May 18th, 2016
Movie Review #9276 BONNIE & CLYDE.
Having today stopped in to Primm, Nevada, to see the actual car in which Clyde Barrow & Bonnie Parker met their end, it was apt that the original 1967 movie was showing on my flight back from LA to Auckland tonight.
Bringing a very young Warren Beattie & Faye Dunaway, the latter looking more like 60s bombshell than 30s moll, to international prominence, this is a masterful piece of movie making that tells the story of Bonnie & Clyde from the time of Clyde's release from prison in 1932 through to their demise on a Louisiana backroad in 1934. In a couple of short years, their ruthless daring captured the hearts & minds of America in the midst of the Depression, perhaps giving those suffering the most some sort of folklore to hang onto. Certainly the movie portrays this way & paints these characters without excuse or misunderstanding, depicting events reasonably close to truth with very little over-dramatisation.
Excellent performances from the aforementioned leads + an equally superb Gene Hackman as Clyde's older brother Buck. Estelle Parsons is Buck's squealing spouse Blanche, Michael J Pollard does the goofball yet sinister sidekick CW Moss (actually a fictional character - an amalgamation of a couple of the gang's sidekicks) with aplomb & Denver Pyle is on Texas Ranger duty as Frank Hamer, the law who finally brings them down. Also spotted was Gene Wilder as a Midwestern twit who manages to get himself & his fiancée kidnapped by the Barrow gang before being dumped in the middle of nowhere, after ticking off Bonnie.
All in all a thoroughly entertaining yarn that manages to decently reflect life in the mid America dustbowl with the bravado of Bonne & Clyde roaring through the middle of it. 8.5/10.
The Jungle Book: Movie Review #9365 THE JUNGLE BOOK.
Remake of the 1967 Disney animated movie which in turn was based on a collection of stories written by Rudyard Kipling late nineteenth century. As a kid I never got to see the animated version & remember feeling quite left out as all my friends did.
Anyway having long since gotten over that childhood trauma, I popped along to the 3D version showing this evening in downtown Palmerston North. Have to say it is a beautifully crafted film, made all the more dramatic in 3D, albeit with a few obvious hat tips to StarWars, The Lion King & the original Planet of the Apes. Cinematography is amazing & NZ's own Weta Digital had a hand in its production. I picked most of the voices apart from Bagheera the panther whom I initially thought was Sir Anthony Hopkins but turned out to be another British knight, Sir Ben Kingsley.
If you don't know the story, man-cub Mowgli is raised by wolves in the Indian jungle & forms all sorts of interesting relationships with the animals within his surrounds. Shere Kan the tiger however is intent on man-cub for supper/revenge & pursues him through thick & thin, finally meeting his match in Mowgli's tricks, which he had previously been berrated for deploying. Along the way Mowgli meets Baloo the bear (Bill Murray), Kaa a python (Scarlett Johanssen) & King Louie a massive orangutan (a very Godfather-like Christopher Walken), each wanting Mowgli & his tricks to help with their own agendas.
A few little goofs noted; Baloo emerges from a river almost completely dry & when the wolves get rained on they don't seem to get wet, unlike Mowgli who is often submerged & drenched!
All-in-all thoroughly entertaining although being a Friday night, I was pretty jaded after a tough week & had a little trouble staying engaged. Note: make sure you see it in 3D! 9/10.
I'm a movie nut from way back with my first ever being The Hallelujah Trail from 1964. Ever since, I've been mesmerized by the giant screen, and the darkness that went on forever. Despite the infernally uncomfortable seats, (plus having to stand for God Save the Queen), I've been enticed ever since to duck into a theatre whenever I can for a few hours of escapism.