Movie Review #9214 GONE WITH THE WIND.
How do you review the most endearing movie of all time & indeed why? Because it's there!
Maybe it's the challenge of this 4hr epic tale of the old south, made almost 80yrs ago & encompassing the golden age of hammy Hollywood style. Of course Vivienne Leigh is the feather-headed but manipulative Scarlett O'Hara & Clark Gable the silver-tongued Rhett Butler & carrying such immortal lines as 'as God is my witness I'll not go hungry again' & 'frankly my dear I don't give a damn', they cavort through the greatest but doomed love affair ever portrayed on screen.
Olivia de Havilland & Leslie Nielsen are the supporting Mr & Mrs Wilkes, they of such great virtue that they make everyone else look like self-serving twats. While Scarlett works her way through husbands like water & plays them all to her manipulative advantage she eventually meets her match in Capt. Butler, finally figuring out reality when it's all too late via one tragedy after another.
Thick with melodrama & lavish sets & costumes to match, it ultimately becomes its own worst enemy, eventually folding back in on itself & its hamminess.
I won't give it a rating as this is sorta an exhibition review as opposed to a league match.
Movie Review #9254 THE ACCOUNTANT.
Ben Affleck is anything but a mild mannered accountant in this tale of a maths savant, who is also a crack shot as well as possessing a few other talents atypical of your average accountant.
We also through the power of flashback get to see his path to being the accountant and realise that all is not as it seems. He's pretty good at unraveling cooked books but when the unraveling leads back to some pretty nasty dudes, things take a turn for the worst. Enter female interest and our hero's tough exterior gets a few dents as he goes against protocol to rescue her from the sh*t, shovelled upon her by their unscrupulous employer whom I picked as the central trouble right from the start.
Affleck is adequate as Chris but far too much of a pretty boy to be taken seriously in this type of role. Veterans John Lithgow & Jeffrey Tambor turn up in supporting roles & both outshine any of the others on mere screen presence alone.
Routine story apart from a couple of twists towards the conclusion but still sufficiently engaging for a 7.5/10.
Movie Review #287 HACKSAW RIDGE.
Powerful, powerful anti-war movie based on the story of Desmond Doss, the only conscientious objector to win the Congressional Medal of Honour during WWII.
As US forces attempt to take Okinawa against fanatical Japanese opposition, bloody battles ensue and beware, the depiction of war in this one is the most explicit I've seen yet and makes Saving Private Ryan look like Disneyland.
The story starts in Doss' childhood, works through the romance with wife Dorothy, takes us into basic training and the attempts of the army to get rid of him before we arrive on Okinawa where Corp Doss is a medic.
Refusing to even carry a rifle let alone kill, he manages to ferry 75 wounded American soldiers to safety from Hacksaw Ridge after the main contingent had withdrawn in the face of overwhelming Japanese numbers.
Stand out performance is Hugo Weaving as Doss' shell shocked WWI veteran father, Rachel Griffiths does the mum turn and completing the Australian representation is Mel Gibson, proving again that he is a far better director than actor.
Thought provoking to the end, it left me wondering whether Doss' stance was a reflection of faith, a religious adherence or a response to abuse from his father and other childhood events, perhaps a combination of all three or maybe none of the above.
Overall a superb and extremely explicit film that elicits a sense of awe that against all odds, Doss survived while saving so many. 9.5/10
Movie Review #8406 ARRIVAL.
Complex psychological scifi thriller along the Contact lines sees a young linguist with a troubled past commandeered to help translate the grunts of recently arrived aliens into some form of English.
Shades of Independence Day has a dozen or so alien spaceships position themselves at seemingly random points around the globe then proceed to make overtures to the locals. Trouble is no-one can figure out what the heck they're on about hence calling in aforementioned linguist in the form of Amy Adams. Add current flavour of the month Jeremy Renner as sidekick and we're set for a couple of hours of wondering what gives as alien and human do their best to touch base.
Via a series of Rorshak-like circular images, young Amy finally figures out what's happening and manages to convince the other nations, in particular China, that the seven-legged heptapods do in fact 'come in peace' and bear no ill will.
What they do bear is still a bit of a mystery to this moviegoer but it makes for a reasonably entertaining Friday evening at the movies and overall have to give it the customary 7/10.
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.