Films Worth Viewing Year 3

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I agree with pretty much everything you have written. However, the is large omission in this review. The true genius of this film is in the editing. The car chase became the model for films that is still used today. The pace and use of moving cameras, fast cuts wides shots, close ups, reflective surfaces, introduced an element of action and tension that was worthy of the Academy Award which the editor received. The entire film is edited to keep the audience on edge and succeeds completely. The French Connection was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress being culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant. When the movie came out a friend of mine -who sat through it numerous times-said there was not a scene over 17 seconds in the entire picture. Don't know if that's true but it's what he said. Anyone who wants to become film editor should watch this film.
I should have mentioned the editing beyond the Oscar reference. I don't think this is the only bit of genius.
 
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"Scent of a Woman"-Martin Britt-1992

This was Pacino's Oscar winning role. I was surprised at how highly the film is ranked on IMdB. I hadn't viewed this film in years, but critically the film is often the victim of faint praise. Pacino plays Col. Frank Slade a 26 year military veteran. When the film opens he is totally blind. He is living with his niece's family in New Hampshire. The family wants to spend Thanksgiving with relatives, Pacino doesn't want to go. His niece puts up an ad on the bulletin board at the Baird School. The ad is answered by Charlie Simms (Chris O'Donnell best known for his work on NCIS LA0. Charlie is a scholarship senior who takes the job to make money so he can return home for Christmas. The film is the story of the relationship which develops between the two over the long weekend. Colonel Slade is planning to commit suicide, and Charlie is facing expulsion from Baird unless he snitches of fellow students who play a very nasty prank on the Headmaster.

The film is remembered for some great set pieces. My favorite is the tango sequence. Slade instructs a young woman, Donna (Gabrielle Anwar) in the tango despite his blindness. He later test drives a Ferrari. The there is the struggle where Charlie fights to keep Col. Slade from committing suicide. The film ends with Col. Slade coming to the defense of Charlie in a public trial before an assembly of all the Baird community. Pacino can be self indulgent, but he also takes some real chances as an actor. The scenes between Slade and Charlie are very well done. O'Donnell's performance is under rated. The script by Bo Goldman (One Flew Overt he CucKoo's Nest, and Melvin and Howard) is excellent. Just one example; when the two principals finally arrive back in New Hampshire; Slade pays Charlie the agreed upon $300 fee. During the entire film Slade has been trying to bribe Charlie with more money. Go away and let me commit suicide and I'll give you big bucks. The payment of $300 is a sign of respect.

My only real caveat is length. However, that is a minor quibble. Very highly recommended available on Prime.
 

storrsroars

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"Scent of a Woman"-Martin Britt-1992

This was Pacino's Oscar winning role. I was surprised at how highly the film is ranked on IMdB. I hadn't viewed this film in years, but critically the film is often the victim of faint praise. Pacino plays Col. Frank Slade a 26 year military veteran. When the film opens he is totally blind. He is living with his niece's family in New Hampshire. The family wants to spend Thanksgiving with relatives, Pacino doesn't want to go. His niece puts up an ad on the bulletin board at the Baird School. The ad is answered by Charlie Simms (Chris O'Donnell best known for his work on NCIS LA0. Charlie is a scholarship senior who takes the job to make money so he can return home for Christmas. The film is the story of the relationship which develops between the two over the long weekend. Colonel Slade is planning to commit suicide, and Charlie is facing expulsion from Baird unless he snitches of fellow students who play a very nasty prank on the Headmaster.

The film is remembered for some great set pieces. My favorite is the tango sequence. Slade instructs a young woman, Donna (Gabrielle Anwar) in the tango despite his blindness. He later test drives a Ferrari. The there is the struggle where Charlie fights to keep Col. Slade from committing suicide. The film ends with Col. Slade coming to the defense of Charlie in a public trial before an assembly of all the Baird community. Pacino can be self indulgent, but he also takes some real chances as an actor. The scenes between Slade and Charlie are very well done. O'Donnell's performance is under rated. The script by Bo Goldman (One Flew Overt he CucKoo's Nest, and Melvin and Howard) is excellent. Just one example; when the two principals finally arrive back in New Hampshire; Slade pays Charlie the agreed upon $300 fee. During the entire film Slade has been trying to bribe Charlie with more money. Go away and let me commit suicide and I'll give you big bucks. The payment of $300 is a sign of respect.

My only real caveat is length. However, that is a minor quibble. Very highly recommended available on Prime.
The source of most of today's Pacino imitations... "hoo-hah!"

btw, it's Martin Brest (who also did Midnight Run and Beverly Hills Cop). You were probably thinking of Martin Ritt, also a great director.
 
