Obviously I'm just getting started on the movie review pages - I've seen a trillion movies or so, and have written about a few so far.
MIKE'S MOVIE REVIEWS
Note: I use the Holowell four star system. He left most movies alone with no stars. Mediocre and horrible movies both got no stars. Fairly good ones got one, good ones two, very good ones three, and great ones four. This means that one start is a fairly good review, whereas by most systems, it means a bad one. It means that a fair movie gets no stars, but doesn't mean it is being condemned, whereas most systems give two stars to a fair movie. Only films with merit get any at all and the others all go into the same barn.
Why should I post my movie reviews on the IMBD when they barred me three years ago for being too sarcastic? I was working under a fake name and got angry e-mails from all over the world. I think most people can accept sarcasm as a legitimate for of self-expression. For example, if I review 12 Angry Men and say that "the special effects were great but the dialogue was weak" that means that this waw a beautifully written drama with none of the flashy. This will take some time to build up. The most recent movie I watched was Machine Gun McCain last night on TCM. I generally stick to movies from my era, since everyone has seen all the current movies and who needs one more review of the latest Batman flick?
Planet of the Apes, (the first one) - A great adaptation by Rod Serling of the novel by Pierre LaBouche - It's never on cable.
Big Jim McLain - Starring John Wayne is his worst role ever. Yes, even worse than Ghengis Kahn in The Conquerer. Jim McLain is a McCarthyist boor in the early 1950's, but the movie makes out this behavior to be a good thing. This is a rotten movie with an evil feel-bad feel to it. Its so bad it's a must see.
Scarface (both of them) **** The first one starred Paul Muni, the best actor of his time. The second starred Al Pacino, possible the best actor if his time. -- Tony Montana had some redeeming qualities, that's what made this movie great. he was courageous and loyal and was sincerely in love with his girl, Elvira. "All I have in this world is my balls and my word, and I don break em for nobody."
The Count of Monte Cristo ****- What a story. So well done. Classical education for those who never had time to read the novel in the form of first rate dramatic movie. The Count knows how to spell relief, "Relief? I spell it r-e-v-e-n-g-e."
The Eiger Sanction - *** - Clint Eastwood at the height of his Dirty Harry period, stopped by the Alps to make the tale of mountain climbing and spy wars. George Kennedy is great as his climbing buddy. Jack Cassidy is even better as the gay bad spy. Freitag is one of most hatable characters in movie history, especially because he is not a comic book one dimensional evil man, just an annoying egotist who never gives it a rest. The second half of the movie is a four man climb of the north face of the Alpine mountain, the Eiger. The black woman named Jemimah who throws herself at Clint is the onky drawback to an otherwise excellent movie.
Get Carter * - 1971 - Starring Michale Caine as a bad news hit man from London out ot avenge his brother's murder. I don't love story but I love the directing. Russ Hodges isn't famous but inside movie people know the name well. Get Carter has a nice feel although I don't really buy Michael Caine as a bad news dude. There's a lot of racy scenes that aren't hot, but just seem to be forced in in order to sell it as a sexy movie. GC has a ton of excellent outdoor shots of English cityscapes. Its a visual materpiece based around a routine mob story, even though I've read that caine was dying for the part because he thought the opposite.
It's Good to Be Alive ***(about Roy Campanella) - This is a great baseball story and has almost nothing to do with sports. Campy was a star for the Brooklyn Dodgers who was badly hurt in a car crash and had to relearn life in a wheelchair as a young man. This was made for TV but it was absolutely great. Best sports movie ever made. Machine Gun McCain **- Starring John Cassavete and Peter Falk when they were young - 1969 The TV geek gave it a low rating on the info button, but I think this Italian made mob movie based in San Francisco and Las Vegas is more than ok. The plot isn't spcial but the general feel of the picture is very enjoyable. Cassavetes has a lot of charisma and the supporting Italian actors (it was mixed and financed in Ialy) are good too. The title is fun in light of the current ongoing presidential contest. The theme song at the end is the lamest thing in the movie. John McCain should adopt it for his run at the White House.
The Most Dangerous Game - A sick man likes to hunt humans on his private island for sport. What's worse, he sets his boeys at incorrect spots so his victims will run their ships aground and swim to his island and his trap. They did a remake in the 1990's with Ice T as the hunted.
Moulin Rouge **- Plotless art, very fine and great casting. Total eye candy.
The Long Long Trailer ***- Lucy and Dezi go live in a travelling mobile home. My wife and I laughed and laughed. This is the best thing I ever saw Lucy do. I think they made a remake with Roseanne Barr.
The Odessa File ** With all due respect to Midnight Cowboy, this is John Voit's best film. Its about a free lance photographer and journalist who persues a Nazi war criminal who is hiding out under a false name and identity. The secret organzation of ex-Nazi's who protect the criminal is called the Odessa. Its based on a novel but the Odessa was real. Best line in the movie, "I care!"
Underworld USA*- Cliff Robertson in gritty 1961 black and white as a man out for revenge. As a 14 year old boy he saw four men beat his father to death. Cliff plans a long rane revenge plan worthy of the admiration of the Count of Monte Christo. After seeing Robertson in such nice guy roles as Charly and Mr Allison, it's refreshing to see him turn it on and play a tough mean guy.