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Gone With The Wind

Scarlett has been in love with Ashley for as long as she can remember. One day to her misfortune, she finds that he's about to get married with her mild-mannered cousin Melanie. But she isn't one to give up. Even after the wedding has happened and everything, she still continues to try and pursue him. Melanie knows that she's smitten with Ashley, but ”smitten” isn't a strong enough word in this case. She's dead set he's the man of her dreams, no matter what he says. In the wake of it all, a Civil War is also close to erupting, and a mysterious gentleman (or so he says) pops up: Rhett Butler. Little does she know what kind of trouble she'll get into with him as well...

Where to start with Gone With The Wind? The Citizen Kane of romance dramas. Except even better. But every occassion I watch a movie with the length of three hours or more, I always need as much concentration as possible. Not even when I paused the movie did I check my phone for messages, who cares about those anyway? They could wait.

And what I got was one of the most unique love stories ever put to film. Especially during the time it was made. During the age of sentimental romance movies starting to blossom (until they exploded in the 40's), Victor Fleming gave us one of the darkest ones of the type ever put to film. True, there is love here, and I experienced several different emotions throughout the movie. But it's not the kind of love that makes you feel happy.

Vivien Leigh plays one of the most unlikeable characters you'll ever witness. When she isn't pursuing Ashley no matter how many times he rejects her, she comes up with ways to screw people over however she sees fit, either because she's in a bad mood or is looking to get something out of it. The most devious thing she does is cheat Frank out of possibly a life-long happy marriage and forces him into a miserable one which puts his life short instead. Even though she did it so her family could raise money to survive, it was a horrible and rotten thing to do. She's completely blind to how much her cousin Melanie loves her, and sees her as an enemy instead due to her committment to Ashley. But it's an amazing character. You absolutely love to hate her, and as nasty and cunning as she gets, you can't stop watching her. Leigh gives a perfect performance, managing to get on your nerves, but never makes it feel unbelievable in any way.
So when Rhett arrives, you think they're practically perfect for each other. Both selfish and with no other goals in mind than their own. But because Rhett doesn't let himself be taken for a fool, he's the one who manages to upset her the most. Even from the scene where they first meet, she hates him already as soon as he gets snappy. Scarlett can't stand that someone calls her out for all her flaws, even when it's affectionate. That's right, for all the teasing Rhett does truly love her. But his bag of tricks with buttery words and kisses do nothing as long as she's in love with Ashley. Clark Gable plays his role with such intensity that he pops out of the screen. He's in practice just as bad as Scarlett, yet there's something about him that's less grating, and rather strangely magnetic. With his classic mustache and smile, you're almost fooled into thinking he really is a proper gentleman. But when he does get angry and fed up, he's scary. The night scene where he sets somber at the table is full of eerie dramatic tension, especially when he hold his hands against Scarlett's ears, attempting to take control of her. By that point he's completely given up. He's through with being a gentleman. Enough is enough. So when we get to the very awaited goodbye at the end, it feels earned. You entirely understand how sick he is of Scarlett's countless mind games. She's flip-flopped from adoring him to looking back at Ashley, and when she blames him for the death of their daughter, that's just too much to take. Anyone would leave at that point.

And yet... you don't wish Scarlett a life of misery. Near the end when she's really, really been through more than anyone is able to endure, and when she's down on her last legs, it's hard not to wish it wouldn't end this way. You get the rug pulled away from under you, making you feel sympathy for Scarlett just when it's all too late.
We still get a glimmer of hope. Tara. The land of Tara. Will she finally get a new fresh start and become a better person? Or is this land the only thing she'll hold onto? The audience is left figuring that out for themselves...

Now when I've gushed about the brilliantly innovative story, there is still so much left to talk about. This movie lends itself for endless analysis.