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The source of most of today's Pacino imitations... "hoo-hah!"

btw, it's Martin Brest (who also did Midnight Run and Beverly Hills Cop). You were probably thinking of Martin Ritt, also a great director.
No just a stupid error. I have it written correctly in my notes.
 
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"The DaVinci Code"-Ron Howard-2006

Fifteen years have passed since this film's debut, perhaps that gives enough time and space to look at the film without going down one of numerous available rabbit holes. Dan Brown, the author of the book and of the series on which the films are based. made a huge pile of money bringing into the public eye controversies which date back many hundreds of years. The protagonist, Robert Langdon, is a symbolist working/teaching at Harvard.
I have never heard of a professor of symbology. Sophie Neveu who aids him in solving Da Vinci's code is a cryptographer working for the Paris police.
This again seems like an unusual job in a police department. A senior official of the Louvre is found murdered inside the museum. He was killed by a bullet, but his body is mutilated. Apparently, he did the mutilations to his own body. Captain Fache finds that this official was scheduled to meet Robert Langdon for lunch. Fache receives a phone call saying that Langdon confessed to the murder in his confession to a Catholic priest.

Immediately this poses several problems: Langdon isn't a practicing Roman Catholic, and what was the motive for the murder? It turns out that Sophie Noveu is the grand-daughter of the murdered man. She shows up at the murder site to rescue Langdon. She will also help Langdon (Tom Hanks) to decipher the mutilations and writing left behind by the dead man. It turns out that he is the Grand Master of the Priory of Sion. Their mission is to protect the Holy Grail. This is normally believed to be the cup from which Christ drank at the last supper. The Priory of Sion is not tasked with protecting an object; the Holy Grail is not an object but the human descendants of Christ. This is the line of biological descendants dating back the daughter of Mary Magdalene and Jesus of Nazareth.

There is a force within the Church which opposes the Priory. That is Opus Dei. This is an actual group in the Catholic Church, but not directly a part of the hierarchy. One of the problems is that Opus Dei is real, and it isn't what is depicted in the film. If I delve any further into these organizations; I will truly lead you into rabbit holes. Langdon and Sophie (Audrey Tautou) are trying to follow the clues to the Holy Grail. Captain Fache (Jean Reno) is trying to arrest and Opus Dei is also engaged in the search for the Grail led by Bishop Aringarosa (Alfred Molina) and the shadowy "Teacher" who is providing info to Opus Dei.

Actually this is a pretty decent film. The acting is always at least good, the mixture between brain work and typical action fare works, we care about Langdon and Sophie. The film was a huge world wide moneymaker. It is available on Prime. I like this much more than "Angels and Demons" which is also available. I enjoyed "The Da Vinci Code" while I was watching. The neurotic need to look into the backstory came post viewing.
 
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"The Canterville Ghost"-Jules Dassin-1944

This entire universe comes from a single Oscar Wilde story. Among the notables who have portrayed Simon de Canterville are :Charles Laughton, David Niven, and Patrick Stewart. The original film version stars Laughton as the ghost, Margaret O'Brien as Lady Jessica, the heir to the castle, and Robert Young as Cufy Williams, a Canterville descendent. Sir Simon ran away from a duel; his own father bricks him up and leaves him to die. He also curses him to haunt the castle until a Canterville does an act of bravery for his benefit. For 300 years the cowardly Cantervilles have failed. A platoon of Army Rangers are to be quartered at Canterville castle awaiting action in France. They discover the ghost their lieutenant refuses to accept his existence. Lady Jessica befriends the ghost and Cufy. Will Cufy perform an act of bravery which will allow Sir Simon relief from the curse? This version is available for free streaming on OK.RU.

Dassin took over midway through the film; the story is that Laughton couldn't abide the first director. Margaret O'Brien is a wonder. She was 6 or 7 when this film was made. Child stars bought out audiences in the '30"s and '40's. Robert Young would go on to greater success on television: "Father Knows Best" and "Marcus Welby M.D. " I'm not sure why a decision was made to play everything for laughs. Laughton is an able comedian, but in my opinion an even better dramatic actor. I recommend this version, but you might want to take a look at the 1996 TV version which stars Patrick Stewart as the ghost. In this version Sir Simon is condemned because his jealousy caused the death of his beloved wife. In this version Neve Campbell plays Virginia Otis an American teen who saves Sir Simon. This is available to stream on IMdB. I watched one other version on Prime, but there are at least a dozen others. The most recent version is an announced animation of a 2017 film which starred Hugh Laurie among others.

