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billkerwin

Cinema Addict - 2296 Film Ratings

Member Since: Dec 18, 2009

Location: Columbus, OH, USA

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84 60% The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009) - May 23, 2010
"A personal film about an aging conjurer whose imagination is filled with marvels, but who--although he believes that the power of narrative makes the existence of the world possible--is incapable of bringing his own story to a conclusion. So it is with Gilliam, whose imagination is as enchanting as ever, but who still cannot tell a story or develop a character. In spite of this, the film is charming, Plummer and Waits are fine, and what there is of Heath Ledger's performance is very good too."
89 80% Apache (1954) - Jan 30, 2010
"Once you accept the idea of blue-eyed Lancaster and Peters as two Apaches on the run, you may find much to admire in this Aldrich film. The action scenes are good, Massai's trip through St. Louis is unique and vivid. and, although the Native Americans speak in the laconic style of old Westerns, dry humor, fierce honor and a reverence for nature reveal themselves beneath the stoicism. Besides, no Native American couple in love had ever been treated so tenderly--or so mercifully--in a Western."
98 97% Hail the Conquering Hero (1944) - Jan 05, 2010
"One of the great screen comedies. This WW II movie has perhaps the most unabashedly patriotic ending ever filmed, yet it still seems right even in this cynical age. Bracken is funny and moving, and William Demarest gives an unusually restrained performance. And don't forget boxer Freddie Steele as Bugsy, the slightly addled orphan-Marine with the mother-fixation. (I love it when the astonished Woodrow barks at Bugsy "Are you nuts?" and Bugsy pauses for a moment and answers, "Maybe.") "
91 86% Death in the Garden (1956) - Jul 22, 2011
"For the first half it is merely an elegantly directed but slow adventure flick enlivened by a few of brutal moments and the unique beauty of thirty-five-year-old Simone Signoret. Then everyone becomes stranded in the jungle, and the film becomes a dark--and rich--exploration of human character, as well as a cynical and reverent (only Bunuel could do both at once) commentary on religious belief. (There is a real serpent in this "garden," and you won't soon forget the scene where it appears!) "
100 99% Belle de jour (1967) - Mar 14, 2010
"A beautiful and enigmatic film. Surrealism in a high-class bordello . . . what could be more enticing? This is Bunuel at the the height of his powers, when--with a style as deceptively simple as Howard Hawks'--he causes the reveries and jokes of the unconscious mind to materialize within a realistic narrative as naturally and casually as the appearance of the sitcom neighbor next door. Also . . Catharine Deneuve-and this is saying a lot--has never been more beautiful. "
91 86% The Tree of Life (2011) - Jun 23, 2012
"Malick connects the infinite with the intimate, but only partially succeeds. I think he could have used more plot (just a little!) so we would know better and care more about this particular Texas family and thus feel with greater force the cosmic core of their sharply realized quotidian gestures. Still, the details haunt: each pat of father's hand, each waft of window curtain, each motherly smile, each dusty street, seems part of my childhood too, fillng me with both mortality and mystery. "
65 8% Lullaby of Broadway (1951) - Jun 28, 2011
"Weak musical suffering from the near-fatal perkiness of Day and Triola and the terminal cuddliness of Sakall. De Wolfe is good, and Nelson is okay when he dances, but the memorable thing about this movie is the doomed Gladys George in the small role of--what else?--a boozy actress on the skids. No one else played these roles with such self-awareness and intelligence and without even a hint of self-pity. She would be dead in three years of a busted liver, but a little of her magic is here."
95 94% One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) - Dec 21, 2009
"Despite a jarringly triumphant, slow-mo conclusion, this film is unusually restrained in the matter-of-fact humanism of its direction and the detailed realism of its ensemble acting. Nicholson delivers the performance of a lifetime, but it is a performance which emerges organically from a real world in a way Cool Hand Luke, with all his Hollywood Christ imagery, never could. It is a quintessentially American story viewed through a distinctively European eye, and therein lies its uniqueness. "
78 35% Blue Jasmine (2013) - Feb 23, 2014
""A Streetcar Named Desire," minus the powerful language or the tragedy. Blanchett gives the sort of studied, mannered performance that Oscar likes ("see how hard I'm working here, people!") , but Sally Hawkins and Bobby Cannavale outshine her, even though they labor under the burden of Allen's unconvincing working class dialogue."
93 91% Sahara (1943) - May 28, 2011
"If you like Westerns more than War, be sure to try this all-male "Stagecoach" in a tank: a superb action film, as well as great WW II proletarian propaganda, written by the Commie Lawson, directed by the more socially conscious Korda brother, and starring the great liberal Bogart at the top of his form. Great support from Naish, Bennett and especially Ingram, and Rudolph Mate--Dreyer's poet of the camera--makes Sand a major character here, also doing justice to Water in its cameo appearance."