novel. There has NEVER been a true adaptation of this work. Every time someone attempts it, they blow it. Hollywood- leave it alone - you guys don't cut it. Difficult - yes. Impossible -no. Someone, one of these days, will probably "get it right". this version is good but I'd rather read the novel, again. good points are: the music, the art direction, the costumes, Renfield,Seward. bad points are: Keanu Reeves, A.Hopkins, W.Ryder and worst of all Gary Oldman (too short)- what a ham!!!! In fact, I'd rather read the book AND listen to a CD of the soundtrack at the same time, than watch this pulp. 4.66 out of 10. (mainly for attempting it in the first place).
what may I say that hasn't already been said.....
I first saw this film in 1968 in Sydney, I was 18. I had seen many westerns before and I had seen the first two Leone's in New Zealand the year before. I had also been a fan of CE and LvC for a very long time. The version I saw was cut and many key scenes were truncated or left out completely(I had read the paperback in NZ-great paperback!!!!). Still, I was inspired enough to write a musical composition based on CE's character. This piece was recorded in 1970 and featured on a hit LP I had with my band Blackfeather - it was called Manco's Theme. I recommended the film to everybody I knew at the time. The point to all this, this movie, although wearing 'western' clothes, is the closest thing I've seen to real art in the cinema. Like all great art , it has a life of its own. A++++++ (highest rating I can give)
I watched three videos the other night: Belly of the Beast, Kill Bill#1, and ZULU. Belly was better than most of Seagals efforts lately, Bill had a bigger budget but was pretty ordinary, and last,at about 2am, I watched ZULU. Sure I was tired, but I soon got my second wind. The others, while more graphically violent, numbed my senses, wereas ZULU stimulated them!!! Who cares that the deaths were stylized (little gore) and there were no four-letter words...... While I can remember very little now about the first two, images dialog, music and camera from ZULU are still with me, days later. A sterling effort, you actually CARE about these people. This movie could not be produced today to this quality - even by the best in the world. A classic: five out of five. (loved the "colour seargant" character!!