The supporting cast, much as they have to live up to the towering Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable, they all range from admirable to great. It's not only Leigh and Gable who give amazing performances, that honor also goes to Olivia de Havilland. She plays someone with such a relentlessly good heart that you're almost amazed how much awfulness from Scarlett and even Ashley to some extent (it turns out he was cheating on her) she is able to forgive. But some people just naturally are like that. Even after someone has committed such a large amount of mistakes, they try to see the good in the person. Havilland's natural performance gives a lot of humanity that's needed to a someone so settled down as she is. Similarly to Anastasia: The Mystery Of Anna, we get some heartbreaking scenes which show her possibly standing on her last legs, soft-spokenly uttering as much as she still can.
Trevor Howard as Ashley has been criticized, seeing as he sounds miserable all the time. But I thought it fit the melancholy of his character, who has to go through quite a lot of tough **** in war.

To get into the territory of controversy, I can't deny it: I love Hattie McDaniel as Mammy. Even though she's based on a stereotype (How hard could it have been to give her a name?), McDaniel gives her character a warm, lighthearted charm that makes it easy to sympathize with her. She cares about people a lot, and is filled with tears when she has to deliver some particularly bad news. Hattie was truly a one-of-a-kind, and I believe that even if you dislike the way her character was written (which is fine with me), McDaniel deserves all the respect she can get.
Big Sam doesn't show up a lot, but Everett Brown plays him with a similar amount of likability.

Unfortunately, the same can't be said for Prissy. Now, as for the performance itself, I actually found it kinda cute. Butterfly McQueen's squeaky voice is a joy to behold, and she's a natural comic talent. But man, the way her character was treated throughout the movie... ouch. It was hard to watch. You see Scarlett treating the rest of the black characters just fine, but when Prissy even make the slighest ****-up, she bullies her and even threatens whipping! I felt incredibly sorry for Prissy, and wish she had been given at least a little bit comfort from some other characters. Unlike most of the things in the movie, the cruelty directed at her character didn't seem to serve a lot of purpose for the story and got jarring to watch. Luckily that's the only real flaw in this fantastic movie.

I watched the restored version, so I got to hear all the music compositions before, inbetween and after. I love that all the long old movies have breaks like these. Not because I would be getting impatient, but it really gives you a sense of how big the movie is, and you get to really appreciate the score more as well. I know they were basically there so the audience could take a rest, maybe go to the bathroom... but it adds a lot. Nowadays you never see long movies do this anymore, and any movie closing in on 4 hours is very rare.

If you've never seen Gone With The Wind, I can guarantee you won't regret it if you do.

I felt really bad for that poor horse Scarlett whipped to death. I hope the actual horse wasn't harmed in any way.

9.5/10, rounded up to

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The truth is in here

The Cure For Wellness:


The Pledge:

Prom Night II:

Prom Night III:

Get Out:

Paper Towns:


Hells Angels On Wheels:

Amityville II: The Possession:

The Mangler:

Video Violence:

The Eternal Jew:

Show People:

One Hour Photo:

The Problem With Apu

Soul Man:


More American Graffiti:

Out Of Africa:

Solitary Man:

Total Recall:

Excellent review of Gone With The Wind ....I enjoyed reading it, and your love for the movie really comes through in your writing. I love Gone With the Wind after reading your review I want to see it again! That's always a sign of a good review writer

Glad to see you made your own movie review thread, we need more reviewers here at MoFo. Are you clicking the box for "Suggest this post for inclusion in the Reviews area" ?...If you do then your review gets logged into MoFo as an official review and people can find it by the Review & Movie links at the top of MoFo pages.

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Amityville 3-D

The movie starts off with two people trying to contact their dead son through a seancé. The room starts moving and they not only hear their son's voice, but also see a ghost! But suddenly, it's revealed to be a bluff. They are in fact long-time debunkers who always manage to uncover so-called ”supernatural” happenings and expose them as fake. But as soon as they start spending a little too much time in the Amityville house, weird stuff starts going on...

