Oscar Nominee for Best Cinematography
Oscar Nominee for Best Foreign Language Film
Palme d’Or Winner at Cannes Film Festival
A very strange and long movie about two stage brothers as they ascend the steps to stardom in the Chinese opera circuit and encounter love and government opposition along the way. The film is gorgeously shot and acted but I just couldn’t get into the story as much as I thought I should given its credentials. I think I just find that part of Asian culture too strange for my tastes. It’s a very well made film though full of backstabbing, political conflict, subtle homosexuality, and a very fitting yet tragic ending. If you can sit through the three hours and like these sort of dramas, I’d say go for it.
It’s been six years since this film was made and it’s looking a lot like this is going to be the amazing Peter O’Toole’s last leading role but what a way to end a fantastic career. The film was pretty good. It revolves around Maurice who is played by O’Toole who is a very old man trying to find something important in his life again and happens to find it in the form of his friends 19 year old niece. This sentence alone defines creepy old man and when it is all said and done, it really is creepy as shit, but damn it to hell if O’Toole doesn’t make you want to hang out with him every day. The film turned out to very funny, mostly because Peter O’Toole and his co-stars are hilarious old British people. The scenes in the diner with O’Toole, Leslie Phillips, and the late Richard Griffiths were hysterical. The film also has some nice moments of sad to go along with the funny. Ultimately the film balances a great line of awesome/heartbreaking Peter O’Tool, sadness from seeing old people go about their daily lives, and a morally sound notion that sometimes people can fall in love with a person regardless of age.
Like most horror films pre-1940, you have to take the good with the “oh my god who made this” bad. This film staring the late great Bela Lugosi has both of these things. First off the acting besides the always sinister and foreboding Lugosi is horrible. I mean it’s MST3K horrible. The film however has a great musical score puncuated by some impressive makeup work and creepy sets. I just wish the film was more enjoyable on a plot level although there were some nice little moments of dread. The film also unofficially holds the title of first Hollywood production of anything zombie like so it’s really a history watch for me. There’s nothing wrong with watching this film, just don’t expect much.
This film from 1948 stars the always amazingly English Rex Harrison. That’s Dr. Doolittle by the way folks. Harrison plays himself and by that I mean he plays an upscale English snob named Alfred De Carter who has been told by a private investigator that he didn’t even hire that his wife has been cheating on him, played by the lovely Linda Darnell who isn’t as English. Harrison then decides he’s going to murder her but starts to envision other things as he writes his symphonies. Oh, I didn’t tell you he was a composer? Well I saved you from English snobby overload. I actually liked the film and am a fan of Rex Harrison even though I find him to be one chips short of a codpiece. I have no idea what that means. The film is extremely quirky for its time and relies on a great performance by Harrison.