circagirl

IMDb member since September 2013
    Lifetime Total
    25+
    IMDb Member
    6 years

Reviews

The Towering Inferno
(1974)

It so badly wants to be Poseidon Adventure
An all star cast and some great practical effects but somehow no one except maybe Steve McQueen grows on you.

Earthquake
(1974)

Timeless intensity
There is a lot of unnecessary scenes in the beginning, particularly between Heston's character and his mistress, but when things get rolling it pulled me in. The amount of peril and destruction is on an epic scale and brings out the depths of each character's personality. I even appreciate the dismal ending. A lot of newer, cgi disaster movies have a convenient, "the military special ops and an act of god saved us before anyone good looking met the edge of life and death. God bless America!" kind of ending, but Earthquake ends on a city forever transformed and devastated.

BUtterfield 8
(1960)

Hasn't aged well but Elizabeth is great
Elizabeth Taylor is her usual stunning, glamorous self but the preachy sentiment of this film hasn't aged well and a lot of the acting is soapy. Interesting how Mr Lingot is basically an upgraded Richard Burton. Worth a watch if you're a Taylor fan, but not her best.

Pretty in Pink
(1986)

A movie that sticks to your heart
There's nothing complex about the setup of Pretty in Pink: poor girl from the literal wrong side of the tracks falls in love with a wealthy, popular pretty boy who's family and friends disapprove of her. Yet, Hughes brings an emotional rhythm and vulnerability to this film that raises it to iconic status. Ringwald doesn't appear to be the type that would win the hearts of three different men with her unflattering old lady clothes (though I do love the use of pink and her choice of accessories) but her character Andie has a resilient spirit and inner beauty that outshines many of her peers . Duckie is fantastic comic relief and very quotable but also heartbreaking as he endures the coming of age trial of unreturned love and irresponsible dependency. Blaine has a very relatable character arc as he is forced to navigate the choice of peer and family approval versus the bravery of standing by what his heart knows is right. And Steff is a scene-stealing, gorgeous villain. It has a great soundtrack and an atmosphere that leaves me nostalgic for a time that is not my own.

Beyond the Black Rainbow
(2010)

80s Cyberpunk-esque Nightmare
This movie is the closest thing to a creative trip, THC-free. Incredible atmosphere, score and acting.

Mandy
(2018)

This isn't a film, it's an experience
It's cheesy to use this phrasing but this honestly was a film that transported me when I saw it. I felt the intense grief and loss, the rage and the sad sense of futility at the end like I had lived it. The visuals are surreal, uncanny, beautiful, poetic and sad all at once. Nicholas Cage is at his best performance since Leaving Las Vegas.

Quella villa accanto al cimitero
(1981)

Dreamlike direction, nightmarish unease
I saw this at an art house theater in Denver with my sister and had a lot of fun. It's a very flawed film, so much so that even the fan speech before it was screened admitted it was high camp, but even with the monster design being a let down, the plot holes, overuse of gore, exaggerated acting and ridiculous dialogue, it has a haunting, surreal vibe to it that I loved and a lot of terrifying build up to the ending reveal. Also, it's worth it alone for that crazy long battle with a flying bat.

The Gorgon
(1964)

Atmospheric horror that still chills
This one creeped me out when I watched it as a kid and it still does. That eerie gorgon siren's call and every character's dread at confronting it head on, face to face. There's even a tragic love story that still manages to tug on my heartstrings.

The Girl on a Motorcycle
(1968)

A dreamy, reckless girl who wants out
But can she outrace her hubris? Big nope but, hey, the motorcycling sequences across the gorgeous, rural backdrop is nice to look at. Alain Delon is both enchanting and repellent as the man who awakens her to a lust for passion, life and freedom just beyond her reach.

Le clan des Siciliens
(1969)

Sophisticated heist film ahead of its time
Tightly plotted and clever, but there isn't enough space for the huge cast to hold weight. Alain Delon is a slick heartbreaker in his short screen time though.

La prima notte di quiete
(1972)

Let's hope for a decent translation release
I was forced to settle for an unbelievably awful home brew English subtitle pirated copy so my take away is more of an emotional impression than a deep understanding. Apparently Delon hated working with this director and it didn't click enough with audiences to ever get a proper international dvd release. Boo! That being said, the solemn, hopeless beauty of the outsider leads and their star crossed romance screams of untold potential. I just wish I had a better idea of what was going on than just an outline of depressed, lonely teacher + disillusioned young student + gambling problem + Italian mafia = tragedy. Seriously, the only available English subtitling is so bad that it was like reading the cliff notes of a mad man who is incapable of complete sentences.

Plein soleil
(1960)

Revenge is a dish best served fabulously
This is a 100x better than the Matt Damon American remake! Alain Delon is stunning, calculating and terrifyingly self interested as Ripley. Why settle for blackmail when you can takeover the perfect life? And why get angry when you can get even? Ripley takes these unsettling stances to their farthest end and does it in style.