We are three movies in and have reached the dreaded 3-D gimmick. But unlike some other examples, it's actually pretty good. Sure, the 3D shots look pretty goofy and is used bizzarrely at times (with a frisbie coming at the screen), but the story is intriguing and the scenes contain some good suspense. There are some really creepy scenes throughout. John and Melanie's daughter turning around with a blank stare and continuing up the stairs, the elevator starting to act up, and the house punishing Melanie even when she avoids making stupid horror mistakes. Which thank God never happened with her. Yes, there are some other characters who make the typical dumb mistakes you find yourself gritting your teeth at, but it's always good to have a lead as well who's not as stupid as the other ones. Candy Clark has proven herself to be a great talent. After her charming performance in American Graffiti (as well as disappointing performance in More American Graffiti, but that's more the fault of the script), she plays Melanie with such charisma and emotion that you want to see her in more dramatic roles. The look on her face when she's terrified is bone-chilling. You're right there with her.

After Melanie drops out, the second half revolves around John, his wife Nancy and their daughter Susan. It's not completely the direction I expected the movie to go (I thought they would have Melanie on the other end of the line helping out John), but it still works. Nancy is likeable too, and you feel scared for this family's lives.

The climax is where you get what you've been waiting for. The house going totally nuts and going out of its way to try and get everyone. While at the same you are also hoping everyone will be okay. It also features the most hilarious example of 3D, with an ominious swordfish almost stabbing John. The house gets ruined, and I mean DEMOLISHED. Completely. And who's gonna want to rebuild it? By this point it's pretty obvious this house won't be nicer to any residents no matter who they are. Since this franchise is far from over however, we know that not to be true.

Despite most of it being relatively welldone though, there are a few flaws with the movie. First of all, when I say Melanie drops out, I mean they completely forget her character once she has nothing important to do anymore. She sees a creepy photo, and then she's out of the movie. I hate when that happens. Why do so many movies establish an important character, and then randomly drop it?
The acting was mostly really good, but when it came to the teen characters it was pretty bad. Including Meg Ryan, although it was pretty funny to hear her talk about ghost sex. It seems like 80's movies have a habit of making teenagers as obnoxious as they possibly can, with the typical teasing and calling people cowards left and right. The glass spinning scene in particular makes everyone except Susan look like complete dicks. Maybe it's just because I hate peer pressure so much in real life, but scenes like that are so annoying to watch.

Amityville 3-D still shows some signs of life in the franchise, and the living house remains scary. It gets crapped on because it's not as classy as the first two parts, but if you like supernatural horror it's a good watch.

I have to thank you for this lush and brilliant review of Gone With The Wind - I actually started to write a very long 'review' of your review earlier today, but apparently the Internet gremlin ate it ( guess it's gone with the cyber wind)

You have such great insights about the characters- Scarlett was so hateful to watch- vain, greedy, selfish, etc. - but as you said, in the end she gained your sympathy and you wished her well. ( For me it started when she swore 'to never go hungry again, nor..... any of her kin"- you see a strength of character emerge that meant she would face whatever fate threw at her - and triumph).

Rhett, also a selfish sort, was more likeable and charming for sure, but shows his underside of potential violence in the head grabbing scene you mentioned.

And Mammy- how could you not love her. I do not find her a cliche; in fact she may be the most appealing character in the film- especially when she's scolding Scarlett and then when she finally dons the petticoat.

All in all a magnificent movie - and your review makes me want to watch it and luxuriate in it again.
So many current movies cannot hold my attention like GWTW. 3 Billboards, for instance, had me eager and expectant to watch it; by an hour in, I was clutching my chair waiting for them to 'get on with it' And there was the contrast of an open ended ending- 3 billboards had me saying 'who cares'. Not so in GWTW.

By the' don't give a damn ending ' of GWTW, I not only cared but wanted the movie to go on. Four hours and not a scene wasted, not a minute went by that did not hold my attention.

I agree with the possibility of a hopeful future after the movie's end; somewhere down the road- somewhere along the horizon, surely things will get better . For Rhett and Scarlett , for the entire vanquished south.

After all - "Tomorrow is another day"

(Thank you again for this wonderful review which I will read again, as surely as I ll watch the movie again)

Hope you don't mind- couldn't resist posting this :

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Wow! Thank you! I really put a lot of effort into the review since there was so much about the movie that was worth analyzing. It was such a ride of different emotions, with some of the most beautiful-looking scenes in cinema. I also agree about not being bored once. Sometimes with a really long movie there can be a few slow parts, a scene that goes on for too long. Nope. Not here. I'm glad this movie never experienced loads of different cuts, because if you cut a single scene out you lose something very important.

