The MichaelVox Movie Review Weblog
Proudly Spewing Unsolicited Film Opinion Online Since 1996
Jane Fonda. Donald Sutherland.
A policeman leaves the force to investigate the disappearance of a research scientist, and takes up with a call girl who is involved.
Fonda is great as call girl who refuses to become attached to any man. Sutherland starts out with a professional interest but then falls for Fonda. Scary. A good whodoneit.
YANKEE DOODLE DANDY
James Cagney. Walter Huston.
The life story of dancing vaudevillian George M. Cohan.
Cagney is extremely energetic playing a man I knew nothing about. I was familiar with several songs, but the film taught me about his Broadway successes. Cagney is short and sort of talks during songs, instead of singing them. He dances with his back straight and bent over and his knees unbending, then suddenly he'll begin tap dancing and his legs will appear to be made from rubber. There is more flag waving than we've seen in awhile. Corny dialogue, but pretty good performance-related storyline.
In the early 70s, an Englishwoman, who is living in Marrakesh with two young daughters, begins an affair with a local acrobat.
Winslet is so charismatic that you don't really care if the film is trying to say anything. The locations are filmed so beautifully that you want to book your flight immediately. I liked what I saw and enjoyed being there for two hours, but I'm not sure what point the film was trying to make. Winslet looks beautiful in the North African sunset.
John Cleese. Michael Palin. Sean Connery. Directed by Terry Gilliam
A schoolboy is taken through time by a group of demonic dwarfs.
Fascinating to look at, but a bit ponderous to sit through. Terry Gilliam's imagination can't be denied, but his storytelling skills could use some work.
Woody Allen. Diane Keaton. Tony Roberts. Carol Kane. Paul Simon. Shelly Duvall. Jeff Goldblum. Shelly Hack. Signorney Weaver.
Against the neuroses of New York and Los Angeles, a Jewish comedian has an affair with a midwestern girl.
Allen's best film. He used so many different ways to tell the story. Flashback, subtitles that read minds, speaking directly to camera, appearing adult in childhood flashback sequences. Pretty monumental stuff. The jokes are fast and furious and the story successfully revolves around one love affair.
LOVE AND DEATH
Woody Allen. Diane Keaton.
In 1812 Russia, a man condemned reviews the follies of his life.
Extremely funny collection of set pieces starring Woody Allen. Diane Keaton is his cousin and the object of his affection. Allen reluctantly becomes hero, even while hiding during combat. Funny and smart, but no real continuous storyline.
SHOCK CORRIDOR 1963
Directed by Sam Fuller.
A journalist gets himself admitted to a mental asylum to solve the murder of an inmate.
Vintage Fuller with trashy men and women, overacting, wacky unrelated color sequences. The cinematography is fabulous. One memorable insane character is black man who thinks he's the leader of the KKK. Fun, but a bit dated.
THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE 2000
Tammy Faye Baker. Jim Baker.
Documentary about the life and times of Televangelist Tammy Faye Baker.
I swear after watching this you'll take back all the bad things you said about her. I know I did. Imagine a movie that can make you root for one of the most humiliated women of the last 20 years. She's still wacky, but I feel like I know her better now.
AMERICAN BEAUTY 1999
Kevin Spacey. Annette Bening. Thora Birch. Mena Suvari. Wes Bender. Chris Cooper. Allison Janney.
A dying suburban husband and father reviews his life and the events that led to his murder.
Still my favorite film of 1999. Doesn't lose anything on fourth viewing. DVD transfer looks spectacular.
Geoffrey Rush. Kate Winslet. Michael Caine. Joaquin Phoenix. Amelia Warner.
Story of the last days of the Marquis de Sade as he rots in a French Asylum.
From the very first 'trick' scene, to the final out-of-breath sequences, this film rocked. Rush inhabits the role and gets to chew scenery while going slowly insane. Winslet brings enough innocense and intelligence to know a good story when she hears one. Phoenix, who frankly I've never liked, finally wins me over as an understanding priest. It was beautifully shot, the music went well with the story, there was humor and blood and lust and fakery. Ms. Warner as Caine's young bride is one of those discoveries you can't forget. I can't wait to see it again.