The Beguiled
(1971)

Southern gothic meets erotic thriller
A different kind of, manipulative role for Clint Eastwood but he proves to carry a special presence even though he's stuck in bed for more than half the movie. It's chilling to witness the piety and high manners of the sheltered schoolgirls and marm dissolve into violent jealousy and obsession. Alls fair in love and war...or is it? Don't watch the remake! It's filmed like good lighting was an unheard concept and takes all the tension and nuance out of the characters and suspense.

La piscine
(1969)

The film that introduced me to Alain Delon!
The camera loves Alain Delon but it isn't just his remarkable good looks that turned me into a huge fan but his very sensitive, subtle acting. This is a rare psychological thriller that explores the complexities of the male ego and toxic male friendships. It's passive aggression and malicious subtext between competitive old frenemies until the burden of civility is thrown out in a swift act of violence.

Westworld
(1973)

Fun concept, perfect execution
Until I finish the tv series, I consider this the superior Westworld canon. I even like it on a amusement-park-gone-wrong category basis better than Jurassic Park (which was also penned by Crichton). The slow dread of the entry to the park and the ways the robots imitate humanity to an eerie degree builds up to the most intense last third showdown. And that ironic ending that haunted me as a kid.

Jerry Maguire
(1996)

Just try and not be charmed by this
A sports shark suddenly decides wants to be a good person. Such a simple premise, yet Tom Cruise brings so much endearing energy and earnestness that you can't helped but be pulled in. SHOW ME THE MONEY!!

Papillon
(2017)

An improvement upon the original!
This is one of the rare remakes that not only gets it right but improves upon the original material. The casting is perfect, and the revised development between the leads has waaaay more heart and on-screen chemistry. Freedom and the unbreakable human spirit are still a significant part of the story but the remake brings the impact of loyalty and friendship into the fold in a way that feels more balanced. It didn't hurt that Hunnam and Malek are ridiculously chisled and nude half the movie. Hahaha

The Duchess
(2008)

Amazing performance from Kiera Knightly
I thought Kiera was one of those actresses you call in to duck-bill her lips and look hot but she proved her chops in this. She really brings out the pain, heartbreak, and at turns, the enduring spirit and humor of the Duchesd of Devonshire. Her marriage was the dictionary definition of a gilded cage and there wasn't a moment I didn't want to reach in and slap her husband. The film attempts to humanize him at points, implying that he might be just as trapped by the imperial system, but it was hard to buy that after he rapes her and takes on her best friend as a permanent in-house mistress. The only other complaint I have is that the duchesses affair with her childhood lover isn't given much screentime. I just couldn't see the chemistry and he looked like a dollar store Rami Malek.

Leaving Las Vegas
(1995)

A blunt, melancholy dive into self destruction
Still Nicholas Cage's best performance in my opinion. His intense energy that comes off as over-reaching in other films is put to good use here as he takes the audience through the slurred manic highs and dizzy lows of alcohol addiction. Heartbreaking, moving, haunting.

Scarface
(1983)

A perfect antihero character piece
Amazing character development, tense direction, and iconic action. It's a must see.

Sam
(2017)

Worst gender bender comedy...possibly ever
I feel bad Mel Brooks put his name on this one. When you take a one dimensional, card board cut out misogynist and turn him into a woman he needs an actual redemption arc to be endured, which doesn't happen here. Instead you get to see Sam be a useless, soulless individual except with breasts. Also the screenplay seems locked into amateur draft mode- no action objective, no character inner value or personalization to drive the plot or scenes. Cinematography is student film dry with zero nuance or style.

Don't Tell Her It's Me
(1990)

Horribly unromantic-romantic "comedy"
There's a great cast for this one and it was free on prime but that's where the appeal ends. Shelley Long has an obsession with controlling her brother's life and berating her poor, developmentally disabled daughter with hypochondriac warnings and nicknames like "piglet", the main dude lets his sister decide his entire life and presentability for him so he can win a shallow journalist that can be swayed by a bad accent, crayola blue contacts and a terrible mullet. My husband and I both agreed this movie perpetuates that looks do matter, which isn't very romantic at all. Also the leads have zero chemistry but we're supposed to buy that they're ready to fly off into the sunset together ?! Gertz doesn't even know the real person underneath the paperback hero nonsense.

The Nutty Professor
(1963)

It's a little sad if this is Lewis's opus
Fun fact: apparently Jerry Lewis was a womanizing human monster in his personal life and disowned his first set of kids because he could. It makes you wonder how much of Buddy Love was him and how much was Dean Martin. There's some good character work here with the professor but a lot more gags and scenes that fall flat. Maybe it's a generation thing but I just don't find Lewis very funny. I'd take Bob Hope, Harold Loyd or even the Stooges over him.

The Sea Hawk
(1940)

Not Captain Blood but it'll do...
I had high hopes for this after Captain Blood but the actress who played Queen Elizabeth stole the show. She deserved a spin-off and I think she had way more chemistry with Errol than Miss English Rose.

The Most Dangerous Game
(1932)

Short, tight adventure thriller
I would've loved if Robert Armstrong had lasted a little longer, but the film makes good use of Fay Wray. Less screamy, more intuitive. Overall a lot of fun. Just whatever you do...don't check out Zaroff's trophy room!!!!

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