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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
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I am not a fan of Sergio Leone. In fact, this movie and Once Upon a Time in the West are the only movies of his that I have seen. But I think they are both classic westerns. He seems to bring out the best in his cinematographer, both for scenery and for his characters. In one review I read, he was criticized for staying with facial close-ups too long, and I would probably agree if he populated his movies with beautiful actors and actresses as many films do, but he relies heavily upon actors w

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
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Well, I wouldn’t read this review if you are a true fan of fantasy adventure epics, because I am not. Don’t get me wrong, I like this movie and have watched it a few times over the years, but I have watched (or read, for that matter) very little else in the fantasy genre. I didn’t get too far into the Game of Thrones as the violent rapes got old for me fast. So I watched this first entry of the Lord of the Rings trilogy as just a viewer, not a fan, and I liked it just fine. The complex plo

Nomadland
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I watched this because of Frances McDormand and David Strathairn, and I was surprised to find they are the only actors really. There are a lot of rolls filled by actual ca,pers and travelers. This movie is definitely a slow burner. If you aren’t used to quiet, slice of life movies , you may find it to be slow going.it is a character study, but with many characters s. A lot of people with real stories pass through the main character’s life. She helps them or they help her, and everyone moves o

News of the World
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This doesn’t happen very often, but I actually read their book this movie was based on. I enjoy both. There were a couple of changes I noticed, but I wasn’t offended by them. With one it seemed they had Captain Kidd escape a jam with a speech rather than an explosion, and it worked for me. This is a quirky western and, as such, often ridiculed by western movie fans. It isn’t a classic in my book, but if it came on while I was eating (we multi-task by combining meals with movies), I wouldn’t f

Emma.
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When I saw the previews for this latest interpretation of Jane Austen’s Emma, I envisioned a reimagining of the classic, with the plot or the setting radically changed with creative license applied liberally throughout. I was ready to not like it. But instead I discovered that wondrous creativity was launched to make small tweaks to details. There was Harriet Smith, who may have been plain, but marching here and there with her classmates, dressed in matching red dresses and large hats, provid

Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood
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I found this to be an excellent movie despite (or partly because of) major variance from the historic events it is based on. Up until watching this movie, I had just seen four Tarantino films, so I guess I am not on his bandwagon. But I really enjoyed two of them (Jackie Brown and Pulp Fiction). I can now say I liked Once Upon a Time in Hollywood just as much as I did those two movies. The dialogue is sharp and the main characters are sympathetic enough so I cared what happened to them. T

Once Upon a Time in the West
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With apologies (not really) to fans who disagree, this is truly a classic western. I read a criticism that some scenes run long with agonizingly lengthy close-ups, but I found the cinematography intriguing. Those shots divulge nearly as much into the characters' personalities as a wad of dialogue from older traditional westerns. Sometimes in a spaghetti western I find myself thinking, aw, why did that innocent person have to die, but innocents did die in the old west, I imagine. I am sure th

Greyhound
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Let this review reflects that I really enjoyed this movie. It seems a lot of war movie fans didn’t, so since I only enjoy the occasional war film, perhaps it makes sense I would like Greyhound. It is a surprisingly short movie at just over 90 minutes. Since I am a writer (though not a successful one), I can imagine the scriptwriter (wait, Tom Hanks!?) wanting to compress the action to help give the film a sense of immediacy, a pacing to match the key moments of battle. But who knows, besides

Young Frankenstein
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When I had the opportunity Ro watch this film again after decades, due to a Cloris Leachman tribute, I couldn’t resist, despite feeling there was a risk of a familiar problem: that of me not liking a program or movie as a mature adult as much as I had as a young man. I needn’t have worried. This is not Mensa material here, but it is a good example of what Mel Brooks did best, spoof movie genres or other cinematic cliches. Everyone seems to have great fun making this movie, and it shows. So

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
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Another one of those movies I first watched a few years after it came out, and just watched again this week. It is still very funny to me in many places during their adventure. Their reaction to stuff that happens is hilarious sometimes, and just the speech patterns they use is witty. Little things like referring to Joan of Arc as Miss of Arc, for example. Remiscent of the valley girl language in Clueless, not so much what happens Is funny as it is how they respond to it. It is an amusing fun r