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David Lean is a master filmmaker. He's made epics such as Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago and A Passage To India. His adaptions for Charles Dickens books such as Great Expectations and Oliver Twist been superb. Plus, he redefined the romance genre with his highly acclaimed film Brief Encounter. Two of his movies are on AFI's Top 100, he's been given the AFI life achievement award, and BAFTA named their Best Director award after this great artist. I loved Lawrence Arabia so much, it's one of my favorite films of all time. So I have high respect for David Lean, and after watching Lawrence of Arabia I had huge expectations for The Bridge on the River Kwai. Did it live up to my expectations? Well, The Bridge on the River Kwai is a really good movie, but it's not great.
The Bridge on the River Kwai is set in World War 11 about a group of British Soldiers that are sent to a Japanese POW camp and they are forced to build a bridge for the desperate Japanese Colonel an the captured British Colonel's descent into madness. The film stars Sessue Hayakawa, William Holden, and an amazing Alec Guinness in a star defining performance.
The Bridge on the River Kwai's actors are marvelous. Alec Guinness superbly portrays a stubborn Colonel's subtle snap into madness. It's a mesmerizing performance that you never see coming. His calm and structured posture and voice shows that he's in control of his situation and himself. But slowly, and very subtlety, he loses his grasp on his mind and everything around him which soon creates a huge mess and the structured world around him quickly falls apart. Watching all this unfold in intriguing and you're on the edge of your seat the entire time. Sessue Hayakawa is very solid as Colonel Saitio. He's frightening and tough and just plain scary. But the best part about his acting is his switch to a lost man who has lost grasp on his world. Just like Alec Guinness, he's someone who thinks he knows what he's doing, but he really can't see through his stubbornness and self pride. William Holden is average as his character. He's really not interesting at all which, actually, makes his whole storyline really boring. I found myself bored during Shears storyline to destroy the bridge. It was like any other adventure film and it didn't seem that exciting. It was the scenes at the POW camp that kept me invested in the movie, and mostly due to the brilliant performances.
The direction from Lean is AMAZING. Every shot is carefully constructed and carried out with such precision that you literally feel the tension in the film. His camera shots and angles make the film look big and gigantic like a war epic should be. The film's pacing is near perfect. There is hardly any use of intense music throughout the movie leaving a realistic feeling of suspense and tension. The film is shot beautifully and the ending scene is just breathtaking and for the last scene only the movie should be seriously watched on the big screen. David Lean forces you into this hot, mucky jungle which looks amazing. His wide angle shots and his camera movement bring you into this whole different atmosphere. There a few problems I had with his style. He made the film lighthearted at times, which believe me, really added to the film. But by the end of the movie where the film for darker and darker, the lightheartedness still stayed and it sort of brought me out of the film. I really disliked the lighthearted touch the movie had by the end. Mainly because the end gets very dramatic and dark but Lean keeps on pushing in comedic moments and sappy music to go along with it. Still, with the epic scope and beautiful control of the camera, by the end of the film Lean succeeds in giving us feast for our eyes and also a stab to our hearts.
The best thing about "Bridge" is definitely the cinematography. The movie looks HUGE and mostly due to the amazing wide angle shots and panned out shots throughout the movie. The rich colors pop out in the film especially during the scenes in the jungle near the river look great. But the thing that makes the entire film worth while is the last scene. (Spoiler Alert) When the freakin bridge blows up and the train is destroyed!!!!!! That's amazing and just glorious to watch! I was awestruck the entire time and I loved it!!! It's one of the best scenes in film history.
With the great cinematography, amazing acting, and near perfect direction, there are still some flaws to this film. Like I said before, William Holden's story and character is dry boring an the adventure aspect to destroy the bridge is quite slow and boring compared to the other plot line. The film is also really slow and I didn't really get into the film until the second half started. Once Alec Guinness started to become the crazy man he became then I got really interested. The music and feel of the film is very lighthearted at points when the film should've been dark and dramatic. It really brought me out of the film. Plus I didn't really care for a couple of characters in the movie and that didn't make me emotionally attached to the films and its characters. These things really bothered me and that's why I gave The Bridge on the River Kwai an 80%. It's not as good as it could've been. But, David Lean's perfectionist talent in this film will make me begin to watch more of his films.
