Odysseus's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

The Leopard
The Leopard(1963)

Anything I say in praise of this movie, is not going to do it justice.
And who am I anyways to try to do justice anyways?
Fabrizio Salina, the prince who foresees the advent of death as his world is precipitously changing, is wonderfully incarnated by Burt Lancaster.
Burt Lancaster! What a guy! The real predecessor of Don Corleone! You need to see this actor in action, in a time when movies were still considered an art.
And Claudia Cardinale? What a wonderfully beautiful young lady she was, so full of life, sending sparks all over the place.
The Leopard is one of those films that you need to see time and time again, rich in amazing images, bold dialogues, astounding wardrobes and philosophical insights.

Hugo
Hugo(2011)
½

Just a few notes on Hugo.... Nothing that I say will be thorough enough to capture the complexity and fascination of this film. A wonderful story, extremely well done, with attention to details. A great homage to cinema and cinema pioneers. This is a movie with many different readings, there is something for each spectator. Kids will like it. Adults will like it too. Cinema lovers will be enchanted. So if you are an adult, who loves cinema and has a little child inside, be prepared for a couple of hours of exquisite enjoyment.

Midnight in Paris
½

Sure, Woody Allen is not for all audiences... But having followed Woody Allen for years myself, this movie strikes me as a pretty rounded work of art. Here are the same elements that populate his greatest movies: respect for the past, nostalgia, admiration for artists, interest in the process of creation and creativity, romantic men/women relationships. Nothing new so far. What is new is the setting: Paris, city of light, a place full of magic in itself, becomes even more fantastic after midnight. Paris -the city- becomes another character in the movie. Truly, it is -for the most part- a touristic Paris the one we see here, a Paris taken from postal cards. But hey, it is Paris! Allen uses the idea of being able to fool time and be transported magically to the wonderful 1920's. Not the first time he uses magic-realism to drive his points. In "Purple Rose of Cairo", for example, the main character is able to step into a movie. If you are not an Allen's fan, take courage, be patient and let yourself be inmersed in Allen's Paris. You may enjoy the movie. If you are an Allen's fan, sit, relax and be ready for one of his best movies in the last years. "Midnight in Paris" does not have the punch, youthfulness and humor that "Manhattan" has. Still, it is worthwhile to watch.

La Dolce Vita

Beautiful cinematography and Marcello Mastroiani at his best. A well-organized, exemplary life leads to death. A life full of parties, alcohol and beautiful women might be pointless and senseless, but hey, it also leads to death. Thus, let us just party. Or at least: let us all be no that serious about life. Society pushes towards becoming organized animals. But may be we should also listen to the untamed beast inside of us, that entity that can not be molded in any way. Marcello's attention wanders from one beautiful woman to the next. He is mesmerized, seduced by their beauty. And what is wrong about contemplating and enjoying beauty? Nothing, that is what the movies appears to suggest. La Dolce Vita is classical Fellini: wonderful women, staged acts, circus, parties, Rome, gregarious people sharing a meal, or drinks and a good time. Is this Fellini's view of life or real life itself, the one that we do refuse to see?

Splendor in the Grass
½

A bitter-sweet drama (perhaps more bitter than sweet) that takes place in rural, medieval Kansas.

Nathalie Wood! Nathalie Wood! You just got to see the young Wood... a superb actress.... how cant you fall in love with that girl?

The Outsiders
½

Perhaps because I happen to live in Tulsa these days and I can relate to the place, I am enjoying tremendously Coppola's movies filmed in Tulsa back in the early eighties. Gangs, teenagers, lots of drama. Tulsa was and still is a tough city in the middle of the American prairies. The Outsiders movie -as in S.E. Hinton's book on which the movie is based- reflects all that toughness. A whole generation of young, talented actors made their debut in the big screen with this movie. The Ousiders is a great Coppola's experiment made in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Good to watch.

