Apocalypse Now

The last time I saw “Apocalypse Now” was probably back in high-school, and it was with the Russian translation.  So I think it’s fair to say that I haven’t seen this movie until now.  I saw parodies, some scenes, and heard a lot, but I never actually sat down and watched it from beginning to end.  Until yesterday.

What can I say?  There’s probably nothing that I can say that haven’t been said about this movie already.  It is, after all, a classic.  And it’s even better in the version that I watched – digitally remastered director’s cut, lasting 3 hours and 22 minutes.

Two things that I liked about watching old films are actors and music.  Who even remembers any actors from this film, except for the Martin Sheen, who plays the main character?  He wasn’t alone there, was he?  Of course not.  Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Harrison Ford, and even a very young Laurence Fishburne are there as well.

As for the music, it was an interesting contrast.  Some pieces sound as good now as they did back then.  These include tracks by The Doors and The Rolling Stones.  Others, mostly background loops and orchestrated pieces, stand out and awake you from the view, reminding that many years passed since it was released, and that things are done differently now.

Surprisingly, the special effects, costumes, and the make-up stuff still looks nice.  There is not much action in this film, so maybe that’s why those background explosions and shooting don’t attract too much attention.

Overall, as I said, the film is a classic and a must see for anyone interested in great actors and directors, movie history, or the genre of war drama.  5 out of 5.

Crossing Over

Crossing over

Went to see “Crossing Over” in the cinema.  Not that I was particularly waiting for it or anything – it’s just that there isn’t much else too see these days, and a duo of Harrison Ford and Ray Liotta in the same film sounded a tiny bit interesting.

The film turned out to be pretty average.  There was a lot of good acting, but the script and directing just weren’t up to the par.  Multiple main characters, each with his own life, all getting connected to each other the closer the movie went to the end, plus a social problem of immigration being so hot in the USA, these all reminded me of another movie.  It’s surprising how similar this film is to “Crash“.    But comparing it to “Crash” doesn’t do it any good either.

The story lacks depth and detail.  People often behave in weird waves and no explanation is given.  Or, when given, it often is unbelievable.  There were suposed to be a lot of drama, but the story not having enough depth, all drama turns into depressive non-stop crying.  And what’s more disappointing, after bringing up attention to a serious issue, the film fails to make any points at all, or leave any food for thought.

As I said, good acting minus good directing and holes in the story make up for an average film.  Rating – 3 stars, average.

Addendum for those who saw the movie.  Scene in the supermarket with four out five robbers shot.  Do you still wonder what happened?  He got out of bullets.   Scene with the singing of the national anthem – that was a joke from the editors, which was added after the final cut.  Just kidding.  Both times.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

I’ve heard a few negative reviews of the “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull“, so I wasn’t particularly rushing to see it.  I have the box set DVD collection of all previous Indy films and I’ve seen them a few times by now – they are good, but the age shows.  I like them, but you can’t call me a fan yet.  With that, I went to the movies today.

I have to say that I really enjoyed the film.  It was in exactly the same style as previous ones, but a bit refreshed.  I think it feels exactly like the other ones felt back when they were just released.  However if this film was shown 20 years ago, it would have blown the minds of a much wider audience.

In short, the film has everything it should have had – Spielberg’s directing, Ford’s acting, tonnes of action, a quest for something cool, much greater scale than anybody can imagine, and a few jokes here and there.  Good value for money and not a time waster.

One thing that I particularly liked, how it was done for the PG-13 rating.  There is a lot of action and a lot of people get killed in a lot of different ways, but there is no focus on that.  There is not much blood or suffering.  The scariest of the dead bodies are in bones, all over catacombs full of treasure – something you can’t take away from an adventure movie.  Family-friendly and kids-recommended.

Overall, quality entertainment.  8 out of 10.

American Graffiti

American Graffiti (1973)American Graffiti” – one of the missing pieces in my movie watching history. Not anymore.

Directed by: George Lucas
Genres: Comedy, Drama
Cast: Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Charles Martin Smith, Cindy Williams, Candy Clark, Mackenzie Phillips, Wolfman Jack, Bo Hopkins, Manuel Padilla Jr., Beau Gentry, Harrison Ford, Jim Bohan, Jana Bellan, Deby Celiz
IMDB raintg: 7.6
My rating: 6.0 ******

Continue reading “American Graffiti”

The Patriot Games

Watched “Patriot Games” on DVD. This is a really good action movie. The old type of action, though. The kind where bad guys piss off the good guy, shoot him, threaten his family, etc, and than this good guy stands up and goes to kick some bad guy’s butt.

Apart from being very predictable and going along the usual lines, this film is very good. It has a good story, wraps everything around CIA and politics, which looks very timely, has a bunch of celebraties (Harrison Ford, Sean Bean, Samuel L. Jackson, James Earl Jones) and it does provide for a good entertainment.

I’ll rate this film as 7 out of 10 as it is everything it was supposed to be. Worth a rent surely.

Hollywood Homicide

Watched “Hollywood Homicide” on DVD. It was written “Hot Action Comedy” on the cover. Well, in reality it was neither of three. It was a rather boring slow movie which seemed more like a tribute to Harrison Ford‘s Indiana Jones days. All escense of the movie is wonderfully collected in the trailer that I’ve seen in the movies. All action, story, and jokes are there.

It was much more boring in the movie itself. 5 or so jokes for 2 hours of no action is boring. There is one long chase closer to the end of the film, but it becomes very long over nothing which makes it boring too. Watch this film only if you have 2 hours that you are prepared to throw out of your life. ;)