After seeing the epics Lawrence of Arabia and Bridge on the River Kwai, I am beginning to love and respect David Lean. If his other films are as good as these two movies, he will soon become one of my favorite directors of all time. The Bridge on the River Kwai shows off David Lean and Alec Guinness's talents and it represents how a war epic should be done.
Recommendation: Yes, watch in the big screen if you can.
I respect George Clooney. Not just as an actor but also as a producer and director. But I don't respect him because of how good he's made a movie or acted in a film, I respect him because he understands the movie business and it's art. He knows what the people, the producers and the academy wants. He's also very diverse, which is rare in actors. He write, directs and produces his own films. Not many actors would go that far into the film industry and try to understand how everything works. He wants to be a filmmaker and have respect, not just be a big snobby actor looking for fame and money (which he does have). After reading about his Big year in 2005 by winning his first Oscar and getting praise for his directorial debut "Good Night and Good Luck", I knew I had to check this movie out. Only because I wanted to see if a big time actor like him could really pull off directing a small indie film that doesn't even have himself or a close family relation as the lead actor (yeah, I' talking to you Ben Afleck). So, is George really the big director that everyone was crying for 8 years ago? Not exactly.
Good Night and Good Luck is about the battle between Journalist Edward Murrow against Senator Joseph McCarthy's actions regarding Communist relations in the government.It stars David Strathairn, George Clooney, Robert Downey, Jr., Patricia Clarkson, Frank Langella, and Jeff Daniels. The entire film is set in the offices of the CBS news department, and it's characters are all workers and journalists in the buildings. It's filmed in black and white to give a 50's TV look. The background and the setting is very well created and I like the film for really trying to make the entire movie look as if it was really based in the 50's. The film really succeeds in immersing us into the past and giving us an interesting story to look into. But, is all this that George Clooney feeding really that interesting?
Acting in this film is probably the best thing about it. David Straitharn is leading role and the true force behind GNGL. His mesmerizing performance as Edward Murrow is deeply layered and creepily accurate. I mean seriously, this guy can be a clone of Murrow, he's that good. The rest of the cast is excellent. Especially Ray Wise as Don Hollenback. His emotional performance lasts about 7 minutes in the whole movie, but the way he pulls it off is incredible. Robert Downey Jr. is nothing special. He isn't really acting, he's just being himself (like in most films he's in). George Clooney is also being just himself except he's in blacks and white. So, I can't really say much about the ensemble cast. They were pretty good, nothing different. The only guys that really deserve the credit are Ray Wise and David Straitharn. They know what they're doing in this movie.
The directing and writing in this movie is fine. That's it, fine. George Clooney didn't really wow me like most people were wowed. It was a descent directorial debut, all it really is showing is that George Clooney knows how to us e a camera and lighting. The writing is also pretty bland. The only interesting scenes with bold writing is the speech scenes from Edward Murrow on television. Those are probably the best scenes in the whole movie, the rest of the film is really boring and the direction and writing doesn't help at all.
I think the biggest problem with the movie for me is the "stick to the book" structuring with the film. It's not gritty or really dramatic, the characters aren't that interesting at all, there isn't any "bizzare" camera angles, memorable music, or any witty or interesting dialogue. The direction is very subtle that it gets BORING. The movie is very BORING. That's it. It's a BORING movie with BORING characters and a BORING take on this story. The plot sounds great on paper, but its not executed well at all. Plus, the film is very short and I didn't get attached to these characters at all. By the end of the movie it seemed like a short film stretched out an hour too long.
I'm giving Good Night and Good Luck a 60% for the acting and the accuracy of the film, and the set and costume designs. The film made me believe in the history it was a part of, but it didn't make me believe in the story or characters. If you want to see something good with George Clooney involved, I suggest you check out Fantastic Mr. Fox, because believe me, it's better than this.
