five star movie tagged posts

Criterion Collection: The Fisher King

Director: Terry Gilliam

Writer: Richard LaGravenese

Cast: Jeff Bridges, Robin Williams, Mercedes Ruehl, Amanda Plummer

Cert: 15

Running time: 137mins

Year: 1991


Film: medium_5
Extras:
medium_5


What’s the story: Radio shock jock Jack Lucas (Bridges) falls into suicidal depression after his on-air remarks spark a tragic incident. He seeks redemption in helping Parry (Williams), a manic homeless man caught up in the event Jack inadvertently caused.

What’s the verdict: A welcome Criterion Collection release of Terry Gilliam’s romantic fairytale that doesn’t forget to add a generous pinch of the Grimm stuff.

Wounded by the difficult production of 1988’s The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, the vagaries of Hollywood saw Gilliam returning three years later to Columbia, the studio that unceremoniously d...

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Criterion Collection: Les Diaboliques (1955)

Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot

Writer: Henri-Georges Clouzot, Jérôme Géronimi (screenplay), René Masson, Frédéric Grendel (collaboration), Pierre Boileau, Thomas Narcejac (novel)

Cast: Vera Clouzot, Simone Signoret, Paul Meurisse

Cert: 12

Running time: 117 mins

Year: 1955


Film: medium_5
Extras:


What’s the story: Christina (Clouzot), the frail owner of a large French school, lives in fear of her husband, school director M. Delassalle (Meurisse). Together with Delassalle’s mistress Nicole (Signoret), Christina plots her husband’s murder. But, killing him could be the beginning of more trouble…

What’s the verdict: One of cinema’s great shockers, after more than sixty years Les Diaboliques (aka The Fiends or The Devils depending on which print you’re watching) is yet to creak.

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Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review: 12 Angry Men

Director: Sidney Lumet

Writer: Reginald Rose

Cast: Henry Fonda, Lee. J Cobb, E.G. Marshall, Jack Warden, Joseph Sweeney, Ed Begley, George Voskovec, Martin Balsam, John Fielder, Jack Klugman, Edward Binns, Robert Webber

Cert: U (extras PG)

Running time: 96 mins

Year: 1957


Film: medium_5
Extras:
medium_5


What’s the story: 11 men on a jury believe a young man guilty of first degree murder, for which he’ll receive the death penalty. One juror has doubts.

What’s the verdict: When weather turned bad on location for She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, an assistant to director John Ford asked what could they shoot now. Ford replied, “…the most interesting and exciting thing in the world: a human face.”

12 Angry Men boasts a gallery of interesting, exciting faces. And not just the jurors’...

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Blu-ray Review: The Life of Oharu

Welcome to Cinematic Greens

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi

Writer: Kenji Mizoguchi, Yoshikata Yoda (screenplay), Saikaku Ihara (novel)

Cast: Kinuyo Tanaka, Toshiro Mifune

Cert: PG

Running time: 137 mins

Year: 1952


Accolades:
1952 Venice Film Festival
International Award

Electric Shadows rating: medium_5
Criterion Extras: medium_3


What’s the story: In 17th century Japan, noblewoman Oharu is exiled from Kyoto for the crime of loving someone belonging to a lower caste, beginning a lifelong struggle against misfortune.

What’s the verdict: Winner of the International Award at 1952’s Venice Film Festival, The Life of Oharu proved Japanese cinema did not start and stop with Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon, grand prize winner at Venice a year before.

Where Rashomon was kinetic and visceral, The Life of Oharu was c...

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Blu-Ray Review: Fright Night (1985)

Director: Tom Holland

Writer: Tom Holland

Cast: William Ragsdale, Chris Sarandon, Roddy McDowall, Amanda Bearse, Stephen Geoffreys, Jonathan Stark

Cert: 18

Running time: 106 mins

Year: 1985


Film:medium_5
Extras: medium_5


What’s the story: High school student Charley Brewster is convinced his new, debonair next door neighbor Jerry Dandridge is a vampire. Can he make anyone believe him before it’s too late?

What’s the verdict: Ah, the 1980s. When vampires were monsters and vampire films had sexual subtext without a glaze of wan-faced mopiness.

Released in 1985, a now-unthinkable time when vampires were passé and slasher movie villains sat astride the horror throne, little was expected of Tom Holland’s Fright Night...

