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All reviews - Movies (54)

Wild Strawberries review

Posted : 4 years, 3 months ago on 17 July 2013 05:02 (A review of Wild Strawberries)

It can be very embarrassing and difficult to think about your past. Things you did or didn't do. Things you said or didn't say. Or worse yet, things you can't even remember. I'm still young, so I have a difficult time fully connecting with Isak, but I can meet him halfway, I think. Even though I'm not exactly looking forward to it, I know and accept that one day I will die. When I get really close to dying, getting a chance to go back and revisit some of the moments in my life would be a very good bit of closure. Hopefully I can leave myself with some interesting moments to revisit; otherwise old Matt is gonna get bored quick.
One of Bergman's warmest, and therefore finest films, this concerns an elderly academic - grouchy, introverted, dried up emotionally - who makes a journey to collect a university award, and en route relives his past by means of dreams, imagination, and encounters with others. It's an occasionally over-symbolic work, but it's filled with richly observed characters and a real feeling for the joys of nature and youth. And Sjöström gives an astonishingly moving performance as the aged professor.


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The Night of the Hunter review

Posted : 4 years, 3 months ago on 17 July 2013 05:01 (A review of The Night of the Hunter)

The Night of the Hunter is truly a stand-alone masterwork. A horror movie with qualities of a Grimm fairy tale, it stars a sublimely sinister Robert Mitchum as a traveling preacher named Harry Powell, whose nefarious motives for marrying a fragile widow, played by Shelley Winters, are uncovered by her terrified young children. Graced by images of eerie beauty and a sneaky sense of humor, this ethereal, expressionistic American classic is cinema’s most eccentric rendering of the battle between good and evil. The war of wills between Mitchum and Gish is the heart of the film's final third, a masterful blend of horror and lyricism. Laughton's tight, disciplined direction is superb. The music by Walter Schumann and the cinematography of Stanley Cortez are every bit as brilliant as the contributions by Laughton and Agee.


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Schindler's List review

Posted : 4 years, 3 months ago on 17 July 2013 05:00 (A review of Schindler's List)

Perhaps the greatest argument for the sincerity and dedication Steven Spielberg put into Schindler's List is how radical a departure it was for the artist. Schindler's List is not the first film to showcase Spielberg's aesthetic mastery within the confines of more serious-minded narrative ambition, but where The Color Purple used too many tricks to tell its story and Empire of the Sun eased up on the director's visual skills for its cynical but affecting humanism, Schindler's List finds the balance. I would never presume to say the film captures even a fraction of the Holocaust; it is instead what Stanley Kubrick labeled it, not a film about six million who died but 1,000 who lived. It is worth telling the good stories with the bad; they deepen our understanding of mankind's darkest hour.


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Kill Bill: Vol. 2 review

Posted : 4 years, 3 months ago on 17 July 2013 05:00 (A review of Kill Bill: Vol. 2)

Quentin Tarantino revels in the art and craft of cinema; so much so he has managed to mine all his favourite genres and make the style the substance...Kill Bill 2 is a Quentin Tarantino road movie, with each chapter bringing a new character or a fresh direction for us to follow. It’s a blast of an escapist movie - a fitting conclusion to Tarantino’s ultimate revenge movie, with a plot that never falls into the predictable, and keeping us breathless throughout.


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City of God review

Posted : 4 years, 3 months ago on 17 July 2013 04:59 (A review of City of God)

A powerful and haunting film that explores the myriad of stories that lie deep within the slums of Rio, City Of God shocks, enlightens and above all affects us by taking us into a world where drugs and organised crime are a way of life. Meirelles's intense and extraordinary film marries the rhythms and flavours of Rio seamlessly with the human drama... The visceral music pumps its way through our veins for the entire 130 minutes, colouring the violence with the very brush that is Rio. And as the fates of Rocket and L'il Ze come together, they face each other with two very different weapons: a gun and a camera. The circle of life continues and we realize that we have only just had a small taste of life in The City of God. Uncompromising and totally unforgettable, this is an experience to savour.


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Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope review

Posted : 4 years, 3 months ago on 17 July 2013 04:59 (A review of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope)

The start of an amazing mythology, and the beginning of one of the most well known movie franchises of all time. This story tells the journey of how a young man gains knowledge of the universe he lives in, and becomes a force to be reckoned with. It is classic Hollywood storytelling at its finest. The characters, the world, and the meaning behind everything is what really sticks out, and I love this film for that. A movie does not have to be perfect, to feel perfect. "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope" is fantastic filmmaking and perfect storytelling.


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American Beauty review

Posted : 4 years, 3 months ago on 17 July 2013 04:58 (A review of American Beauty)

An acerbic, darkly comic critique of how social conventions can lead people into false, sterile and emotionally stunted lives, "American Beauty" is a real American original. Multilayered, bracingly resourceful and tweaked to push its many brash ideas to the edge and beyond, this independent-minded feature represents a stunning card of introduction for two cinematic freshmen, screenwriter Alan Ball and director Sam Mendes.


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The Seventh Seal review

Posted : 4 years, 3 months ago on 17 July 2013 04:58 (A review of The Seventh Seal)

Ingmar Bergman's dark masterpiece effortlessly sees off the revisionists and the satirists; it is a radical work of art that reaches back to scripture, to Cervantes and to Shakespeare to create a new dramatic idiom of its own...The movie fiercely addresses itself to the agony of belief, the need to believe in a God who remains silent, mysterious, absent. It is a work of art that grabs the audience by the lapels, believers and unbelievers alike, and demands not answers, exactly, but an acknowledgement that this is the most important question, the only question: why does anything exist at all? Even after half a century, The Seventh Seal is an untarnished gold-standard of artistic and moral seriousness.


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The Lion King review

Posted : 4 years, 3 months ago on 17 July 2013 04:57 (A review of The Lion King)

Emotionally stirring, richly drawn, and beautifully animated, The Lion King stands tall within Disney's pantheon of classic family films. Borrowing elements from Hamlet, classical mythology, and African folk tales, The Lion King tells its mythic coming-of-age tale with a combination of spectacular visuals and lively music, featuring light, rhythmic songs by Elton John and Tim Rice, and a score by Hans Zimmer.


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Monty Python and the Holy Grail review

Posted : 4 years, 3 months ago on 17 July 2013 04:57 (A review of Monty Python and the Holy Grail)

There's something about feature films that brings out the best in the Pythons. The occasional indulgence of the TV series is replaced by a more focused approach which wrings every conceivable joke out of a given subject. While Holy Grail falls short of Life Of Brian's comic masterpiece status, it has more than enough killer lines, sight gags and inspired absurdity to qualify as a medieval-on-your-ass laff-riot.


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