Film Review : Some Came Running (1958)

IMDB Score – 7.4
Rotten Tomato Score – 78%

Academy Award Nominations
Best Actress – Shirley MacLaine
Best Supporting Actor – Arthur Kennedy
Best Supporting Actress – Martha Hyer
Best Costume Design
Bet Original Song

Directed By – Vincente Minnelli
Starring – Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Shirley MacLaine, Arthur Kennedy, Martha Hyer

Dave Hirsch, a writer and army veteran, returns to 1948 Parkman, Indiana, his hometown. His prosperous brother introduces him to Gwen French, a local teacher. But the more flamboyant Ginny has followed him to Parkton, where he also meets gambler Bama Dillert. Dave must come to terms with his roots and with his future.

This film is a bit of a unique monster that took me by surprise. The beginning was a bit boring, the middle was hilarious, and the end was a total shift in narrative but it all seemed to flow into one overall enjoyable and entertaining film. This is also the fist film I’ve seen with Frank Sinatra where I actually paid attention the entire way through. I wasn’t a fan of the original Oceans 11. It’s a film that took the Academy Awards by surprise with three acting nominations and two more to bring a total of five. Yes, I know math as well.

What I liked…

It had a strong cast. Shirley MacLaine is amazing in this film and is further proof that during the late 50s and early 60s there wasn’t a more electrifying actress than her. She was funny and heartbreaking all wrapped up in this little annoying but endearing fool of a girl. It was a great character. Sinatra and Dino were charming as well and the rest of the cast held their own. I also liked the camera work from Minnelli. There were a lot of great shots as it seemed like he was discovering color for the first time and was in awe of what he could do with it. There were also great stand alone scenes, mostly involving MacLaine, but it seemed like everybody in the cast got at least one great moment.

What I didn’t like…

I just thought the ending was a bit rushed. Without spoiling the film, it seemed like they didn’t know whether they wanted a happy ending or a sad ending so we kind of got both although most would find the ending depressing. It just didn’t flow at all with the entire rest of the film. The beginning took a while to get going and there were unsolved issues throughout. It was really a weak script with instances of great dialogue.

The acting and the sporadic great scenes are enough to really enjoy this film though. It’s a lesser watched film that deserves to have recognition.

3.5/5



October Watch List

I need to write more on this site other thank film reviews and a few trailers so I’m going to make an effort to make this a monthly thing. These are all films to be released in October that should require your viewing. Some will be lower budget films but there’s going to be some bigger name films on here as well. It’s autumn, which means films are going to start coming out that will be featured in this year Academy Awards. It should also give you an idea or blueprint if you will of what to see in the next 30 days.

October 4th

By now you’ve heard that Alfonso Cuarón, visionary director and overall awesome dude, is coming out with his first film in six years. It’s about damn time. Children of Men is a marvel of a film. Even if you don’t like the story or found the ending to be a bit weak, there is no doubt in the wonder of the direction Cuarón displayed in that film. I’m going to be watching “Y Tu Mamá También” this week in preparation. It’s a film he received his first Oscar nomination for original screenplay. If this film is as good as the early reviews claim then I think he might be getting some more award recognition come March.

October 11th

The film recently received a standing ovation at the New York Film Festival. That’s a good sign. The film covers the real life event of a American kidnapping at sea by Somali pirates. The film will feature real Somali actors and supposedly Tom Hanks’s strongest role of his career. I’m not sure about that last statement as I can’t imagine him outdoing what he gave in Cast Away. The film is also directed by Paul Greengrass who gave us two Bourne movies, United 93, and the criminally under seen Bloody Sunday.

October 11th

The film is going to be interesting. Film in Disneyland and Disneyworld without their permission, it’s a film that as described by the trailer probably won’t ever happen again. For that reaso alone I’m going to seek this out and watch it. I love unique films and this is going to be one of the most unique films ever created just due to how it was filmed.

October 16th

I’m a big Dane Dehaan fan. I think the kid has some serious acting chops and while Harry Potter is also in this (I wasn’t to fond of this last film Woman in Black because frankly he was horrible) it should be an interesting look at the true story of murder within the beatnik generation. Plus Michael C. Hall is in this and the dude is great as…wait, WAS great as Dexter.

October 18th

There really isn’t much to be said about this film. Steve McQueen who gave us Shame and Hunger casts his best friend and best actor working today Michael Fassbender in this film about the life of Solomon Northup, a free man who was abducted and sold into slavery. It’s going to be powerful. It’s going to be gut wrenching. It’s going to be amazing. Expect an Oscar nomination for Chiwetel Ejiofor.

