Posts Tagged ‘Christopher Walken’

Adventskalender 16

Mittwoch, Dezember 16th, 2009

Click the link to open the sixteenth door. Klick auf den Link, um das sechzehnte Türchen zu öffnen.

(weiterlesen …)

Adventskalender 5

Samstag, Dezember 5th, 2009

Klick auf den Link, um das fünfte Türchen zu öffnen. Click the link to open the fifth door.

(weiterlesen …)

Catch Me If You Can – Minute Movie Review

Sonntag, November 1st, 2009

Review:

Supposedly completely true to life and at least based on reality, the film tells the story of conman Frank Abagnale, who impersonated an airline pilot, a doctor and a lawyer and all that before he was twenty-one. The film is highly entertaining with the cat and mouse game between Abagnale, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, and the FBI investigator chasing him (Tom Hanks) being the central piece to the puzzle. There is no real substance to the story and no matter how much of it is true, it feels very much like a typical Hollywood fable, but it is expertly made and solid entertainment for the running time.

Random Observations:

Catch Me If You Can at the IMDb

The film tries very hard to have some actual meaning, with both Abagnale’s father (the always amazing Christopher Walken) shown as an example of where the events would lead, as well as some preachy scenes about the nature of crimes and the eventual comeuppance, but it ultimately fails in this respect. The conman’s life simply is to entertaining, at least on film.

Directed by Steven Spielberg, who really should stick to films like these instead of making “important” films like Schindler’s List, the most overrated film of all time. Sadly, people keep telling him that he is more than an entertainment director, which is a real shame because in that category he is one of the -  if not the – best.

Annie Hall – Minute Movie Review

Donnerstag, Oktober 29th, 2009

Review:

In this pinnacle of neurotic comedies, Woody Allen once more plays himself, as the neurotic comedian who can’t commit and struggles with the relationship with the titular Annie Hall. The film is maybe Allen’s funniest film, with a lot of poignant rambling that especially pays off if you know a little about philosophy and psychoanalysis, but also some physical lowbrow humour for the rest of us. The film also illustrates the superiority of New York over California, a point that can’t be made enough. After all, who doesn’t like a dying city?

Random Observations:

Annie Hall at the IMDb

Did you catch the great Jeff Goldblum cameo as the party guest (in California, naturally) who lost his mantra?

He might be credited as Christopher Wlaken, but that was another nice performance of one of the most underrated (comic) actors of all time.

The film is usually called a departure for Woody Allen from his earlier movies (read more reviews here), but I don’t personally see the big difference. This is not supposed to be a slight, I enjoyed the film immensely, just a statement.

Minute Movie Review – Heaven’s Gate

Samstag, Mai 2nd, 2009

Review:

“Heaven’s Gate” is quite possibly the most famous film that flopped ever. And no wonder it did. With three and a half hours, it’s too long. There isn’t a single likable character in it. The acting is largely abysmal. The plot is convoluted. The whole thing is a sprawling mess. But what a beautiful mess it is! The story is quite interesting, about immigrants in the American West in 1890 that want to make a living there, but the cattle barons don’t want them there. Sure, that story could have been told just as well in 90 minutes, but often it is more interesting to see an ambitious film that turned into a fiasco than a well-made film that is just done by the book – maybe that is why “Heaven’s Gate” has recently garnered some praise among film critics.

Random Observations:

Heaven’s Gate at imdb.com

About the acting: Christopher Walken is good as usual. John Hurt is funny but not really important to the plot. Kris Kristofferson in the lead role is really the one who distracts from the film with a strong tendency to overact. And Isabelle Huppert seems most comfortable in the many gratuitous scenes she is nude in, but somewhat removed from the film in the others.

I really enjoyed Michael Cimino’s “The Deer Hunter”, the success of which allowed him to make this film. A detailed account of the many problems the production faced – mostly due to Cimino’s perverse perfectionism, can be found at numerous sources online. For an overview, just read about it in the ‘ped.

The cut I saw (and the only one available, as far as I know) is the so-called director’s cut, running 219 or 210 minutes in the US and Europe, respectively.

The film could have been a half hour shorter if it had just forgone the prologue, which in my opinion was unnecessary and didn’t contribute anything to the storyline. The epilogue, though only a few minutes long, was also not strictly necessary, although it helped to reinforce the message of the film.

