Posts Tagged ‘Michael Caine’

The Quiet American – Minute Movie Review

Dienstag, Mai 4th, 2010

Review:

In 1952 Saigon, quiet American Brendan Fraser is murdered. His friend, the British journalist Michael Caine, reflects on their unlikely friendship and their shared love for the same Vietnamese woman while the French colonial power in the country collapses. Based on the novel, the film is an exploration of love and friendship in the face of politics and war. The story is intriguing and well told, but suffers somewhat from the friendship between the two men never being sufficiently explained. Nevertheless, it is a film well worth watching.

Random Observations:

The Quiet American at the IMDb

This is the second adaptation of Graham Greene’s 1955 book. The first was made in 1958 by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, starring Michael Redgrave.

The film was shot on location in Vietnam and in a studio in Australia, financed by German investors and distributed by an American studio. I’m pretty sure that makes it a French film.

The score by Craig Armstrong is simply superb. Apparently, Caine insisted on Armstrong before signing onto the film.

What is it with death scenes at the beginning of films? Why are so many stories that end with a main character dying told as a flash back? I always feel it lessens the impact, especially when it is murder. After all, this is not the story of the investigation.

First entry in “Western Asian Week” – European or American films set in Asia. Expect two more such films!

The Man Who Would Be King – Minute Movie Review

Freitag, März 19th, 2010

Review:

Two former sergeants in the British Army in India decide to stay there and try their luck with a series of frauds. Their latest idea: march to Kafiristan and conquer it with 20 guns by showing the people their superiority. Once one of them is King, take the treasure back to England to become rich. Naturally, things don’t quite work out this way, but the adaptation of a short story by Rudyard Kipling is surprising in how it doesn’t work out. The film, finally made in 1975 after many unsuccessful attempts, works largely due to a larger-than-life tale and two lead actors that ooze charisma and easy-going joy, Sean Connery and Michael Caine. An entertaining adventure movie of the kind that are just not made anymore.

Random Observations:

The Man Who Would Be King at the IMDb

The story is told as a flashback by a slightly older and much prematurely aged Caine, who, in his aged voice, sounds exactly like he regularly sounds today. Quite amazing.

The first idea of director John Huston was to make the film in the 1950s with Clark Gable and Humphrey Bogart. Later the idea resurfaced several times, with Robert Redford and Paul Newman attached at one point. It was Newman who then suggested Connery and Caine.

In many ways, the film is also a condensed portrayal of European (or more specifically British) colonialism.

The Weather Man – Minute Movie Review

Samstag, Oktober 24th, 2009

Review:

Nicolas Cage has the perfect life. A job that means two hours of work a day. A generous salary. The chance of an even better (paid) job. A nice car. A nice apartment. But his private life is falling apart. His wife has left him, he can’t relate to his children and his Pulitzer Prize winning father thinks he is a disappointment. What is the perfect material for a dark comedy in the vein of About Schmidt – which I mention because the comparison is often made – fails miserably both as a drama about a mid-life crisis and even more as a comedy. Instead of making one laugh, the film makes one feel uncomfortable, which is clearly not intended. A promising premise and two good scenes are not enough to make this film worth watching.

Random Observations:

The Weather Man at the IMDb

Both Michael Caine and Nicholas Hoult acted quite well in the film, but did not manage to sound American. Very British the both of them.

Remember to vote in the epic search for Nicolas Cage’s Last Good Film!

I was tempted to see this film by the scene in the trailer where Nicolas Cage walks around New York, carrying a bow and arrows. I should have known that was not enough reason to watch a film.

The Ten Best Movies of 2008

Mittwoch, Januar 7th, 2009

Everybody loves Top Ten Lists, right? You can never get enough of them, correct? If you read one to the end, you want nothing more than start looking at the next one, or am I wrong? In any case, I like Top Ten (or basically any other number) Lists. I know they are silly and arbitrary and highly subjective, but they are still fun – even if one just reads them to poke fun at the author(s). So to start my own habitual list-making off, I hereby offer you the TEN BEST MOVIES OF 2008!

(weiterlesen …)

Minute Movie Review – Batman Begins

Donnerstag, März 20th, 2008

Review:

After 1997′s “Batman & Robin“, a successful comic book movie franchise was dead – and rightfully so. But in 2005, Christopher Nolan, the acclaimed director of “Memento” and “The Prestige“, revived it. Deciding to start all over, he tells the story of how Bruce Wayne, a billionaire, became Batman, the darkest of popular comic book superheroes. A brooding tale of revenge, Batman Begins actually focuses on story-telling and character development – and it does so extremely well. With a stellar cast (Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy…) and a brilliant director, those parts work extremely well. The action sequence, who here are supposed to be the icing on the cake instead of being the entire cake as is usual for blockbuster movies, don’t work quite so well. Nevertheless, as far as popular comic book adaptations go, there is none better.

Random Observations:

Batman Begins at imdb.com

The obligatory sequel, The Dark Knight, will be released this summer. And it certainly looks as if it could really get the whole franchise running again. Katie Holmes has been replaced with Maggie Gyllenhaal (who can actually act) and Heath Ledger will star in his second-to-last performance and the one he himself said he was most proud of as the Joker.

Compared to other movies in this genre (the earlier Batman films, Spiderman and so on), this one sets a new standard for gritty realism. Batman is not a superhero because of special powers, but because he wants to revenge his parents’ murder and do something good in the world. His opponents aren’t caricatures with “magical” weapons, but instead very real humans with very real ways of hurting people. Sure, you sometimes have to suspend your disbelief in this movie, but not to the same extent usually necessary.

Minute Movie Review – Children of Men

Montag, März 3rd, 2008

Review:

In 2027, humanity is on the brink of collapse. The last child was born 18 years ago – and recently killed when he refused to sign autographs. In Britain, all immigrants are rounded up to leave the country. Theo wouldn’t care all that much – but when his ex-wife asks for his help, he is suddenly drawn into protecting a girl that just might spell hope for mankind. A gripping science-fiction thriller, with the always-cool Clive Owen in the lead role and a great supporting cast, the movie is both fascinating and deeply thought-provoking – and what else can one really ask for? There is a reason many critics considered this 2006′s best movie.

Random Observations:

Children of Men at imdb.com

It’s actually been two weeks since I saw this movie, so please excuse the complete absence of random observations. They usually don’t stay in my mind for that long.

Minute Movie Review – The Prestige

Montag, Januar 7th, 2008

Review:

The Prestige tells the story of two rival magicians in the late 19th Century. But their rivalry isn’t confined to the stage when one causes the other’s wife’s death during a show. For the rest of their life, both are driven to beat the other one. The movie by Christopher Nolan has some similarities to the movie that made him famous, Memento. But not only the twist at the end makes this movie worth watching, the performance by leads Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman is incredible and David Bowie as Nicola Tesla is an interesting casting choice. However, do not just expect a period picture, but a science-fiction part as well or you might be as disappointed by the end as I was.

Random Observations:

The Prestige at imdb.com

The real problem of this movie is that it is not just a fictional story, but a story that is so fictional that you know that it not only didn’t happen, but also never could have happened. In general, that is not necessarily bad, but if you think until almost the finish that it all could have happened, you feel somewhat cheated, especially since the movie is really good apart from that.

Scarlett Johansson has a role in this movie and while it is quite easy to say that she has never really tried her best since “Lost in Translation“, her performance here is truly dreadful.

For all you Gollum fans, this movie gives you the chance to see Andy Serkis as a “normal” actor.