I hope you enjoy watching Gone With The Wind again, and I'm impressed you want to re-read my review just because you liked it so much. It's rare that ever happens

You're welcome. The pleasure was mine. 😀

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American Sniper

Chris Kyle is one of the world's most famous snipers, and reputed as the deadliest there's ever been. At a very young age he had to go through bullies beating up his brother, trained to use a gun by his father and that he has to be the ”sheepdog”. Not the one who lies down, nor the asshóle picking on people. But instead, the man who protects those who are being beaten. And after the 9/11 attacks happen, Chris is more motivated than ever to get out into the war and fight for his country. But how long is it really worth it before it mentally affects him?

There are pro-war movies and there are anti-war movies. And then there are those which are inbetween. American Sniper falls into that category. Now, while war is shown as a brutal playground, the line is grey whether it's justifiable or not. What it does show more clearly however, is that war doesn't disappear just because you return home. Hearing gunshots for months, taking human lives on a regular basis and having to see your closest friends die, it's not unusual to feel anger, regret and shame. Kyle goes back and forth from reluctantly accepting the ”Legend” staple to feeling uncomfortable when people try to label him so. What makes him a hero? Taking lives? Why do people give him credit for that, when taking a life is much easier than saving one? Early on we see him having to shoot a child so it won't throw a bomb he's been given by his mother, with him angrily responding to another soldier impressed by his shot. In a much later scene, we see him again in a similar scenario where he could be forced to make a decision no one ever wants to make. We see him deeply hoping the kid won't pick up the rifle, so he never has to take a child's life again. I think that sends a very strong message. You don't ”get used” to war. It doesn't matter how experienced you are, or how patriotic you feel, it's not something that ever can feel like it's not a big deal. What you can however, is get addicted to it. Kyle's brain is there the whole time, even when he's home. He's gotten it so ingrained into his mind that he has a mission to cover for everyone else that he forgets about the simple joys in life. Like watching your kids grow, being there with your loving wife, not having to worry about a bullet passing through you any minute.
WARNING: spoilers below
The ending shows him trying to adjust to civil life once and for all, sick and tired of fearing for his and everybody else's life. After he attacks a dog at a party, he finally realizes how hard it really is to separate himself from the war zone, and goes to see an army psychologist. Unfortunately, the psychologist doesn't know what a big mistake he makes when he shows him the other soldiers less fortunate than him. One of them turn out to be even less stable than him, so the day they go out for a walk, he kills him. Kyle was killed by one of the people he's fighting for.
This is a very powerful and sad ending. You're left there kinda thinking ”Whoa, what the ****?!”. Yet, I do have a problem with the ending as well. Just like his father showed him, he teaches his own daughter how to shoot. Of course, this is realistic with how a sniper would raise his child. The issue lies in how it's presented. No, it's not a sign of a good father. You should not teach your kids to be ready for service when they are barely even 10 ****ing years old. Just left a bad taste in my mouth.

Despite that, this is one of the most honest portrayals of how easily war can psychologically damage you. You could be the most patriotic soldier there is, and still not escape the post-war effect.
Bradley Cooper gives a career-best performance, humanizing a character with one of the least sympathetic jobs in the world. In my opinion, he didn't make Chris Kyle a hero. That's the whole point. He was just a regular human being.
Sienna Miller gives the second best performance as his wife Taya, who has to watch in horror as her husband becomes fixated on the idea of killing people for other's protection, and barely acknowledging that she's there.

The movie does send a few mixed signals, but is another good entry into the war-is-traumatizing genre. Whereas Saving Private Ryan was focused on making everyone heroes, this one instead explores the idea of being perceived as a hero, which I find far more interesting.

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Top Gun

Pete Mitchell, a.k.a. Maverick is known as a Navy pilot who's not afraid to take risks. Mostly because he creates the risks himself. His controversial reputation should get him kicked out, but instead he gets accepted into Top Gun, an elite fighter school. But to get accepted turns out to mean more just being a joyriding daredevil...