October 18th

Nothing but Robert Redford for 100 minutes as he tries to survive at see after his boat wrecks? Sign me up. I love Robert Redford and am glad to see him back to starring in hopefully great cinema. This is also J.C Chandler’s follow up to his Oscar nominated Margin Call. Should be great.

October 25thRidley Scott finally has a great writer to team up with his unique style of direction. Cormac McCarthy writes this film that also stars Michael Fassbender and features Javier Bardem in another film where has had a flat out horrible haircut. I sear every time he plays a villain he has a horrible haircut. Hopefully Cameron Diaz doesn’t ruin this with her horrible acting.

Film Review : Amour (2012)

IMDB Score – 7.8
RT Score – 93 %

Academy Award Winner for Best Foreign Language Film
Academy Award Nominee for Best Director, Best Actress, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Picture
Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or Winner

…and there I sat staring at my television.

This is the third time this has happened to me after viewing one of Michael Haneke’s films. The other two films being Cache and The Piano Teacher. This film however left a different lasting effect on me. The film tells the story of an elderly couple trying to get through life after after Anne, played stunningly by Emmanuelle Riva, suffers a stroke. Jean-Louis Trintignant gies a tour de force portrayal as Anne’s husband Georges who now has to care for her.

Like most of Haneke’s films, there really isn’t a lot to say about Amour. His films are the essence of emotion for me. He may just be the best director living today. I’m a self acclaimed Paul Thomas Anderson fanboy but I can’t possibly choose between the two. They are different and yet make films that leave such a lasting impression on the viewer. Amour is exactly about the films title, love. Riva and Trintignant put entire lifetimes worth of experiences and emotions into their characters and it’s absolutely heartbreaking to see them together. I’ve always been able to forget that what I’m seeing on the screen is a film and tell myself not to be too upset or angry with the people I’m watching, but it was hard with this one. The realism just seeps through and as a person with a grandfather going through the exact same thing Anne was going through in the film, it was a tough but important watch.

This is an important film. It’s a complete portrayal of the bounds humans go through to care for the people they love. Haneke holds nothing back. It’s a personal film unlike any other really. I’m actually happy this film lost the Best Picture award to Argo last year because this film really wasn’t in the same league as the others. It’s a film that requires patience and a strong will to get through but rewards the viewer with such a real experience into what thousands of people go through every day. How can you compare that to films about a tiger in a boat or a murderous slave hellbent on revenge?

You just can’t.

5/5



Film Review : The Third Man (1949)

IMDB Score – 8.4
RT Score – 100%

Academy Award WINNER for Best Cinematography
Academy Award Nominee for Best Director (Carol Reed)
Academy Award Nominee for Best Editing

IMDB TOP 250 – #76

Ahhh, Noir. It’s a genre I haven’t quite tackled as much as I would like too but this is certainly a great example of how good a Noir film can be. The film revolves around Holly Martins, a mystery novelist who travels to Vienna to see his friend Harry Lime. Upon arrival he finds out Lime was killed in an accident but the evidence doesn’t sit well with Martins. The film progresses as Martins tries to find out what really happened.

I’m going to get my only gripe with the film out of the way now. The music. The film had this weird carnival music in the background of a film that was actually very dark in subject matter. It wasn’t enough to take me out of the movie but it just didn’t fit with me. The mystery of what happened to Harry Lime is a good one. The viewer generally doesn’t know why the pieces don’t fit and in my case, was very interested in seeing Martins piece them together. Orson Wells, who plays Harry, dominates the entire film even though he is barely in it. It’s an iconic role for somebody with such little screen time. Reminded me a little of Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs. The whole movie revolves around a character who is barely present. The visuals in The Third Man were also very nice and got really stunning as the film progressed. Overall it was a fantastic Noir film that will probably catapult me into the genre a bit more.

4.5/5

Film Review : A Passage to India (1984)

(This trailer is fan made I think)

IMDB Score – 7.3
RT Score – 85%

Academy Award Wins
Best Supporting Actress – Peggy Ashcroft
Best Original Score

Academy Award Nominations
Best Picture
Best Director – David Lean
Best Actress – Judy Davis
Best Set Direction
Best Costume Design
Best Cinematography
Best Sound
Best Costume Design
Best Adapted Screenplay

For a film with so many Oscar nominations and an accomplished director in David Lean (Lawrence of Arabia/Bridge of a River Kwai), I expected a bit more than what I got. The movie was beautiful to look at but I just couldn’t really keep up with the lackluster pace and found myself eager for it to end. There was some overacting from the Indian actors and Alec Guinness played a strange character. I just found it pretty dull but still very colorful and nice to look at.

2.5/5