John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
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The Deer Hunter is quite simple one of the most effective, perfect war movies ever made. This 3 hour long experience is one that is harrowing, brilliant and groundbreaking. The film is about a group of young steel workers who are all close friends and spend a lot of time together. After finishing a day of work, they all go out for a beer at the pub. One of them will be getting married that night, and three of them will be heading to the Vietnam battlegrounds the following morning. While in Vietnam, the three discover the unfortunate horrors of war that will stay with them forever. The combat, the images and the situations they were put in. After the vets return, the group is never the same again. We follow these men before leaving, during the war, and after the war when they are changed men. The scenes preceding the war are so well crafted and develop the characters superbly, making the rest of the film even more devastating. The film is startlingly heavy at times, especially the scenes in Vietnam. Not so much the violence, but the death and the imagery. These things will stay with you for a very long time. The direction is nothing short of superb, and the actors all present plausible characters. De Niro is absolutely exceptional here and above all believable. The music utilised throughout is brilliant, and adds even more to the already unmissable experience. This is the only war film that is able to capture the ways in which war affects us mentally, and the way one acts after experiencing such a dreadful thing. The harrowing imagery, strong characters and great acting all make this amongst the greatest war films ever made, and amongst the best films ever made. The film is very long, yes, but not overlong. The film tells us its message very clearly during its running time, and leaves no room for wasted scenes. A must see movie! Winner of 5 Oscars including Best Picture.
Alfred Hitchcock will always be one of the best, if not the best director in the history of cinema. You combine Hitchcock with Cary Grant and you are guarenteed to have a winner on your hands. Notorious is a very good and radically different romantic thriller set during World War II. A German spy is arrested and charged with treason against the United States. Due to the nature of his crimes, the government recuit said spy's daughter Alicia (Bergman) to spy on a group of Nazis. Naturally, Alicia would like to repay her father's moral debt to America and reluctantly agrees. But Alicia falls in love with American agent Devlin (Grant), and complications arise when Alicia is forced to marry the Nazi she is spying on (Rains). Although the film is probably a bit of a cliché amongst today's modern audiences, truth be told when it was first released there was never anything like it, and like all of Hitchcock's films it is still a very good film even by today's standards. Cary Grant is great like always, and delivers a very good performance here. Ingrid Bergman looks stunning and beautiful here as well. Claude Rains delivers one of his best film performances to date. The script and dialogue are smartly written, and executed with style by the actors. Hitchcock's direction is perfect like always, which pretty much goes without saying. The music is very suspenseful at times, and further cements the brilliance of the production. Notorious is a very good film. Not one of Hitchcock's best, but still well made.
The Italian Job is a good old-fashioned classic caper film, and although a little dated it's still a lot of fun. Charlie Croker (Caine) has just been released from prison. While fresh out of incarceration, he learns that one of his old friends has died and left him a message. The message outlines the perfect heist, and the biggest in history. So Charlie rounds up a gang of British folks to assist in the theft of $4,000,000 in gold bullion from an armored truck in Italy. Charlie's partner is crime, a mafia boss in prison named Mr. Bridger (Coward) is funding the heist, and explains that failure is not an option. Entertaining, slickly crafted British action/comedy moves at a very slow pace for most of the film leading up to the heist, but the car chases with a jazzy soundtrack is one of the film's redeeming features. Michael Caine, in one of his first performances, is charming and bright as Charlie Croker, and most of the other cast is good, albeit a bit forgettable. The car chase at the end makes for great entertainment, though the fun in compromised by a bit of an incomplete cliffhanger ending. Overall, the original caper classic The Italian Job was a good concept that was executed pretty well, but there were many flaws. The car chases are entertaining and impressive, which is one of the best features in this film. Worth seeing. Remade in 2003.