Top Gun is without a doubt the most macho movie ever made. I could name all Arnold action movies on one arm, and none would even come close. You get everyone talking tough towards each other, sweaty half-naked bodies, lots of shower discussion sequences, everyone acting like their own ladies' man, and absolutely fearless attitudes. Save for Goose.
Of course, this means it's going to be very cheesy. I found myself laughing at points because of how hard everyone tried to be cool, and the music choices for the romantic scenes. Best of all though has to be Maverick pulling off his smile every time he get uncomfortably close hitting on Charlie. Oh, Charlie is a woman. Don't worry though, there are plenty of homoerotic undertones throughout anyway. I love the friendship between Maverick and Goose, they are the kind of friends who get silly with each other as often as they act endearingly sympathetic towards each other's struggles.
WARNING: spoilers below
It was actually pretty sad when he died.
Which brings me to arguably the most interesting section, that being when Maverick starts to feel some guilt. He's not invisible anymore. And he realizes jet pilot flying is not a game. Cruise shows some of his refined acting skills when we see him unable to move on, his confidence dropping like a domb in Hiroshima. It makes him more sympathetic, since we know that anyone who goes through a tragic event can get to that point.
The best performance goes to Tom Skeritt, who is very likeable as the instructor Viper. He avoids being the cliché character who makes life even tougher for Maverick, instead serving as his mentor. When everyone else thinks he's nothing more than a dangerous nutcase, Viper believes in him.
Kelly McGillis does a good job as the love interest Charlie, and her character is also decent for the most part (I'll get to the latter later on), and while the scenes between her and Maverick do follow the regular conventions, you believe in the chemistry between them.

The music is welldone, with lots of memorable tunes playing (especially during the training sequences), really managing to get you pumped up. They do overuse Danger Zone a little, but it's still a great song.

Do I have anything bad to say about the film? I guess the first thing would be that at first I didn't really get into the characters. It felt like they were just showing off to each other or doing spit-takes at first, which made me feel like the writers were having a little too much fun trying to be clever. But after a while you start to like them, and Iceman goes from ice cold to well... medium-temperature water.
I thought the only weak part of the last act where Maverick feels guilty over himself is how Charlie reacts to it. It's like, wow! Ease up! The man has been through a lot of ****! Maybe the best way to motivate someone who's been through a tragedy isn't to harshly call them a coward. I would've liked to see her offer an apology at the end. But thankfully, Viper comes with some very nice advice and understands how he feels.

I think that's all I have to say. It's unpretentiously fun, go check it out.

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Regarding Henry

Henry Turner is not a very nice man. In fact, he has an infamous reputation as a scummy lawyer. Not only that, but he's generally loveless towards his wife and daughter as well, and shows no signs of caring about anyone but himself. After going to the store one evening, a robber holds him up. When the robber gets impatient with Henry, he shoots him; once in the chest, once in the head. But in a stroke of luck, Henry survives! Only he can't speak, and can't remember anything from his past life...

Mike Nichols makes another fine film. Something he gets very well is how to let the actors dominate the screen, that great performances speak for themselves. And Harrison Ford is nothing short of fantastic. He would be very entertaining playing a scumbag in a film throughout, as we get some nasty funny lines when his ego rises to his head. Especially in the scene where he reprimands his daughter instead of apologizing to her like patient wife Sarah Turner asked. But where I'm even more impressed is how he portrays the same person attempting to master the power of speech again and connect pieces of his previous life. The portrayal is dead-on realistic and very respectful, and really makes his newfound innocence and change of conscience shine through wonderfully, delivering both the funniest and the most heartfelt moments of the film. I did see it coming he would go into a porno theater, but his facial expressions and mixed confusion/curiosity makes it hysterical. Something this movie succeeds with is its positive energy. You just feel so warm inside seeing Henry reconnect with his family and having an overall pleasant and charming personality. The humor is simple, but very funny in a cute kind of way, like the scenes between Henry and his assistant, and him saying to his wife before sex ”I don't know if I can do it like the guy does in that movie”. Completely without any intention of impressing her, just genuine nervosity over how he will perform.