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Blu-Ray Review: Lone Wolf and Cub Box Set

Director: Kenji Misumi (films 1-3 & 5), Buichi Saito (film 4), Yoshiyuki Kuroda (film 6)

Writer: Kazuo Koike (screenplay), Kazuo Koike, Goseki Kojima (manga)

Cast: Tomisaburô Wakayama, Tokio Oki, Minoru Ôki, Tatsuo Endo, Go Kato, Isao Kimura, Yuko Hamada, Michi Azuma, Tomomi Sato, Akihiro Tomikawa

Cert: 18

Running time: 506 minutes (6 films)

Year: 1972-1974

  • Sword of Vengeance (1972)
  • Baby Cart at the River Styx (1972)
  • Baby Cart to Hades (1972)
  • Baby Cart in Peril (1972)
  • Baby Cart in the Land of Demons (1973)
  • White Heaven in Hell (1974)

Films: medium_5
Extras:


What’s the story: A ronin, a masterless samurai, pushes his three-year-old son around Japan in a wooden baby cart, seeking vengeance on those who killed his wife and clan.

What’s the verdict: We’re talking six films here (and spi...

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Get Out

Director: Jordan Peele

Writer: Jordan Peele

Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford, Betty Gabriel, Marcus Henderson, Lil Rey Howery, Caleb Landry Jones

Cert: 15

Running time: 104mins

Year: 2017


medium_5


What’s the story: Professional photographer Chris is a young African-American antsy about meeting his white girlfriend’s family for the weekend. She dismisses his concerns, but is the weird atmosphere at their country home just a product of his nervous imagination?

What’s the verdict: Jordan Peele, one half of so-good-it-hurts comedy duo Key & Peele, makes a killer directorial debut with Get Out. A comedy horror that is so good… and hurts.

Peele sets the tone from the off...

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Blu-Ray Review: Mildred Pierce (1945)

Director: Michael Curtiz

Writer: Ranald MacDougall

Cast: Joan Crawford, Ann Blyth, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott, Bruce Bennett, Jo Ann Marlowe

Cert: PG

Running time: 111mins

Year: 1945


Film: medium_5 

Extras:


What’s the story: A murder investigation delves deep into the life of Mildred Pierce, a woman who has struggled for years to provide a better life for her children.

What’s the verdict: An irresistible puzzle, wrapped inside in a 1940s Woman’s Film and garbed in film noir finery, Mildred Pierce may be 77 years old, but she’s aging beautifully.

Based on the novel by James M. Cain, famed for works such as The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity, and directed by Casablanca helmer Michael Curtiz, the movie nonetheless belongs to Joan Crawford.

Curtiz hated the idea of casti...

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Jackie (2016)

Director: Pablo Larraín

Writer: Noah Oppenheim

Cast: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Billy Crudup, Greta Gerwig, John Hurt, John Carroll Lynch, Caspar Phillipson

Cert: 15

Running time: 100mins

Year: 2016


medium_5


What’s the story: Weeks after the assassination of President John F Kennedy, a journalist (Crudup) is granted an interview with Jacqueline Kennedy (Portman), who recalls moments of her life as First Lady.

What’s the verdict: From the opening close-up of Natalie Portman’s pinched, pale face and the strings of Mica Levi’s woozy score, it is clear Jackie aims for something beyond a standard soup-to-nuts biopic.

Director Pablo Larraín (who had a better 2016 than most with this and Neruda) and writer Noah Oppenheim (a long way from his scripts for Allegiant and The Maze Runner) con...

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Blu-Ray Review: His Girl Friday

His-Girl-Friday---Criterion-Collection-coverDirector: Howard Hawks

Writer: Charles Lederer (screenplay), Ben Hecht, Charles MacArthur (play)

Cast: Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy, Helen Mack, Joe Qualen

Cert: U

Running time: 92mins

Year: 1940


Film: medium_5

Extras: medium_5


What’s the story: Ruthless newspaper editor Walter Burns (Grant) schemes to keep his ex-wife and best reporter Hildy Johnson (Russell) from marrying new fiancé Bruce (Bellamy).

His-Girl-Friday---Cary-Grant,-phoneHis-Girl-Friday---Cary-Grant,-Rosalind-Russell

What’s the verdict: Renowned as the archetypal screwball comedy, 76 years on from its original release His Girl Friday remains sparkling and surprisingly relevant. With a few wince-inducing comments that betray its age.

On the surface this is the madcap rom-com territory Howard Hawks previously traversed to great effect in 1934’s Twentieth Century and Bringing Up Baby four years later...

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