A Serious Man
½

Not the best of the Coen brothers but, once again, they made an extremely smart movie with multiple readings. Very enjoyable, "A Serious Man" will take you right to the end of the 60's, a time when middle-class America was booming. For those of us who grew up in those years: lots of memories and a genuine sense of reliving the whole thing. There was some sort of magic in the ritual of climbing up the rooftop to move the TV antenna around to catch the TV signal. Or have a peek at your naked neighbor. "A Serious Man" is the tale of a man going around in circle, like a dog trying to bite its tail. Is he going thru a mid-life crisis or is he just experiencing life as it is? Is he having a nightmare or is he just living life? "A Serious Man" show, in a caricaturesque manner, one of the most fundamental truth in life, in my opinion: the fact that we have little or no control whatsoever over our destinies and the things that happen to us. Life is an irony, just like a Jewish folkstale. Great movie.

Hiroshima Mon Amour

Instead of going to see movies about the end of the world while we eat pop corn and drink coke, we probably be better off watching Alan Resnais' Hiroshima Mon Amour. A beautifully film in black & white, a film in light and shadows, full of poetry and astounding cinematography. The two main characters share a past full of painful memories and a present inundated with sensuality and pleasure. But is it not pleasure the opposite of pain? And here we are, in Hiroshima, a town where pain is revived, everywhere you look. And yet the ex-japanese soldier and the french actress are in a frantic search of salvation through sex and sensuality. Two unlikely souls seeking, without success, to leave the past behind.

The movie was filmed only 14 years after the atom bomb was released over Hiroshima and you can still feel the smell of the burning flesh while you watch this movie.

And, by the way, if you are learning french and you are interested in practicing your newly acquired language, this is a perfect film to watch: clear dialogues, easy words delivered in a slow, almost lethal way.

Rumble Fish
Rumble Fish(1983)
½

This is one of those experimental, unconventional films from the Coppola of the early eighties. This film transpires LOTS of energy and creativity. The theme in itself is energetic enough: teenagers and young adults in urban Tulsa, OK, facing the void left by the end of gang life. The images in black & white are astounding, the rhythm of the movie is relentless, the acting is phenomenal... Just picture Mickey Rourke and Nicolas Cage in their early twenties... Hey, dont miss this one! An authentic piece of american moviemaking.

Zombieland
Zombieland(2009)

I'll get this first out of the way: yes, I enjoyed the movie. A lot. I thought it was well done, well written, well acted, well directed, etc.
Most reviewers hit all the points, so I am not going to go there.

So now, to my point. This movie, together with so many recent blockbusters, contains images of the most rooted of all the american fears: the fear of wide-spread destruction and the end of our civilization, as we know it. Zombies and alliens are to Americans as Godzilla and other monsters are to Japanese people. And here is a disturbing thought: by dwelling so much in our feared images of end-of-the-world and self destruction, we may actually be moving in that direction. A bit, every time. Slowly and yet surely.

I dont want to sound moralist, cause I am not. I dont really care about good or bad. Everyone does as he / she pleases. But I care about gratuitous, unneeded movie scenes. I care about the intention or, perhaps, the lack of intention. And I feel that the movie is full of these void scenes whose only purpose appear to be entertainment just for the sake of entertainment.

There was this just one thing that did not click all right when exiting the movie theater: the realization that this movie is just a fabrication of entertainment based on the greatest fears of our society. Out there, life is not an enchanted house in an amusing park. Outside the movie theater, life is real. And there is just this fine line between reality and fiction, you know. You cross it and you may not be able to come back. You laugh one minute and the next, you cry. You play with fire and you are bound to get burned. Of course we are not talking about unreal creatures like zombies here. We are talking "mass destruction".

Just think about those NY terrorists and their Hollywood-like inspirations for their actions.

If I want entertainment for the sake of entertainment, I would just watch "America's funniest videos" on TV, in the comfort of my home or would just go and watch some silly movie. Hooray for the silly movies!

There is some kind of responsibility to society in making films. I feel that this human responsibility has bluntly been overlooked with this movie. Old fashion? Perhaps. I prefer to think that I just love life too much.