Why Ferenc Arpad’s 1951 B movie is on my A list of Best. Movies. Ever.
Sometimes you want reality from The Movies, and sometimes you just want a big ol’ cartoony popcorny action adventure flick that’s exciting and makes you laugh and doesn’t require deep thinking but also isn’t so stupid that it makes you want to cry. And I got a huge kick out of this one. So there.
It hasn’t been a great year for film — I’m not the first critic you’ve heard say this. I had some very powerful and very entertaining experiences at the movies this year, but not as many as in other years, and few of those experiences coincided with the films that Hollywood wants us to think … more…
Forget that this is based on a ride at Disney World, and a pretty sorry one, at that — know that it’s a wonderfully exhausting, refreshingly unironic, delightfully old-fashioned swashbuckler.
Steven Spielberg has never made a film like this one before, sharp and bright, lighthearted and witty, underplayed and — dare I say it? — hip.
With its lush Technicolor palette of autumn hues and lavish Elmer Bernstein score and slightly stylized acting and crisp costumes of crinoline and taffeta and gray flannel, Far from Heaven is a note-perfect pastiche of early studio melodramas.
You know that fourth Indiana Jones movie for which we’ve been waiting ten years? Well, here it is. From its wowser of an opening in ancient Egypt to the spectacular finale featuring an army of reanimated, bandage-dripping soldiers, The Mummy is a totally enthralling, nonstop thrill ride, the best popcorn flick in years, the purest fun I’ve had at the movies since I can’t remember when.
A recent episode of Showtime’s Stargate SG-1 featured this delightful line: ‘We’re afraid you’re gonna dark side on us,’ one character says to another who’s under the sway of the enemy. The mythology of Star Wars has presented us with a new verb: ‘to dark side.’ I love it.
I suspected The Fifth Element was gonna turn out to be a bunch of claptrap, and I was right. It’s a visually stunning film, to be sure — I’m a sucker for gorgeous spaceships and gorgeous spacescapes — but ultimately it’s a strange brew of Blade Runner, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Douglas Adams, mixed with a lot of pseudoreligious, pseudoscientific nonsense.
Event Horizon had such promise…