The Trial of the Chicago 7 is a mouthful of a film title, but you’d expect something like that from Aaron Sorkin, the creator of The West Wing who is known for his verbosity. In his sophomore directorial effort (after Molly’s Game), Sorkin has opted to depict a moment in American history which with many of us may have been unfamiliar (I certainly was): the trial relating to protests at the Democratic National Convention in the 1960s.
Writer-director Sam Mendes (Skyfall, American Beauty) has crafted a war film that, on the surface — and from the trailers — doesn’t seem like anything all that original or different from others of the genre; the story centers on two British soldiers who traverse through no-man’s land to deliver an important message that can save thousands of lives.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HtueYLBJ94 Director: Paul VerhoevenScreenwriter: Gary GoldmanStarring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Rachel Ticotin, Ronny Cox, Michael IronsideGenres: Comedy, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Action/AdventureMPAA Rating: Rated RRelease Dates: 6/1/90 (Theatres), 8/26/16 (Streaming)Runtime: 1 hour, 49 minutesRotten Tomatoes Score: 82%Oscars: Nominated–Sound Mixing and EditingWhere to Watch: Netflix Believe it or not, Total Recall — the 1990 original, not Read More
Ocean’s Eleven is one of those movies that is probably nearly impossible to dislike, even if you find nit-picky elements that you dislike or find off-putting; I find it to be a near-perfect film that I’ve seen more times than I can count (most recently, just a couple weeks ago).
My Oscar-winning films catch-up continues with 1986’s Platoon, often deemed the best anti-war film ever made. Writer/director Oliver Stone based the film on his own experiences in the Vietnam War, which makes the script and characters so viscerally real, and the events that transpire as authentic as they can possibly be.
Perhaps my biggest disappointment is that I was disappointed with the film, after having heard so much (even re: what happens at the end, thanks to an IMDb summary that gives everything away) about it, and how people laughed and cried throughout. Sure, I smiled and chuckled a bit here and there, but I did not shed one tear or feel any real emotional connection to the characters — so that, when bad things happened to them, I felt no sympathy or catharsis.
Like the first film in the franchise, the final Indiana Jones film, The Last Crusade, is funny, entertaining, and smart. And, despite the fact that Raiders of the Lost Ark is a terrific film, this one may be even better. That’s primarily thanks to the addition of Sean Connery as Indy’s father, Henry Jones, Sr.
Harrison Ford was already a star thanks to Star Wars, but the Indiana Jones franchise (also co-created by George Lucas) made him a certifiable leading man.
The Untouchables was already on my seemingly never-ending movie queue, as it was an Oscar winner and multiple nominee, but I recently decided to watch it in honor of Sean Connery, who won for Best Supporting Actor and recently passed away. His performance is not only Oscar-worthy but perhaps among the best Oscar-winning supporting actor performances of all time.
How do you review a film that has already been dissected and discussed and raved about ever since its release 46 years ago? All you can do is repeat what has been already said. And, while I may not call it the best film ever made, it’s certainly a perfectly-made film, with pitch-perfect performances — especially from winner Robert De Niro and nominee Al Pacino — and compelling, complex characters who are flawed in the best possible ways.
An American Pickle is one of those movies that is enjoyable to watch but you don’t expect it to exceed expectations — which, for the most part, it doesn’t. And, as the first film released exclusively on new streaming service HBO Max (of which I am now a subscriber), the expectations weren’t all that high.
Sure, it’s not a perfect film, and clearly critics disliked it enough to give it a disappointingly low Rotten Tomatoes score of 44%; but, I’d have to say I disagree with the critics, for the most part. The plot is fairly basic and not all that original, but the characters, dialogue, and actors are so entertaining and charming that it is nearly impossible to dislike.