My 22 Favourite Bond Films

Mittwoch, April 15th, 2009

[Editor's note: This intro is unnecessarily long and embarrassingly personal. You might just want to skip to the list, after the cut.]
When I was a young boy – maybe six to ten years old – the films about superspy James Bond were a regular feature on television. My father always watched them and whenever I could, I would watch with him, staying up well past my bedtime. I might not have understood everything that was going on – the sexual innuendo and political implications definitely were lost on me – but I understood one fundamental thing that attracted me to the franchise: That James Bond guy was really cool. Today, in an attempt to show off my expanded vocabulary, I might call him suave, charming or even sophisticated, but those words don’t quite describe how fascinated I – and millions if not billions of other people – were by his adventures.

When Goldeneye was released in 1995, after a six year hiatus, it was impossible to believe that Bond was actually on the big screen. He had become such a central television figure for me, that it took me seven more years to decide to see a Bond movie in a movie theatre. (Yes, I am aware that I am mixing British and American English. It annoys me to no end, but I have come to accept it as a slight quirk of my writing.) Nevertheless, I have always claimed that I had seen all Bond movies, but in discussions with fellow aficionados, I have lately realized that I actually remembered embarrassingly little of them.

So, in order to remedy that grave slight on my reputation as a film connoisseur, I decided to rewatch all 22 Bond films made by Eon Productions, i.e. the official Bond films. There are two more: the 1967 parody Casino Royale starring David Niven and 1983′s Never Say Never Again, a remake of Thunderball by Warner that brought back the long retired Sean Connery as Bond. These are not included in the list for the simple reason that they don’t particularly fit and I also had no desire to watch them (again) after seeing so much of Bond over the last four weeks. The following list of the movies ranks them on personal like and dislike, no matter how objective the reviews are worded. If you disagree with my assessment, you are nevertheless wrong. But I would love to tell you why if you told me which movie is much better or worse than I believe in the comments!

And now, without even further ado, the most epic post ever written for this blog! (Isn’t the list of tags impressively long?)

(weiterlesen …)

The Introduction of Theme Months

Samstag, Juni 28th, 2008

When I announced some big changes at Fabricated Truth, I was only partly kidding. In fact, I actually want to change something. Writing a short review (see my previous post “What’s in a Name” for more information) (almost) whenever I see a movie is nice, but not enough. Occasionally I feel the need to stretch my writing muscles a bit and actually write something a bit deeper and more meaningful. But what about? Truth is, I may claim to be a movie expert sometimes, but I really am not. Sure, I’ve been to the cinema a couple of times and have seen the occasional film on TV or DVD, but when it comes to real knowledge of classic cinema or something similar, I quickly must admit my ignorance.

But ignorance is not only bliss but also a chance. Admitting it is not shameful, especially not when trying to overcome it. And thus we come to the introduction of theme months. Going back to the tight schedule of December, when the bilingual Adventskalender kept me posting regularly, I will once again submit myself to self-set deadlines and try to write something more on a recurring theme. And since December is still a long way away and I am frankly quite tired of Christmas movies, (Besides, are there even 24 more worth watching?) each month will now be a theme month at Fabricated Truth. Don’t worry, I will still write and post my Minute Movie Reviews, but in addition, each month will be dedicated to a theme and see some posts related to that – maybe not every day, but at least a couple of times each week.

Themes can be basically everything. A month may be dedicated to a film maker (e.g. Woody Allen), an actor (e.g. Christopher Walken), a genre (e.g. horror), a sub-genre (e.g. slasher horror), an era (e.g. The Golden Age of Cinema), a country (e.g. Iceland) or something else entirely. I will write a short introductory text on the first of each month, detailing the theme and also outlining which particular movies will be reviewed in depth during the course of the month – and yes, this will start in July.

For most months, this will be a kind of adventure for me – writing about something I know very little about, slowly dissolving my ignorance and learning about the theme. I hope that some readers will join me in those journeys and learn about these themes together with me. Occasionally I may pretend to know everything, but it’s all just for show. Even when admitting your own ignorance, you still have to keep some face. And readers will get to keep all of theirs, using my ignorance to displace their own.

Two last issues: I’m fairly certain that most articles in this endeavour will be better written than this one. Hopefully, having a deadline, even if it is self-imposed, will stop me from writing late at night when I should really be sleeping. Blame my tiredness for this badly written piece. And also, no, I don’t have any plans to write about Woody Allen, Christopher Walken, horror movies or even slasher horror movies (whatever those might be) and I’m not sure what The Golden Age of Cinema even is. I also have never seen an Icelandic film – but maybe I’ll get around to that eventually. For July, expect some light-hearted start with a not too serious theme about which I actually know a little. More on Tuesday – I hope to see you here (figuratively speaking).