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All reviews - Movies (1464) - TV Shows (36) - DVDs (2)

Incredible in every sense of the word.

Posted : 9 years, 9 months ago on 21 April 2008 08:15 (A review of All About Eve)

"If nothing else, there's applause... like waves of love pouring over the footlights."

The quality of All About Eve has been much discussed and widely acclaimed in the decades following its release. All About Eve is a truly incredible movie that is hard to describe accurately in words.

The film still holds the record for the most amount of Academy Award nominations - as this screen gem received an unfathomable amount of 14. Just this merit in mind should be enough to warrant a screening. The themes of jealousy, manipulation, and betrayal richly unfold on screen with this exceptional film noir loosely adapted from a story by Mary Orr.

The story of this film is really quite simple; Margo Channing (Davis) is a star of the theatre who features in plays written by Lloyd Richards (Marlowe), and under the direction of her boyfriend and director Bill Sampson (Merrill). Margo has everything; fame, fortune and adoring fans. But one evening after Margo completes another performance her career is altered when one of her friends brings Eve Harrington (Baxter) into her life. Eve is one of Margo's fans who is obsessed; she watches every play that Margo features in and on every night it is being performed. Eve quickly wins the heart of Margo and her friends when she tells them the story of how she became a dedicated fan.

Soon Margo incorporates Eve into her daily life. Eve loyally assists in any way she can. But a theatre critic (Sanders) begins seeing through Eve's elaborate performance and scheme. It would be unthinkable to reveal more about the film's plot.

As the film opens we are introduced to all the characters via fascinating narration as an award ceremony unfolds. Then the film uses heavy flashbacks as we look at the aforementioned plot. Needless to say, the film is all about Eve.

One of the first things that struck me was the very intricately written screenplay by director Mankiewicz. The lines of dialogue are highly intriguing and are transformed to the screen skilfully using a fantastic cast. Bette Davis has never been better. She feels plausible and real as a famous star who is now struggling to hold onto her career. She was nominated for an Oscar with good reasoning. Anne Baxter was also nominated for an Oscar. Her portrayal is simply stunning to watch. The script was already good enough, but these two title actresses do wonders to that screenplay and nail their characters.

The supporting cast is full of big names. George Sanders was very articulate and skilled in bringing his character to life. Also as the narrator he needed a voice that was easy to listen to. The opening few moments of narration already had me engaged.

All About Eve is a true classic that suffers from few flaws. The film has always been widely acclaimed by critics and audiences alike. I can't blame them. You can only see it to believe how incredible the film really is.


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An important film; and a masterpiece

Posted : 9 years, 9 months ago on 21 April 2008 06:36 (A review of Munich)

"We have 11 Palestinian names, each one of them had a hand in planning Munich. We want them all dead."

Steven Spielberg has always been capable of achieving excellent results when behind the camera. I have been a massive fan of his work for years now and I always anticipate the release of his latest movies.

Munich was a film that I had wanted to see ever since I learned he was at the helm. The film met with major criticism preceding its release because of the short time in which the film was made. Filming began in June 2005 with a December 2005 release date in mind. Spielberg has always been good at making films in a very tight shooting schedule.

While watching the movie I couldn't believe the focus and concentration that is obvious while watching each frame of film that has been produced.

Munich is a riveting, powerful, involving and confronting human drama that is one of the most important films of this century. It was a daring move to produce such a confronting piece of cinema due to how incomplete the facts are; make no mistake, the film is no history lesson. But then again it was never meant to be a documentary. The facts presented may be seen as agonizingly erroneous, but what actually happened will always remain a mystery.

Munich is also a milestone in Steven Spielberg's career. He has been well known for making family-friendly blockbusters that sometimes mirror his childhood. The film represents a step up for maturity in Spielberg's filmmaking.

Based on true events; Munich chronicles the fate of 11 Israeli Olympic athletes who were brutally murdered during the Olympics of 1972 in Munich. In response to the savage massacre the government commissions a group of agents to track down and eliminate those responsible for the tragedy that occurred in the Olympic village that fateful day. The five-man team carry out their mission with the knowledge in mind that they officially have had no contact with those who hired them. The mission is confidential and officially does not exist. As the team eliminate men in the most callous of ways and the body count rises - so do questions, uncertainties and sleepless nights. They begin questioning the justification of the counter-violence and loyalties begin to blur.

Munich is a film that asks a lot of its audience as Spielberg presents questions without answers; offering no easy answers and keeping firm focus on the human response and the conflict between the motivations behind their actions and the consequences.

The tension built up between the characters is insurmountable. Some of the pivotal roles are executed in outstanding style; the accents seem genuine and each line appears to be said with meaning. The film wastes no time getting into the nitty gritty suspense sequences.

Spielberg has also integrated archive footage that gives the film a high level of chilling realism. The beginning events are essentially told through the archive footage presented. And throughout the movie we are shown clips that look in detail at the tragic massacre during which 11 athletes lost their lives. Some of these clips are shown in harrowing realism; startlingly showing brutal violence and heart-wrenching sequences that will have your mouth gaping open.

Cinematographer Janusz Kaminski achieved fantastic results with this film. The action and suspense scenes were filmed extremely well. From the opening sequence I was already engaged in the film; although production was rushed it never feels this way.

John Williams' score creates a brooding, maligned atmosphere that is intense and malevolent. The key suspense scene had me sitting in awe at what was going on.

Munich was a daring film but was executed spectacularly. The film is challenging, pulse-pounding, captivating and involving. The whole film is an extraordinary experience marred only marginally by its over-length. Highly recommended.


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