galaxywest

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Reviews

The Prisoner: Living in Harmony
(1967)
Episode 13, Season 1

Well,,,
It was a good idea but the big question is this: They use the word "hallucination" after No. 6 wakes up (at the end) to explain it but the Western Town was there -- it existed -- it wasn't an "hallucination." So all that was needed was to set up the story for us, the viewers, so that we can enjoy No. 6 in this Western situation. A little kidnap, common enough in the village, an injection, also common, and then No. 6 wakes up the sheriff of Harmony. Get some good existential vibes going and maybe some attempt while No. 6 is there to get that "info" out of his head and there'd be a good story told. It was, instead, No. 6 "in the West" and non stop clichés.

The Ninth Gate
(1999)

Well done — and looks good, too.
First I'll say a few words about the "looks good" in the title. Movies these days are so DARK. It's as if there's a new rule — every room must be dark. So I don't watch movies made these days. I've never been in a room where I can't see the wall — or barely. But nearly all movies these days have rooms where I can't see the wall. Stupid. Or rooms with lights in places where no room in the known universe HAS a light. OK. That's all about that.

The Ninth Gate is a good movie with an old Europe feel and an occult slant. You don't have to believe to like this movie, though, and the action is minimal. It's just a good, unique, mystery and a story that keep's you involved in what is going on. Roman Polanski is a director. By that I mean, there a lot of so and so's posing as directors these days in the movies and on TV. The best thing, they say, you can say about a director is: "I didn't realize that he/she (the director) was there." (Today's directors work very hard to tell the audience that they are there.)

Lewis: Expiation
(2007)
Episode 3, Season 1

The script is So Bad.
C'mon. This is really so poorly written that it's laughable. There is absolutely no "unfolding" of a plot whatsoever, just gibberish until the end when it's, "well, he/she did it." Oh, OK. In Morse there was brilliant writing with believable characters, dark old secrets that were revealed intelligently and an ending that made you feel like you'd spent 100 minutes on something worthwhile. And then there's Superintendent Innocent who is some kind of unnecessary cranky middle-aged nincompoop or something -- it's: "let's have an interfering superior like the American shows do" by the producers. Zero subtlety and zero caring about anything that's going on. What a waste of talent -- all done in by silly drivel writing.

Gravity
(2013)

Gravity's Big Miss was Important
It's "big miss" is the already admitted impossible "let go" of George Clooney's character Kowalski by Sandra Bullock's Character Dr. Stone. (When Dr. Stone let's go of Kowalski's hand Kowalski would not have floated off into the wild black yonder, he would have stayed exactly where he was. And, in fact, there was no reason to let go of Kowalski's hand -- all she needed to do was pull him back to the tether line ... because he's weightless. It seems that it's no big deal to the people who like this film a lot. Well, I liked the movie too but there are a lot of other ways that Kowalski could have "died" in the movie and any one of them would not have been as dumb as the one they used. (What if in "Gone with the Wind" Scarlett floated down the staircase instead of walking down the staircase.) But ... since this is a space movie such a dumb impossibility is forgiven.

Hôrô-ki
(1962)

Hideko Takamine is Amazing
How is it possible that Hideko Takamine can transform herself into this character so easily? My answer is that she was, 100%, an actress of heart. (Unlike so many Japanese actors and actresses these days who can only make faces.) And she does great things with her heart. She was by far one of the most talented actresses in the 20th century not only in Japan but anywhere. After playing several of Fumiko Hayashi's characters, Deko-Chan plays Fumiko Hayashi herself in Hourou-ki. And it is amazing to watch. From the beginning of the movie there is a deep sadness on Fumiko's face; and even when she is expressing other emotions in the movie, that sadness is still there in her face — it never goes away. Wow. I think that unlike most actors and actresses Hidoko Takamine can completely transform herself into her character; erase herself completely

Gan
(1953)

Well Told and Well Ended Deep Onna Story.
A cable channel is now showing a Hideko Takamine film a week here and its latest showing was Gan (The Geese). It isn't until the very end, though, that you realize why the film was titled Gan.

The story takes place in the time when Japan was only about halfway into the modern world. Circa 1900.

