Trading Places is one of the most emotionally satisfying and morally gratifying comedies of recent times. Eddie Murphy demonstrates the powers of invention that signal the arrival of a major comic actor, and possibly a great star.
ABC’s movie The Day After stirs a storm of nuclear debate.
Lamont Johnson’s The Last American Hero has a source in an Esquire article Tom Wolfe wrote several years ago about a stock-car racer and automobile customizer named Junior Johnson.
“The last American hero” never goes soft, and maybe that’s why the picture felt so realistic to me; it wasn’t until I reread the Wolfe piece that I realized what a turnaround it was. But we believe the worst now — maybe only the worst.
A radical American journalist becomes involved with the Communist revolution in Russia, and hopes to bring its spirit and idealism to the United States.
The story takes off from the myth that Salieri, the Viennese court Kapellmeister more successful than Mozart yet jealous of him, poisoned the younger man.
If Brian De Palma were a new young director, Body Double would probably be enough to establish him as a talented fellow. But, coming from De Palma, Body Double is an awful disappointment.
With Chinatown, as with Rosemary’s Baby, Roman Polanski handles the mechanics of the plot with a ruthless brilliance that is immediately involving.
To enjoy Blade Runner, you need only disregard, as far as possible, the actors and dialogue. (And the score) The script is another reworking of a threat to humans by humanoids —one more variation on the Invasion of the Body Snatchers theme.
The Shining doesn’t scare. The only pang in it is that it’s another step in Kubrick’s descent.
The picture is virtually bare of Scorsese style, such touches, heavy or helpful, as the opening manhole shot of Taxi Driver or the opening prize-ring sequence of Raging Bull. I saw nothing in The King of Comedy that couldn’t have been done by any competent director. Cinematically, it’s flavorless.
Seeing Martin Scorsese’s new film is like visiting a human zoo. That’s certainly not to say that it’s dull: good zoos are not dull. But the life we watch is stripped to elemental drives, with just enough decor of complexity—especially the heraldry of Catholicism —to underscore how elemental it basically is.
“McCabe & Mrs. Miller” is a beautiful pipe dream of a movie — a fleeting, almost diaphanous vision of what frontier life might have been. The film, directed by Robert Altman, and starring Warren Beatty as a small-time gambler and Julie Christie as an ambitious madam in the turn-of-the-century Northwest, is so indirect in method that it throws one off base.
“Thieves Like Us” comes closer to the vision and sensibility of Faulkner’s novels than any of the movie adaptations of them do. Altman didn’t start from Faulkner, but he wound up there. If he did a Faulkner novel, he might not be able to achieve what people want him to. But “Thieves Like Us” is his Faulkner novel.
An art director in the 1930s falls in love and attempts to make a young woman an actress despite Hollywood who wants nothing to do with her because of her problems with an estranged man and her alcoholic father.
The true story of Pat Conroy, an idealistic beautiful white teacher who is a grade-school instructor for a group of poor black children in an isolated school.
This is a movie in which you are expected to understand the hero when he tries to explain the difference between being unhappy in New York and in his homeland. “In Russia,” he says, “I did not love my life but I loved my misery, because it was mine.”
I didn’t expect (or want) Twilight Zone—The Movie to be Borgesian, but I did rather hope that John Landis, Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante, and George Miller—the four young directors who are paying homage to the TV series—would tease us with more artful macabre games than the ones of the old shows.
In the following review, Wilmington assesses Lynch’s use of dark, obsessive, and bizarre visual imagery in Dune, noting that the film as a whole is not necessarily successful.
It doesn’t take long to realize that basically this isn’t a David Lynch movie—it’s Dune. Lynch doesn’t bring a fresh conception to the material; he doesn’t make the story his own. Rather, he tries to apply his talents to Herbert’s conception.
The movie version, adapted, directed, and edited by David Lean, is an admirable piece of work. Lean doesn’t get in over his head by trying for the full range of the book’s mysticism, but Forster got to him.