This is solid entertainment.
 
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"The Canterville Ghost"-Jules Dassin-1944

This entire universe comes from a single Oscar Wilde story. Among the notables who have portrayed Simon de Canterville are :Charles Laughton, David Niven, and Patrick Stewart. The original film version stars Laughton as the ghost, Margaret O'Brien as Lady Jessica, the heir to the castle, and Robert Young as Cufy Williams, a Canterville descendent. Sir Simon ran away from a duel; his own father bricks him up and leaves him to die. He also curses him to haunt the castle until a Canterville does an act of bravery for his benefit. For 300 years the cowardly Cantervilles have failed. A platoon of Army Rangers are to be quartered at Canterville castle awaiting action in France. They discover the ghost their lieutenant refuses to accept his existence. Lady Jessica befriends the ghost and Cufy. Will Cufy perform an act of bravery which will allow Sir Simon relief from the curse? This version is available for free streaming on OK.RU.

Dassin took over midway through the film; the story is that Laughton couldn't abide the first director. Margaret O'Brien is a wonder. She was 6 or 7 when this film was made. Child stars bought out audiences in the '30"s and '40's. Robert Young would go on to greater success on television: "Father Knows Best" and "Marcus Welby M.D. " I'm not sure why a decision was made to play everything for laughs. Laughton is an able comedian, but in my opinion an even better dramatic actor. I recommend this version, but you might want to take a look at the 1996 TV version which stars Patrick Stewart as the ghost. In this version Sir Simon is condemned because his jealousy caused the death of his beloved wife. In this version Neve Campbell plays Virginia Otis an American teen who saves Sir Simon. This is available to stream on IMdB. I watched one other version on Prime, but there are at least a dozen others. The most recent version is an announced animation of a 2017 film which starred Hugh Laurie among others.

This is solid entertainment.


Another movie with very similar plot is "The Ghost Goes West" (1935), starring Robert Donat, and directed by Rene Clair. The twist in this film is that the Scottish castle that is being haunted by the disgraced ghost has been sold, dismantled, and moved to the America, and reconstructed there. The ghost is tied to the castle, so the ghost ends up in the castle in America as well. I find this version of the story rather entertaining, and would definitely recommend checking it out. By the way, this is also Rene Clair's first English language film, and he did a few other English language films that I am quite enamored by, such as "I Married a Witch", and "And Then There Were None".
 

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The Upside, Hulu

Kevin Hart Isabel ex-con who needs “signatures” showing he’s been looking for a job. By accident he interviews with billionaire Bryan Cranston who is a quadriplegic as his caregiver. Cranston who is frustrated with his circumstances offers him the job because a Hart is “he is the worst possible candidate.” Typical culture class movie. I have to say though Kevin Hart is surprisingly good in it. This is another film that isn’t great, but is thoroughly watchable, particularly when you realize it’s based on a true story.
 
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I have had some severe medical problems. I am on hospital leave. The process will be complete by the end of the month. I should be able tp resume posting at that time.
 
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I have had some severe medical problems. I am on hospital leave. The process will be complete by the end of the month. I should be able tp resume posting at that time.
Wishing you a full and speedy recovery. Looking forward to your future posts.
 

ClifSpliffy

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I have had some severe medical problems. I am on hospital leave. The process will be complete by the end of the month. I should be able tp resume posting at that time.
hang in there. one day at a time, and maybe watch some funny stuff!
u r awesome..
 
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I have had some severe medical problems. I am on hospital leave. The process will be complete by the end of the month. I should be able tp resume posting at that time.

You started and contribute greatly to one of my favorite threads on the Boneyard. Certainly have missed your movie musings of late.
 

CL82

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I have had some severe medical problems. I am on hospital leave. The process will be complete by the end of the month. I should be able tp resume posting at that time.
Feel better and hurry back.
 

Dove

Andre is The Answer
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I have had some severe medical problems. I am on hospital leave. The process will be complete by the end of the month. I should be able tp resume posting at that time.
Zymurg is life!! Heal well and quickly, Charlie!
 
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The Professor and the Madman. 2019.

Oh the audacity to make a film about the creation of the Oxford-English dictionary. Surprise. This is well crafted and interesting film. The professor is Mel Gibson and the Madman is Sean Penn. Both are terrific. Gibson plays an unappreciated genius while Penn plays and imprisoned genius. Both are set against the (evil) Oxford Press oversight committee (really). Gibson's family and flashbacks of Penn's past bring humanity to the film. This is an intelligent story made by people who understand film. Three stars.
 
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