There's one very long scene near the end of the movie that's just so well done. The young man, Okada, is walking down her, Otama's, street, intentionally I think, on his way to meet the man that will accompany him to Germany. Otama sees him coming. He, a person she hardly knows at all, is, in her mind, the only person on earth that can save her from a cruel fate. The long, wordless scene involves the entire length of the street. Their two hearts communicating through their eyes as he walks on, as she runs ahead, as she turns to 'confront' him, as he hesitates, as she finally realizes that's he's going and she'll never see him again. Hideko Takamine might be just flat out the most amazing actress you'll ever see.

Namonaku mazushiku utsukushiku
(1961)

Give the Poor Woman a Break
It seemed to me that the writer/director of this very touching story had a choice as to how to bring the movie to an end. But instead of giving the poor woman a break, he decided to again clobber her. She was so unselfish and good and had to continually swim against a tidal wave bad luck and bad relatives and the poverty of post-war Japan. And just when the promise of a nice ending is there ready to be realized, an ending that would make up for all the woes of her life, the writer/director has Akiko get hit by a truck. I know that Japanese love movies that make them cry, and this movie certainly did that, but I think this movie went just a little too far.

Torn Curtain
(1966)

What's Wrong with Torn Curtain.
1. The music. I was hoping that it wouldn't start up again all the while that I was watching after the opening credits. It was just irritating and the last thing any movie needs is irritating music. Geez — just use Beethoven's symphonies; they'd work just fine.

2. The bus. Take out the whole bus adventure. Really silly from start to finish. It would make the movie 10 shorter and that would be a good thing, too.

3. The spark.What Cary Grant and Eva St. Marie had Paul Newman and Julie Andrews didn't have. They were like Hud and Mary Poppins. Opening up with them IN bed was a bad idea.

Final Analysis
(1992)

How stupid? Let me count the ways.
When Kim B. put the dumbbell in a paper bag, the paper bag with the paper handles, it was really stupid. You don't carry dumbbells in paper bags with paper handles. But what this dumbbell in the paper bag goes through is only just beginning. You see, then, the guy who wants to snatch the dumbbell away from Kim B. somehow figures out that she's going to get on a cable car and stand on the outside step of the cable car and she's going to hold the paper bag with the dumbbell in it out over the street as she travels down the street in San Francisco. So... his plan is to quickly get on another cable car going in the opposite direction and grab the bag, the paper bag with the paper handles with the 10kg dumbbell in it, away from her. Which he proceeds to do. This is just one of the dozens of impossible things that happen in this stupid movie. Comparing this to Hitchcock is downright criminal. The director of this movie should be demoted to studio janitor.

The Alfred Hitchcock Hour
(1962)

Good Stuff
First of all, Alfred Hitchcock's introduction, station brake and wrap up monologues are worth the price of watching those commercials alone — which regularly were humorously ridiculed by Hitchcock himself. Watching these shows these many years later is therapy for the lightening fast world of the 21st century. Lots of husbands killing wives and wives killing husbands. And of course, then, nobody could get away with anything — if not in the story itself then in the ending wrap up by Hitchcock.

AND, it was an era when REAL ACTORS were on TV — not the pretty face empty nothing's on TV today. Living in impossible apartments and working in impossible work places and performing impossible plots.

Inspector Morse: The Sins of the Fathers
(1990)
Episode 2, Season 4

Lots of Mirrors and Windows.
A good story with lots of surprises though the director, Peter Hammond, just couldn't stop himself from shooting the character's reflections off of as many mirrors and any other reflect-able items that might be around as possible. But that was not enough, as any pane of glass about also had to be shot through. And one more thing. The back's of John Thaw's ears get top billing in that half of the the back of Morse's head was shot so often during police interviews. Peter Hammond's three "Morses" were definitely the darkest shot episodes in the series -- especially "Service of All the Dead."

I didn't see Colin Dexter's mug in this episode.

Rocky Balboa
(2006)

Comment about movie Father Sons
Why is it that in the movies so many adult sons are shorter than their "star" fathers? Usually sons are taller than their fathers -- not always, but usually. In Indiana Jones 4 Harrison Ford was way taller than his son -- who was supposed to be a young adult. Why? Is it that directors or whoever think that the audience can't psychologically handle a son taller than a father. In Rocky Balboa, it is the same thing. Rocky's adult kid is about an inch shorter than pretty short S. Stallone. Come on, the kid grew up rich and Adrian fed him better than Rocky got fed as a kid.

The IMDb just said I have to type some more. The good thing, otherwise, about Rocky Balboa, is the casting and overall demeanor of the film. It wasn't full of 'beautiful' people. The model-actors that fill up the TV tube these days.

