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Film Freak - 963 Film Ratings

Member Since: May 7, 2021

Location: USA

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55 53% La vie et rien d'autre (1989) - Jun 17, 2021
"Clever screenplay and excellent performances look at the aftermath of WWI and the effects of the war on those who survived it. While dealing with a difficult topic, the film mixes in humor and human touches to add a sense of naturalism to a film philosophizing about war and loss. The direction from Tavernier doesn't rise to the level of the screenplay, but it's serviceable. Cinematography is similarly adequate. Good film for those interested in the history behind the screenplay."
60 64% A Night at the Opera (1935) - Jun 15, 2021
"Marx Brothers shift to making films as opposed to the connected series of skits that defined their time at Paramount. The result is a romantic comedy in which the brothers play to the side of the main plot. The supporting cast is filled with better quality actors giving serviceable performances as opposed to the Paramount films. The musical numbers are competent and entertaining. The Marx Brothers lose a bit of their vaudevillian vigor but settle into their roles as film stars. Funny if subdued."
75 87% Topsy-Turvy (1999) - Jun 13, 2021
"Leigh creates what's almost a documentary about something that happened a generation before motion pictures were invented. The attention to detail in every aspect of the film is astonishing. The focus on the intricacies of recreating the time period and the process of staging an operetta sometimes causes the film to lose its thematic momentum. Beautifully-performed and painstakingly-recreated, Topsy-Turvy is a love letter to Gilbert and Sullivan and the act of creating a shared work of art. "
70 83% Arabian Nights (1974) - Jun 10, 2021
"Probably the best of Pasolini's Trilogy of Life, Arabian Nights is visually ambitious in a manner keeping with his earliest films. Pasolini is uncompromising in trying to capture the sense of the source material of erotic parables dealing with love, lust, and fidelity. Odd casting choices are off-putting. The entirely-dubbed dialog might be too distracting for audiences not accustomed to it. As with all Pasolini films, Arabian Nights is a trip to another world that's challenging to enjoy."
40 25% Duck Soup (1933) - Jun 10, 2021
"Like most early Marx films, Duck Soup is less a film than a medium for the brothers to let their characters run wild. All four brothers are at the top of their game. The direction from a young Leo McCarey occasionally attempts to break from the Marx Brothers' vaudevillian blocking and delivery. Other times, it feels like one is watching a stage performance or early television show. The supporting cast is mostly forgettable, outside of fifth Marx Brother Margaret Dumont. Great for Marx fans."
65 75% House of Games (1987) - Jun 10, 2021
"Pure Mamet. Sharp dialogue. Tight plot construction. Twists. Outside of this, the filmmaking is generally pedestrian. The performances of Crouse and Mantegna tend to teeter between pretty good and slightly off. Much of this is due to the lack of chemistry between the two of them. Mantegna plays the charismatic conman well. Crouse plays the repressed compulsive with the right intensity. Yet the two together don't make for a convincing noir pair. If you like Mamet, you'll still enjoy this. "
65 75% Ray & Liz (2018) - Jun 09, 2021
"A film clearly made by a skilled photographer, the film's loosely connected vignettes don't amount to quite enough to make it a satisfying or memorable experience. Still worth watching for the detailed camera work exploring the depth of experience through powerful, textured images. While some of the images remain like Billingham's photographs, the film itself fades into a serious of shots rather than a coherent whole. "
65 75% The Manchurian Candidate (1962) - May 26, 2021
"Twisted tale that's more satirical farce than noir thriller. Frankenheimer employs a sense of strangeness in set design, camera angles, editing, and performances to hint that he's depicting a world that isn't quite right. The real world is off while the dream world is more realistic. His television background makes many shots seem claustrophobic, adding to the ongoing tension. Performances, particularly Sinatra's, teeter between melodramatic and bad-on-purpose. A head trip worth dissecting."
70 83% The Hustler (1961) - May 25, 2021
"Newman performs masterfully in a story about the line between obsession and destruction. Shufftan's cinematography uses the CinemaScope widescreen to heighten the performances of the stellar cast. Rossen's direction keeps within the Hollywood frame while letting Shufftan and the actors take flight. The screenplay is a little thin, particularly when it comes to the backgrounds and motivations of the characters, but the depth of the performances do more than compensate for those weaknesses. "
55 53% Yeelen (1987) - May 24, 2021
"Mythological tale told in a format more fitting its source than the usual Hollywood epic style. Often mesmerizing visuals of the performers and natural settings keep the viewer invested as the episodic tale unfolds. A film that honors its source and the region which spawned the tale is sometimes hamstrung by the limitations of resources available to Cisse. Worth the watch for those looking to experience a different culture through film by means of Cisse's direct approach to the source material. "