Kenneth Elliott's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Blade Runner 2049
3 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

The filmmakers pulled a Force Awakens:
It mimics the original in tone, story, and style, and they throw in an old Harrison Ford for extra insurance. None of these cheap tricks worked. Don't mess with the classic.

The Fate of the Furious
8 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Can't they stop making these films already?

The Bishop's Wife
12 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

A Christmas classic, and strong performances from Cary Grant, David Niven, and Loretta Young.

The Apartment
The Apartment (1960)
16 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

A much-deserved "Best Picture" winner in 1960, "The Apartment" is, on the surface, a comedy, but at its core, it is a dark societal parody addressing common taboos avoided in much of Hollywood till this era such as extramarital affairs, divorce, and drug usage. Both realistic and idealistic, "The Apartment" has a fantastic script and some great acting. Most notable is the main protagonist Jack Lemmon who plays the over-worked and under-appreciated C.C. Baxter, an everyday man working at a New York City insurance corporation. C.C., in order to gain prestige and recognition within the company, loans out his apartment to several co-workers for discreet late-night flings. The film portrays a version of America far different from the squeaky-clean view of the everything-is-fine 1950s. Here, the very nature of the American business and opportunity is revealed to be corrupt, where the man on top will always back-stab underlings with gossip and frequently participate in the same shady underbelly activities as the underlings he disposes of. It also shows the limited and frustratingly immoral manner in which one has to climb the ladder of success to achieve an upper-management position.

"The Apartment" was very controversial at the time for its sexual overtones; no sex scenes were shown, per se, but the script was peppered with oblique innuendos such as direct mentions to "ring a ding ding" activities. Perhaps the most controversial aspect of the film was not in the adulterous affairs within C.C. Baxter's apartment, but the semi-graphic portrayal of drug overdosage. Shirley MacLaine, well-mannered elevator operator and two-way lover stuck in the middle of a secret triangle between C.C. and Fred MacMurray's Mr. Sheldrake, is so distraught and ridden with rejection that she consumes an entire bottle of sleeping pills, barely getting out of the predicament alive. Even when she does recover, she is left with suicidal thoughts and nasty hangovers. Remember, this movie was made in 1960, not 1990, so much of this stuff was ahead-of-its time and shocking to witness on the silver screen.

My one and only complain with "The Apartment" is the half-assed ending. Honestly, the scene when C.C. refuses the offer of a second-in-command position at the (literal) top of the building next to Mr. Sheldrake's office would have been the most compelling finish. In such a rigged business system where corruption and secrets abound, nobody can or will stop bad boys at playing shady games, hence why corruption is so prevalent today. What happened instead, which I absolutely hated, is that C.C. suddenly grew a heart and uncharacteristically refused to be part of the system and left. Everything that followed felt like a typical, paint-by-the-numbers happy ending, including Shirley MacLaine's running through the city to get to her lover-boy. (I guess the both ended happily ever after playing cards.) I would have much preferred a darker, more realistic ending, as everything else in "The Apartment" strived to echo problems in contemporary American society.