Life to the max and all that jazz

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…

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Amour (2012)

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.

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The Angry Birds Movie (2016)

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.

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The Elephant Man (1980)

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.

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It’s not disillusionment, though

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.

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Top Hat (1935)

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,

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Forgiven

The surface of my review, written in 2000, looked fine, and sounded good. But then I saw flaws and blemishes and I should have known better. It’s like the coach ironing out any deficiencies in an otherwise acceptable even good performance. On the looks of things, my review appeared good, but looking closer, there were things to improve on. However, I’m forgiven, and can only get better.

The Band Wagon (1953)

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

Relevance

Reviewing is a popular genre, many people do it these days because they can, with the availability of the world wide web at their disposal. Back in the day, it was left to a select few. In this climate where one can post a review at leisure, one can write about any kind of film they like, depending on the website’s policy. This is what I did, but mostly I did the recent films. If you’re reasonably serious about doing it properly, it’s a better look to review what’s relevant now in the marketplace. Keep things up to date. As well as review the older stuff. For me, these days is more like a review here or there at leisure…while I sift through the trailers to see what’s worth watching.

E.T. (1982)

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”,

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