The following piece was inspired by an article I read in a local newspaper around 2004. It was about an Anglican Bishop lecturing on the myth of The Lord of the Rings. I decided to contact him, for an interview, and he sent me a fairly long email about the “gospel echoes” and myth of The Lord of the Rings. That became the following article.Continue reading “Inspired by an article”
Before posting, I removed the last three paragraphs. Everything else is the same as it was posted at Anglican Taonga a few years ago. Lesson? Don’t say too much, because it will need to be removed.Continue reading “42 (2013)”
The following is an example of a good collaboration between writer and editor, the piece I did for Challenge Weekly on the DVD Collector’s Edition of Ben Hur. I like how it all sounds.Continue reading “A nice one”
I can’t believe my review of Pacific Rim was published. Sure, it stoked my ego. But was it worth it? No, the review was only 60 per-cent, maybe less so. Not that anybody said anything or possibly didn’t (couldn’t?) read it. To my eye, it needed a revamp, so I’ve adjusted a few things and republished it here, which is now live. Here’s the new cut.Continue reading “Pacific Rim (2013)”
Fill life with living life to the max or empty life from the need to? Sometimes, we want to fill life by embracing all of it, but then we find we’re empty. Is living life to the max detrimental to living life? According to the gospel of All That Jazz, perhaps it is. All That Jazz (1979) has an angle on living life to the max. Simply, it’s when Max living gets out of hand…Continue reading “Life to the max and all that jazz”
The following review has appeared nowhere on the web recently, although it “was there” on the web a few years ago. But I still have the content that I can re-post. I’m not 100 percent satisfied with the quality of that once published review, as a writer knows when something they write is not feeling perfect. This review is one of those moments. So, I’ve revised it to reasonable satisfaction. Here’s the revised review.Continue reading “Amour (2012)”
In the film Fingers (1978), Harvey Keitel plays a promising artist with ambitions to play piano at Carnegie Hall. He’s passionate about his talent and future fortune, but he’s also a heavy for his Dad in collecting debts.Continue reading “A double life at heart”
Next year is the fortieth anniversary of the sequel to the first Star Wars film. No doubt there will be quite a bit of fanfare among Star Wars aficionados when the anniversary date sets in. I’ve just watched the original theatrical version once again and it’s an odyssey of the senses.Continue reading “Star Wars Episode V The Empire Strikes Back (1980)”
Based on the popular video game, Angry Birds, comes the hilarious animated movie version, which spawned a sequel in 2019.
The Angry Birds Movie (2016) is about an island of flightless birds who have their own guardian, the Eagle (Peter Dinkage). Three little and not so little, but extraordinarily cute, juvenile-esque birds – Red, Chuck and Bomb – call on the Eagle when their island is visited by suspicious green pigs.Continue reading “The Angry Birds Movie (2016)”
The severity of John Merrick’s disfigurement is confrontational to our worst sense and the cold street life of poverty in Victorian England, where the film is set, distancing and aloof from his plight.
One feels quite separated from the film, much like the distance one may feel from Merrick, but that the better response is not repulsion, but compassion, so one can be inside the story of “The Elephant Man”.
The Elephant Man (1980) is about dignity. Dignity for those who are, through no fault of their own, impaired, but get ridiculed and oppressed.Continue reading “The Elephant Man (1980)”
This is an ode to the United Sates Navy that on the surface of things may not seem to be. However, it does become apparent that the film upholds the courage and ability crews display under immense stress and is what makes Americans proud.Continue reading “The Caine Mutiny (1954)”
Who’s more “evolved”? The human? Or the alien? That’s the question of some science fiction movies past and present, such as the one on review here, the R-rated for good reason Alien (1979; released exactly forty years ago).Continue reading “Alien (1979)”
Amadeus (1984) is based on the play by Anthony Shaffer, who wrote the screenplay, who seems to take liberties from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s life. It imagines his descent at the hands of Austrian composer Salieri, perhaps who had a good relationship with Mozart in actual history, but in this film is filled with jealousy at Mozart’s gift and plans his downfall.Continue reading “Amadeus (1984)”
I have been objective about the Star Wars films since the new batch that started with The Phantom Menace in 1999. I tended to see the style and tone of the films even if coming up short in some if not many respects. Wasn’t Rogue One overrated. And I am still not going to embrace the Force. There is something else. I can’t embrace any of the new characters as I could with the original trilogy.Continue reading “It’s not disillusionment, though”
Intelligent crime drama with a meaty role for Indiana Jones’ Harrison Ford.Continue reading “Witness (1985)”
After seeing Top Hat again, I’ve concluded that there’s been a tendency in Hollywood romantic films to make the fiancé, who’s usually a good bloke, look silly or inadequate. The “new flame”, though, is a dashing handsome rival who’s got more than the goods on the lady’s pathetically portrayed fiancé. In the Astaire-Rogers musical Top Hat (1935), Jerry Travers (Fred Astaire) slowly dances his way into the heart of Dale Tremont (Ginger Rogers)—which may be innocent enough, if it weren’t for the presence of the fiancé. Unfortunately, it’s all another Hollywood glossed,Continue reading “Top Hat (1935)”
An ode to show business about a washed-up movie actor and dancer (played by Fred Astaire) who is seeking a comeback in a new show about Faust. The kind of show is against his instincts, but he is persuaded to star in. However, it is a musical which doesn’t have much popular appeal, so the producers decide to make the show more appealing with several upbeat routines. The Band Wagon is not so much a strong narrative as showmanship. It fails to impress when it relegates Faust—portrayed in this as a story about temptation and damnation—to the too hard basket, instead favouring the comforts found in escapism. Although this is about the merits of entertainment, it is not so much of an exciting musical, but about a minute of “Girl Hunt”—by far the best segment—stands out.
2 stars out of 5 stars
This neat fantasy, set in an American town, is a famous film directed by Steven Spielberg, that ended his golden period, that started with Jaws in 1975, and in 1984 was followed by Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom which didn’t quite live up to expectations. The film E.T. is on one level quite ordinary, an accurate observation of childhood down to the minute details. Children of a separated mother get on with life as best they can, when something extraordinary happens to change their lives, the appearance of an extra-terrestrial life form on their “doorstep”,Continue reading “E.T. (1982)”
A witty comedy about posh New York society where a string of ambitious individuals are invited to attend a dinner at the home of a wealthy businessman who’s dying, as the guests have their eye on moving on up, and making the right impression, yet the tone is quite ironic, and the emptiness of their lives is hinted at. Yet the characters are not at all dislikeable. Perhaps this one echoes the gospel maxim that life does not consist of one’s possessions, and aiming to get wealthy is a pitfall, although I am not quite sure if that was the intention. Despite one pre-Hays Code concern, Dinner at Eight has a cast of brilliant performances throughout, the dialogue and scenes are more than well handled and for a very stage-liked production it’s not all noticeable, superbly directed. A sheer delight.
5 out of 5 stars
It’s a comedy farce that makes a sly comment about the lacks in capitalism at a philosophical and practical level, through situational comedy and wisecracks. It’s also got interludes of entertaining music and singing. I found it barely amusing, mostly unfunny, and uneven in its distribution of amusements, although the Marx Brothers are likeable enough but don’t quite make up for it.
2 stars out of 5 stars