The western is a very unique genre. I think the thing that makes this genre so great is the world that's been built. The world is realistic and was part of history, but so many different stories and characters have come out of this world that the genre has created. Stories that are fiction, nonfiction, biographical, and historic. This world is filled with so many possible stories and characters that could be created that it's endless. That is saying, there are amazing epic stories and quite a few mishaps in the western genre. The western genre doesn't really know its footing, is it a dramatic world, a romantic world, or just a mindless action world? This genre isn't really definitive of what types of stories they're trying to tell, and for who. But, we all know, that the films that get it right, they truly are amazing. The 2007 remake of 3:10 to Yuma gets it right.
3:10 to Yuma (we'll just call it Yuma for the time being) is an amazing western and a great film. It's the story about a rancher who helps to capture and take an outlaw to a train which will take him to prison. The story has great characters (especially Ben Wade and his little crew, they're really interesting and fun to watch).The story is actually very layered with a lot of themes of fatherhood and loyalty. Ben Wade (Russel Crowe) is one of the biggest and baddest outlaws in the West and he is captured by Dan Evans (Christian Bale) a small time rancher just trying to get by with his family. When Dan takes Ben to the sheriff their plan is to take him on the train to Yuma. They ask Dan for help and if he helps then he'll get a large sum of money. Thus, the crazy adventure begins.
I'll start off with the acting and characters. I think the acting is great in his film. Christian Bale and Russel Crowe shine in this movie and their chemistry really works with one another, even though they're supposed to hate each other. Christian Bale's portrayal of a weak and safe Dan Evans is really believable. Russel Crowe's is really sinister and evil in this film, and also a little charming. He really steps outside of his comfort zone from his other films and really lets out a creepy villain in this movie. I wouldn't really say he is a villain though. I think the great thing about the two lead actors' roles in this film is that you root for both of them. You go for Dan's character because he is the good, innocent underdog, while you also root for Wade's character because he's so cool and charming. Logan Lerman's acting is great in this film also. Although i usually dislike his acting in most of his movies, he really does a great job in this movie. He's emotional, believable and you really care for his character. You really care for all of these characters in the movie. The development, the chemistry and the events these characters go through help a lot in the love you make with these characters.
The writing and directing is great in this movie. The direction by James Mangold is flawless. He mixes fast pace with slow emotional integrity in the movie which truly makes for a wild ride. Plus he keeps a little dark feel into the film which makes for a western, eery mood. The screenplay is fantastic. The banter between Dan and Wade is funny and also emotionally investing at the same time. Plus adapting an already highly acclaimed film must have been a crazy task for the three writers involved in the movie.
The cinematography is beautiful in this movie. It looks gorgeous and you're really swept up into anew world when you see this movie. The music is brilliant and deservedly got an Oscar nomination for Best Score. The editing is really good, it doesn't cut quickly during action scenes like most movies. It draws out each shot letting us take in the moment and really experiencing the film.
Overall, 3:10 to Yuma is a brilliant western with great character development, amazing acting, spot on directing, and witty writing to make for a fabulous and emotional ride into the west. 3:10 to Yuma is one of the greatest Westerns of all time and one of my favorite films of all time.
The 70's was a crazy decade in movies. Most would argue that it's the greatest decade in film (I think that the 60's was, but that's just my opinion). There were some great movies in the 70's such as ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST, STAR WARS, JAWS, TAXI DRIVER, THE GODFATHER PART 1, PART 2, APOCALYPSE NOW,THE FRENCH CONNECTION,CHINATOWN, THE EXORCIST, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, and much much more. Those films I just mentioned have been celebrated in film for years and years. But there is also one film i forgot to mention that deserved to be in that elite list.It's a film that's been celebrated for decades but has been forgotten recently. It was nominated for 10 Oscars, winning four. The film is in AFI's Top 100 and it's in IMDB's top 250. It's been mentioned in Aaron Sorkin's speech for winning his Oscar and it's George Clooney's favorite movie of all time.With this crazy of a reputation, does it truly live up to all the hype and excitement about the movie? Is it really the greatest film with the most amazing acting ever done in cinema ever? Or is it a plain, political satire which is trying to hard to be an important film? After watching the movie, I'm glad to say it's not the second description.
