Films

The Greatest Film I’ve Never Seen…

the-greatest-film-ive-never-seen-blogathonRephrase that…”I’d never seen”. “Greatest”, that I might need some convincing of but hey, I’ll get back to that later.

Who doesn’t at some point or another say, in a deep, creepy Schwarzeneggerian/Terminatorian voice…”I’ll be back”? Come on, admit it. And if you aren’t going to, then at least just come out with it that you’ve heard that line used many a time. I’m just going to come straight out and admit it. Together with…I’d never seen The Terminator (1984) until today. Yep. It’s true. Although, funny enough, because it is deemed such a, dare I say, classic, I have had the DVD for a number of years now. Cellophane still on. And I finally watched it.

What was I expecting? Actually, I don’t really know. I’d obviously picked up from pop culture musings that there was a terminator (yes, yes, cyborg, I know) who wrecks some havoc on earth. Why and where and how everything unfolds, well, there I had no clue. Like most of us, I think, all I had was this:

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Right?

And then maybe this…

Terminator

..which I have since learnt is a cyborg. A cybernetic organism covered with living human tissue. In this case, a Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger). It has been sent to earth to terminate Sarah Connor. Sent to protect her is Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn). That’s pretty much the jist of the story. But there’s a catch to it…a really good one. One I didn’t see coming and one that I’ve been mulling over the whole day. Or rather, trying to get my mind around the whole day…almost a chicken and egg situation. I won’t ruin it for anyone who hasn’t seen this movie. Besides, I need to ponder the situation a bit more.

Anyway, all-in-all, not a bad movie. One I’m enjoying more and more as I rewind it in my mind and as I re-watch snippets of it. Knowing the end (a very tender one for me), the events leading up to it take on a new dynamic which wasn’t there on first watching.

Is it one of the greatest movies I’d never seen? Well, I’m not sure yet. It definitely wasn’t bad. And definitely deserves its status. I’ve been told I need to see the next two in order to better appreciate it. But whatever it is (or isn’t), I did actually enjoy it (80s feel and all) and must thank Moon in Gemini for hosting this Blogathon without which I probably still wouldn’t have gotten around to watching this one.

For more revelations on movies that hadn’t been seen, head on over to Moon in Gemini. You’ll be amazed that you are not alone with some of them. Whew. But one thing is for sure, I need to catch up with more of these “greatest” movies I’ve never seen.

 

 

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Der Rote Baron (2008)…on this 100 Year Anniversary…

Red-baron_movie-posterI’m totally, emotionally drained. My mood is sombre. I’m quite angry…at the futility of war. It is just disgusting.

I tend to avoid watching war movies, not because I want to ignore that fact that these things happen but because I struggle to watch the atrocities, the lives being wastefully taken, the horror of it all…and the list goes on. But, as World War I ended 100 years ago today and Maddy from Maddy over at Maddy Loves Her Classic Films is hosting the World War 1 Blogathon, I decided to watch a movie I’ve long wanted to see…Der rote Baron (The Red Baron). I’ve just finished…hence my tender emotional state…but…it is an excellent movie.

The Red Baron is about the ace fighter pilot Manfred von Richthofen (superbly played by Matthias Schweighöfer) who, as a child dreams of the freedom he might find up in the air. Born into aristocracy, he has the opportunity to follow this dream and so, during The Great War, finds himself using his skills for his country. We find ourselves following his ascent to the skies in his red plane but also in his status. He is known as the Red Baron not only because of his skills and abilities but just as importantly, because of his camaraderie with those around him. Initially, this is more a game for him…a means to live out his passion for flying, he even mentions that the objective is “..to bring down aeroplanes, not men”. At the beginning of the movie the atmosphere is lighter, with our young pilots having quite a number of cocky one-liners. As our story and therefore the war progresses, von Richthofen‘s eyes are opened to reality. This largely initiated by Käte (Lena Headey), a nurse desperately helping those less fortunate on a daily basis. As more and more of his pilot friends fall from the skies it all starts hitting home.

Excellent acting from all involved…so much so that you’ll find yourself sitting there feeling the losses, the decisions, the horrors of war. Der rote Baron doesn’t give many gruesome battlefield scenes but I think the emotional ones, the conscious decisions given and orders taken, those scenes are as powerful as any. It also tends to stay away from taking any sides but rather focuses on what would have been experienced by anyone, regardless of which side they were on.

 

Written and directed by Nikolai Müllerschön, it also stars Til Schweiger, Joseph Fiennes, Maxim Mehmet, Hanno Kofler and Volker Bruch amongst others.

When watching these things, I mourn the general destruction and loss of life…not only the human ones but also that of the environment, the fauna and flora. It makes me hope like crazy that at some point someone will learn from the past so that nobody ever needs to experience something like this again.

It is only fair that we honour the real man behind the movie too (along with everyone else fallen in battle).

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For more entries to Maddy’s Blogathon head on over here.

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In a Nutshell: The Ballad of Lefty Brown (2017)

BalladLeftyBrownLefty Brown (Bill Pullman), “a man who never got anything right”, happens to be alone with his friend and partner Edward Johnson (Peter Fonda) when Edward is shot down. Lefty swears to bring the murderer/s to justice but, on returning to the Johnson ranch is accused of the heinous crime. With the help of his friends, Lefty proves that some people are not who they seem and more importantly, that he does, actually, get some things right.

Having a few shootouts, this isn’t a wild, raucous western but rather a wonderfully paced character study showing how outward appearance/behaviour is not what we should judge on and that circumstances will drive people do to anything…be it good or bad.

Bill Pullman is absolutely superb as Lefty who is by no means as incompetent as people think he is. What a brilliant piece of acting he does. Tommy Flanagan as Tom, Jim Caviezel as Jimmy and Diego Josef as Jeremiah are all Lefty’s friends, while Kathy Baker is Laura Johnson. Excellent acting all round. What a pity these type of movies don’t get a bigger audience.

