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Archive for October, 2006

BABEL – Gustavo Santaolalla

October 27, 2006 2 comments

Original Review by Clark Douglas

So this is what it feels like on the other side. Last year, I wrote an very positive review of Paul Haggis’ “Crash”. In fact, I went so far as to call it the year’s best film. I spent a good portion of time arguing with others who said the film was cheap, overdramatic, and contrived. Now, here is “Babel”, which is receiving reviews eerily similar to those “Crash” received, and they’re just as divided… some critics call it a complex and thought-provoking masterpiece, others call it hokey rubbish. This time around, I absolutely agree with the dissenters, for some of their reasons, and for some of my own. “Babel” was directed by the talented Alejandro González Iñárritu, who also made the acclaimed “21 Grams” and “Amores Perros”. Both of those films were contrived, but convincing. Not so here. Read more…

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THE PRESTIGE – David Julyan

October 20, 2006 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Honestly, you wait ages for a film about magicians in turn-of-the-century Europe, and then two come along at once! This happens in Hollywood with quite amazing regularity, and seems to be a trend that shows no sign of going away. So, following on the heels of The Illusionist is The Prestige, which has a better pedigree in terms of filmmakers, and a more bankable cast. The film stars Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman as Alfred Borden and Robert Angier, two friends, aspiring stage magicians in London at the height of the Victorian era. However, when Alfred causes the death of Julia, Robert’s wife, their friendship becomes a deep animosity. Thereafter, the two magicians strive to outdo each other, both on stage and in life, trying to develop more and more elaborate and dangerous illusions, and carrying out acts of bitter vengeance. With a director in the shape of Christopher Nolan (hot from Batman Begins), a superb supporting cast that includes Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson, Andy Serkis and David Bowie, and a talented production crew recreating the opulence of the time period, The Prestige has been a critical and commercial success. Read more…

FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS – Clint Eastwood

October 20, 2006 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

It’s interesting to see how the public perception of Clint Eastwood has changed over the years. In the 1950s he was a TV cowboy, familiar from series such as Rawhide. In the 1960s, he moved to the big screen, and became an icon through his roles in classic spaghetti westerns like A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good the Bad and the Ugly. In the 1970s he became a bona fide Hollywood star, with leading roles in box office smashes like Dirty Harry, The Enforcer, Magnum Force and Every Which Way But Loose. By the 1980s he had moved sideways into directing, and enjoyed significant success with Sudden Impact, Firefox, and Heartbreak Ridge. The last 20 years or so, though, have seen him emerge as a true cinematic artist and a beloved member of the film-making fraternity, with the acclaimed Unforgiven, The Bridges of Madison County, Mystic River and Million Dollar Baby. Read more…