Showing posts from May 27, 2018

Review: Song of Love

Classical pianist Clara Wieck (Katharine Hepburn) weds struggling composer Robert Schumann (Paul Henreid), despite her father (Leo G. Carroll) not approving of her choice. They greatly love one another and start a family together, however Robert starts to have a mental breakdown. Meanwhile, into their lives comes young composer Johannes Brahms (Robert Walker), who will come to be a great friend of the duo. Henry Daniell plays renowned composer/pianist Franz Liszt, also a family friend and supporter of the couple. Biopics about classical musicians aren’t my thing, and anything starring Katharine Hepburn has a tough road ahead of it for me. This 1947 flick from director Clarence Brown ( “The Yearling” , “Plymouth Adventure” ) overcomes all obstacles to be a truly underrated minor classic in my view. The performances in particular sell this one. Hepburn gives one of her least affected performances, even though she’s far too old for the role (or at least seems to be). However, th

Review: Fido

Set in a warped 1950s American suburbia, wherein Zombies have started to rise from the grave due to a radioactive cloud or something. But never mind, a company called Zomcom (coz every company in 50s/60s America had the word ‘com’ somewhere in the title, think Jack Arnold’s employer Norcom on TV’s “The Wonder Years” ) is on hand to domesticate the living dead via a sophisticated form of dog collar that allows zombies to be kept as servants to families all across America (And hey, if it’s good enough for Mr. and Mrs. Jones to have a zombie...). One such Cleaver-ish family is headed by zombie-hating dad Dylan Baker, the more humane mom Carrie-Ann Moss, and kid K’Sun Ray who takes a liking to his new ‘pet’ zombie, whom he names Fido (Legendary Scottish comedian Billy Connolly, in the year’s strangest casting decision). Poor Dad starts to get concerned that the kid, and even wifey are treating Fido not only like an accepted member of the family, but maybe even seen as more important th

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2

The Guardians are on a mission for the Sovereign (led by Elizabeth Debicki) to retrieve some kind of important batteries, trading them for the duplicitous Nebula (Karen Gillan), sister of Gamora (Zoe Saldana), hoping to take her back home to face the music for past misdeeds. The mission goes sour when smart-arse racoon Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) steals some of the batteries for himself and they end up with The Sovereign coming after them, forcing a crash landing on an unknown planet. On this planet, Peter Quill aka Star Lord (Chris Pratt) comes face-to-face with his estranged father Ego (Kurt Russell), and has to come to terms with the fact that his parentage is half-human and half…celestial entity (Basically, Ego is a planet who can change into human form). Ego wants his son to take his birthright. Whilst he and the super-serious Gamora (Zoe Saldana) are getting acquainted with Ego, Drax (Dave Bautista), Baby Groot, and Rocket stay behind to repair the ship and guard the un

Review: Edge of Darkness

Boston police detective Mel Gibson reunites with his recently flown in daughter Bojana Novakovic who is suddenly shot outside Gibson’s home, at point-blank range. His fellow cops want him to butt out of their investigations, which assume that Gibson was the target. Gibson isn’t so sure (hmmm, I wonder if her sudden nosebleeds mean something?), and starts to do some digging into his daughter’s personal life. It seems that Novakovic was an employee at a big corporation called Northmoor, headed by icy Danny Huston, which might’ve been up to something a teeny bit dodgy. Meanwhile, a mysterious Brit named Jedburgh (Ray Winstone), claiming to be a private contractor/fixer, is sniffing around, insinuating things to Gibson, seemingly pointing him in certain directions. Whose interests does Jedburgh really serve? And why is radiation detected on Novakovic’s body? This 2010 Martin Campbell ( “Goldeneye” , “The Mask of Zorro”, “Casino Royale”) film version of the Troy Kennedy Martin BBC

Review: The Bridge of San Luis Rey

Set in 18 th Century Peru Gabriel Byrne is monk Brother Juniper, interested in the topic of ‘acts of God’, and is now on trial for heresy after daring to investigate (and document in book form) the religious significance of lives lost on a fateful day crossing the title bridge. Scientific investigation being applied to theological matters? That’s a no-no, according to the Inquisition! Whilst the trial proceeds (headed by Archbishop Robert De Niro), we are shown flashbacks dealing with the lives of those involved in the tragedy (and not just those who died in the collapse). Kathy Bates plays the rather pathetic, sad Marquesa, whose daughter (Emilie Dequenne) has fled home and all but disowned her. De Niro assigns the poor, lonely woman a nun (Adriana Dominiguez) as a companion. F. Murray Abraham (who really ought to act in films more often!) is the devious viceroy of Peru, with Dominique Pinon continually stealing scenes as his fop. Harvey Keitel is a small theatre company impresar

Review: Marty

Ernest Borgnine is butcher Marty, a simple guy in his 30s for whom love seems to have passed by. Then he meets shy Clara (Betsy Blair) and a relationship begins. However, Marty meets resistance in the form of his selfish and frightened mother (Esther Minciotti) who is worried she’s going to be neglected. Already feeling neglected is Marty’s pal Angie (Joe Mantell). Why can’t people just let Marty be happy and fall in love like he deserves? What a nice movie. You can’t help but like this one, it won’t let you dislike it. I know some will say this 1955 Delbert Mann ( “Separate Tables” , “That Touch of Mink” ) directed film version of the teleplay seems like such a simple, small film to have won the Best Picture Oscar that year. I suppose I can understand that viewpoint, and it’s certainly far from a perfect film. However, this is a heart-warming film, sweet star vehicle for the Oscar-winning Ernest Borgnine. No matter its flaws, the central premise and lead character’s pursuit