Thoroughly enjoyable. Well worth the watch. And watch out for that haunting but beautiful ending song “The Ballad of Lefty Brown” by Maiah Wynne.

Notorious…my 3rd Ingrid Bergman movie

If you thought you saw this post and then it was gone (last month)…you weren’t imagining things. I was hopelessly early…so, here it is again…this time on the right dates:capture-d_ecc81cran-2018-06-03-acc80-17-37-24I have a confession to make…gosh…how do I say this…ok, the best is to just get it out there: I’ve only seen Ingrid Bergman once before (oops, I lie…twice before)…but only ever one Alfred Hitchcock movie, sometime last year. Spellbound it was. And, wait! There’s more. Uhm, I’ve never seen a single Cary Grant movie before. You’re probably shaking your head in disgust. I’ll just put it down to too many movies, too little time. But wait! That’s all being changed as we speak…yep, I’ve just started watching my second ever Hitchcock movie that has Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant starring. Impressive, huh? So now, let me go watch…

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I’ve now added to my “Seen” list. Notorious is the latest addition. I’ve also added to a genre I’m not at all familiar with…film noir. Need to find some more of this genre. And much more Ingrid Bergman.

What more can I say other than…what a wonderful actress? Here she takes on the role of Alicia Huberman, the daughter of a Nazi spy. Deemed perfect to carry out an undercover operation within a group of Nazis, she is recruited by agent Devlin (Cary Grant) who fairly quickly falls in love with her. Part of her job is to gain the trust of Alexander Sebastian (Claude Rains) who once had a crush on her, which she tells Devlin she didn’t pursue. Would you expect anything else than a love triangle with this kind of setup? All surrounded by espionage and plots.

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Ingrid Bergman comes across so natural, so convincing. She’s absolutely perfect. I have read though that she was actually very nervous and insecure during this second time working with Hitchcock but that Cary Grant was a guidance to her, thus helping her through. This quite interesting as in the movie there is also this guiding.

I’m really enjoying Ingrid Bergman’s work…the three roles of hers I’ve seen have all been great. I’m looking forward to some more….I’m tempted to do The Bells of St. Mary’s next…purely because a while back I saw a Blogathon poster with a scene from this movie and it looked wonderful.

For more Bergman, head on over to The 4th Wonderful Ingrid Bergman Blogathon here.

 

In a Nutshell: Hostiles (2017)

Hostiles_film_posterWow…Excellent…what more can I say? I’ve just finished watching Hostiles (2017) and I really am speechless…well, almost I guess. It has been absolute ages since I’ve finished watching a movie and the only thought I have is “that was brilliant”.

The story, on the surface, is rather simple: a brilliant captain is asked, no, instructed, to escort his arch nemesis home safely. That is, Christian Bale’s Captain Joseph Blocker must deal with his extreme hatred of Wes Studi’s Chief Yellow Hawk (who likewise has issues with Blocker) in order to get the ailing Chief and his family back to the Cheyenne ancestral lands. They encounter Rosalee Quad (Rosamund Pike) who has narrowly survived the massacre of her family by Comanche warriors. Naturally this adds a further dynamic to the situation. As do some other circumstances.

All masterpiece-fully (is that a word? But you know what I mean) done. The inner turmoil, the external actions, and a whole lot more (but if I mention them I’ll spoil it) are superbly portrayed by the entire cast. Oh how each and every actor/actress is absolutely perfect for their role. I’ve always enjoyed director Scott Cooper’s works…he never disappoints (well, of those I’ve seen).

This is definitely one for my collection. And will need a few more watches once I’ve had enough time to mull over my first viewing.

 

Thank You (and one more entry)- “Non-English” Language Blogathon

I’ve got another post to present to you. The entry by Silver Screen Classics has you holding your breath from tension in the French film noir, Rififi

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What a wonderful 2 days of “non-English” language movie posts we’ve enjoyed. It has been a pleasure reading all of the posts and I’m in me element with a whole stack of movies having come to my attention. So, without rambling on and on…all I want to say to the Blogathon participants, readers, likers etc is a great big…(in no particular order of language…I’ve gone totally random)

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Děkuji Aitäh Çox sağ ol אדאנק Cảm ơn bạn Daalụ Vielen Dank Gracias Þakka þér fyrir Dankie Mèsi ကျေးဇူးတင်ပါတယ် Gratias tibi Matur nuwun Salamat kea leboha Thank You Ngiyabonga Takk skal du ha Köszönöm Diolch धन्यवाद Баярлалаа

In case you missed all the wonderful posts, head on to the first day entries here and the second day ones here.

It’s Blogathon Day 2!

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Ah, the wonderful “non-English” language movies that have come my way are fantastic. That ever growing “to watch” list of mine has lengthened since yesterday. Here are some more wonderful entries…here they are. (For yesterday’s contribution, click ici (here))

Incubus Realweegiemidget Reviews introduces me to a language I honestly didn’t know existed with her review of Inkubo (Incubus), a 1966 horror movie where a language called Esperanto is spoken.
Aguirre.jpg Moon in Gemini takes us on an expedition in the Andes with her post on the 1972 movies Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes. Here a ruthless leader heads off to find a non-existent place called El Dorado in the hopes of finding riches.
FannyAlexanderjpg MovieRob gives us a multiple Oscar winner and nominated Bergman movie (including Best Foreign Language Film) with his post about siblings Fanny and Alexander in Fanny och Alexander.
La_Nuit_oscar The Wonderful World of Cinema presents La nuit américaine, a movie by Francois Truffaut about movie making with an exquisite soundtrack and clever dialogue.