I think the best part about Network is the script. The dialogue in this films is brilliant. Although most of it is business talk, Network's dialogue is interesting and it keeps you engaged throughout the entire film. Plus it has one of the most memorable quotes in film history, "I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!". The acting is great and Sidney Lumet's take is very subtle and careful in directing this film. He doesnt keep you engaged in the movie with crazy music and out of this world cinematography. He lets the dialogue and the actors take the scene, almost like a play, and it comes out beautifully. The film is a metaphor on media and how it is corrupt and that people dont know what they want in televison (or anything for that matter). People are interested in crazy stupid things that they have nothing to do with when it comes to television. This is more relevant in modern times really, with all the reality TV and dumb news networks AKA Fox News and CNBC. Its just a matter of time before things in this film actually start happening in reality. Plus the film symbolizes religion and how TV can end up making us beleive in what they tell us just like how we believe in things from what religion has told us (there is an amazing scene where i think a a man is supposed to be Playing God and another man is playing a prophet). Media is corrupt and what goes on behind it is crazy enough that people might even get hurt, and thats what Newtork is about: the craziness of American media and the greed behind it. All this makes Network one of my favorite films of all time.
James Cameron wowed audiences and critics alike with the Titanic 16 years ago. It was a critical and box office success gaining 11 Oscars (a feat only accomplished by Ben Hur) and being the highest grossing feature film of all time. It was the first movie ever to hit the billion dollar mark and with all the huge blockbusters coming in the next decade it was still never beaten. That was until James Cameron's next movie AVATAR came twelve years later and hit the 2 billion dollar mark being the first to do so. Avatar was also a critical and box office success with it being nominated for 9 Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director. It's crazy how the top two highest grossing films of all time are from the same master filmmaker James Cameron. Although it was universally acclaimed by audiences and nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, Avatar was not very well received by critics in the next few years or so. A lot of critics praised the groundbreaking visual effects but disliked the already done plot. To those critics I say "F*CK YOU". This fil was great in every way and I'll tell you the reasons right here and right now.
Avatar is the story of Jake Sully, a crippled Marine sent to the moon Pandora to replace his dead twin brother on a mission to help take over the minerals the densely inhabited moon. There is a group of species called the Na'vi that live on the moon. These species aren't really happy with the humans coming over and taking their land, but without the well-developed technology, they can't really do anything to fight back. The Na'vi are considered a huge threat and the government us e the military to keep them away from the mining and usually use harsh treatments to leave their homeland. Jake at first is not very interested in the Na'vi and dislike them at first just like every other soldier. But when he has been given a task to find out the location of a huge mass of unobtanium but becoming friends with the Na'vi, the begins to have a relationship and feelings toward these species. This is when everything goes downhill. He is torn between doing his job and letting the military kill all these species or protect his family he has become a part of. Giant epic battles and emotional catastrophes ensue, and we're in for the most enthralling adventure we've ever seen in film.
Acting is wonderful in this movie. Zoe Saldana and Sam Worthington put a lot of effort into their roles and thier chemistry is really believable. Sigourney Weaver is really fun to watch playing the tough scientist. She's going back to her old roots from the Alien movies. I think Stephen Lang is the best in this film playing Colonel Miles Quaritch. He's scary and though and extremely serious and just a joy to watch. Jake and Netryi's characters are fully fleshed out and your feelings toward these characters grow more and more throughout the movie.
James Cameron's direction in this movie is spot on. He is one of the only directors out there that can carry a crazy sweeping epic action film and incorporate emotional character development and care for the characters. The story and dialogue is nothing special, but the world that Cameron created is breathtaking and original. The visuals are beautiful even if they are 99 percent CGI. Although the story is very Dances with the Wolves like, the message still comes out beautifully.
AVATAR is a beautiful world with interesting characters and a good story and an emotional a visual depth that will stay with you forever. No one will ever forget this film as long as they live, whether they like it or not. AVATAR deserves a spot on my list of favorite movies of all time.