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What a fantastic thriller this film turned out to be- Alfred Hitchcock would well be proud. The Deep End is unquestionably a thriller, but, in an odd way, it's also a love story. At the film's emotional center is the question of what a mother will sacrifice for her son - what lies she will tell and what blame she will accept to keep him safe. It is said that maternal love is the fiercest kind of all, and nowhere is this more apparent than in The Deep End. And, because Tilda Swinton plays the mother and McGehee and Siegel are in complete control, the result is one of the year's best thrillers. The Deep End is an exceptionally involving and intelligent thriller, and, unlike many of its commercially-driven cohorts in the genre, it does not rely overmuch on narrative twists and turns. The complexity lies more in the characters than in the plot. Using one of Hitchcock's favorite devices - the "wrong man" theme - co-writers/producers/directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel have crafted a motion picture which is good on every level.
Firstly its rather strange to see the comic Robin Williams in this serious, somber feature film such as this. But kudos to the actor for branching out. The Night Listener is an eerie, occasionally disturbing motion picture focused on the differences between perception and reality. The film exists in the gray area separating drama from psychological thriller, although the mood is in many ways more appropriate to the latter than the former, and it doesn't take much of a stretch to apply the word "noir" to what's on hand. While the story doesn't feature any big twists or surprises, it's a tale of gradual revelations as the layers of skin on the central mystery are peeled back. This film is quite underrated as most people haven't heard of it, even Williams fans. But give it a shot and you will be pleasantly surprised.
Point Break is a breezy(no pun intended) film with charismatic stars and action of a different kind than the usual car, bike or guns- although it does involve pretty much all of those. Keanu Reevees and Patrick Swayze star on either side of the law and the scenery is just as tempting as the leads. Few would know but this is directed by Kathryn Bigelow and she is adept at not just the dramatics but also the action sequences.
Stanislaw Lem's Solaris is a highly regarded book and Andrei Tarkovsky's film adaption is pretty much spot on, though Tarkovsky being an auteur brings his own touch to the proceedings. The story is about a cosmonaut who is sent to a space station revolving around a mysterious planet in the future. The cinematography and production design are haunting- the spaceship is so different than what we usually see in Hollywood. The acting is restraint and works here. Some people have said there is a sense of pretentiousness and rightfully so as some scenes go on way too long. But hey, this is Tarkovsky we speak of. This is one of the finest hard science fiction films and you should see it at any cost.
A typical 80s film with every small bit thrown in for good measures- action, romance, anger and sex. The ladies get to see a young Rob Lowe in his prime and others get an okay story about an American hockey player who plays in the Canadian league. Patrick Swayze also stars and you can even spot a really young Keanu Reeves somewhere in there. All in all this is one of those Sunday afternoon films you can watch when nothing else is on.
This is an example of too much talent and too less to show for. There is nothing really wrong with the film except looking at the marquee names one would have expected more but its just a bland boring ghost story that fails to scare. It has ghosts, jump scares and spooky music- even great locations but it is better suited as a film made by a first time director not the guy who made Back to the future or Contact. Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfieffer add allure to the star cast but you can clearly see by their motions they are pondering on when the cheque will clear.
Iron Man works because of two reasons- The storyline flows smoothly, and the powerhouse performance of Robert Downey Jr. as the titular Iron Man/ Tony Stark. The charisma of Downey Jr. coupled with a great emphasis on character development makes Iron Man one of the best Superhero avatars of all time. The non-suited human element of a superhero film should be interesting in someway be it his sorrow or travails or in his embodiment of a larger than life, cool figure, and this is a fact many films do not foresee, or even realize. Jon Favreau has crafted a great movie and Robert Downey Jr. is so good you cannot picture anyone else play him. The film is fun in a charming way and the action pieces are embedded to flow the story, and not as a stopover for special effect show-off. The side parts are played well by everyone involved from Gwyneth Paltrow to Terrence Howard. Its been ten years since Iron Man was released and so much has happened both in his journey and the ascent of superhero movies but the first film remains a pinnacle.