Saturday, January 06, 2007

10-Second Film Reviews #21

As honest as Nick Saban but without the $32 million: it's my 10-second film reviews!

Movies I've seen this past week, along with my Netflix ratings (out of five stars):

The Trial: Orson Welles' adaptation of the Franz Kafka novel is a confusing, intriguing and ultimately adequate mystery. Anthony Perkins channels the Norman Bates character from years earlier in Psycho to effectively portray a confused, tortured young man who's accused on an unknown crime.The story, which keeps the protagonist and the audience in the dark, is fuzzy intentionally. Oftentimes the viewer has to persuade himself to deem the plot worthy of attention. The cinematography is excellent, with a handful of stunning shots and long takes that will dazzle with a majestic, Citizen Kane-esque quality. (***)

The Big Combo: Great detective flick. Fast and furious. The film doesn't have the most sympathetic characters or a highly sophisticated plot, but it'll do just fine. John Alton gives the film a sensational look. Some of the imagery is so powerful and ironic, it's the stuff of noir lore. (****)

8½: It's hard to tell when Fellini is showing a dream, fantasy or flashback. Or maybe what we see is the surreal experience called life. Regardless, this semi-autobiographical movie about a film director struggling for inspiration is one of the most exhilarating, thoughtful and magnificent movies ever. Although it's a little too long and slow at times, mesmerizes with majestic imagery and genuine dialogue. (*****)

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