Inspector Morse: The Remorseful Day
(2000)
Episode 5, Season 8

Into the West Away.
We just finished watching Morse from one through thirty-three here in Japan over 8 months. So, for the Remorseful Day, we had a little sayonara party for the inspector, Lewis and strange Strange. Well, the thing that I didn't like about the final string of episodes was the change in Lewis's character. He used to be so easy going and Morse's idiosyncrasies never bothered him at all. But in the later stories, Lewis is so irritable all the time. I didn't like that.

But, I will miss Morse and Lewis.

Ensanguining the skies / How heavily it dies / Into the west away; / Past touch and sight and sound / Not further to be found, / How hopeless under ground / Falls the remorseful day.

A Touch of Frost: Hidden Truth
(2003)
Episode 1, Season 10

Disappointing Episode
Action for the sake of action only at the end of this Frost. Very disappointing. And all contrived in a very silly way. George recalls that the boy had some model airplanes in his room. Hey! Obviously the boy's mother, in order to entice the boy to run away from some very bad baddies, told the boy she would take him to an airplane museum about a 100 miles away. Any copper would be able to figure that one out, eh. So half the Thames Valley police force screams down to the airplane museum, after hours, and lo and behold, they ARE there. And the baddie, too. All too unbelievable for what is usually a very well done English DCI drama.

The New World
(2005)

Magical Movie of the Earth and Love
I finally got to see The New world on DVD. I was expecting it to be the kind of movie that I like, and I was not disappointed. Wow. I have not read EVERY user comment here at IMDb, but what I have read I can only second.

Well, I went to Rotten Tomatoes to see what the critics said. 58% liked it and 42% didn't. Well, there are a lot of morons in the ranks of the critics who JUST HAVE TO BE CONSTANTLY ENTERTAINED. No car chases, I guess. The CNN critic said it was like watching a "snail crawl across a eight lane highway." How dumb. This is a problem with all the BAD CRITICS -- they have attention deficit disorders, I guess.

Till Human Voices Wake Us
(2002)

Into the Heart of Suffering
There are things that happen to an unfortunate few people that are so painful, so full of guilt, that recovering from it seems nearly impossible. "Till Human Voices Wake Us" tells the story of Sam Franks and his spiritual journey out of the dark and back into the light. But, who is the young woman that is helping him? Apparently, this movie did not impress very many critics. Why, I'm not sure--because it is truly a wonderful, nearly perfect story about salvation. And where that salvation actually comes from.

I hope that Michaell Petroni will be able to make many more movies, because it would be a shame if such a talented and sensitive film maker were not able to continue.

The Sundowners
(1960)

If this movie isn't perfect, than none are.
I have a few "special" movies. This is one of them. It's about people needing people---like "Breakfast at Tiffanys." Can you imagine two more different movies. But, the theme is the same, really. We need each other. This movie is 100% honest. No gimmicks. Only one in a thousand movies can claim that. You can have your "Citizen Kane" or your "Casablanca." I'll take this movie. In a heartbeat. A wonderful story, a wonderful director, real people. Honesty. Every inch of the movie is a joy. It's the kind of movie I can watch over and over. It's a love story, really, isn't it. But, it's a love story of two people who have been married a long time. How rare is that. And, a story of a wonderful culture. And, the music is quite beautiful, I think.

Black Beauty
(1994)

A wonderful movie.
The opening and ending scenes with Black Beauty sitting under the tree were wonderful. The original book was written with one purpose---to bring attention to the suffering of horses in England. This film succeeds by giving Black Beauty a soul. A very, very good movie that I can watch over and over.

The Night of the Iguana
(1964)

This film is perfect in every way.
Lost souls, depression, unbearable loneliness, angelic kindness, searching for some kind of meaning in one's life, and very, very, personal quests to understand God. I have this film on tape and have watched it many, many times. I have a colorized version and, to tell the truth, find it more enjoyable that the black and white. I know that Patrick O'Neil played Shannon on Broadway, and I can imagine him doing well in the role, but Richard Burton was born to play Shannon, I think. The casting is perfect---and I think I can say the Miss Kerr and Miss Gardner were born for their roles, as well. This movie is not for everyone. Movies this intensely spiritual never are. Tennessee Williams' best movie on film, I think, along with "A Streetcar Named Desire."

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