A movie like this can very easily be sad and a Debbie downer to sit through, but films like this one, 50/50 and Untouchables prove that doesn't have to be the case. I find a light and endearing movie like this portraying someone with a sickness or mobility problem much more true-to-life than an overdramatic piece of tear fluff like My Sister's Keeper. You really care about this family, and you love seeing them looking at life from the bright side, and turning Henry's memory loss into a good thing.
As expected, there does happen something unfortunate though,
WARNING: spoilers below
that being when Henry finds out his wife was cheating, and then that he cheated on her himself. But they don't extend it any longer than neccessary, and it's completely understandable considering what a jerk Henry was before he suffered memory loss. And best of all, it ends happily.

Everyone in the cast perform greatly. Annette Being is admirable as Sarah Turner, who just like Ford conveys the sweetness inside her character. Then we have Kamian Allen as Henry's daughter Linda, who is so adorable in the role that it's truly a shame she's never appeared in another movie. But of course, I can't conclude this review without mentioning Bill Nunn as Bradley. What a great presence. The way he talks and crack jokes reminds me of people I've had as assistants myself. They really do make the same kind of corny jokes and laugh and smile a lot. Besides being a funnyman, he also offers some great wisdom, showing he really cares for Henry as a friend and wants him to live a happy life together with the family.

Before this movie I didn't even realize what a range Harrison Ford has as an actor. We all know him as Han Solo and Indiana Jones, but here he really transforms into someone entirely different, who's down-to-earth and instantly very likeable. If he wasn't nominated for an award, he got snubbed.

It seems you always make my cherished movies- like Regarding Henry - come alive again for me. An 'endearing movie' - exactly. And glad you noticed the range that Harrison has as an actor (I have already squawked about this and about him being snubbed by the Academy in other well trod threads, lol , so I'll keep my sputtering to a minimum here- or is it too late for that? ) I really enjoy and value your reviews(s)

I think we are on the same page in what makes a movie an experience you want to watch and rewatch ( and rewatch) again. Well realized characters, good pacing, a thread of humor even in harsh situations, a storyline you can empathize with, and, as complicated as life can be, even in the movies- an ending that leaves us filled with hope.

Another great review!

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Pink Floyd: The Wall

I'll try my best to sum up the plot of a movie which really doesn't follow any regular conventions. Basically, it's about the rock star Pink, who in later years has isolated himself so much from people he's continuously going insane, either sitting in a cathatonic state in front of the TV, or having violent outbursts. This is accompanied mostly through visuals, and almost exclusively dialogue and music taken from Pink Floyd's album The Wall.

I always like to watch a movie sometimes which challenges my senses. Which really takes you on a ride and never lets go. Having read only the one-line summary about the film, I didn't know what to expect. At first, I'll admit I was a little confused. Is it supposed to be like this the whole time? The dialogue was weirdly low at times, while the music was MUCH louder by comparison. I was starting to get a bit worried this would be one of those movies everyone else loves, but I don't get. My least favorite kind of disappointment.

And then... It suddenly clicked for me.
I don't know what it was, but I reached a certain point where I gained a much better understanding of what the film was trying to communicate, how the heavy reliance on lyrics for telling a story actually enhanced it instead of hindered it. It's not even just the lyrics which make it work so well, but the actual mechanics of at which moments a certain song is used as well. The dreary kind of music used in scenes where the police is mercilessly beating people down and even going so far as to rape some of them. And whenever you reach a shocking moment (that bear in mind, you're never prepared for), the music sounds panicky and invoke a sense of terror. I don't think I ever startled more than when a groupie enters Pink's room, and he sits there completely motionless, only blinking when he stares at the TV. Not even when she oddly enough sucks his fingers he gives any sort of reaction, outside of maybe a small hand gesture for her to leave him alone. He doesn't say a single word either. And then just SUDDENLY, HE STANDS UP! And starts screaming, throwing and turning over objects, trying to hurt her just for being there, and finally throws out his good ol' tube. Interestingly enough, his line when throwing out the TV set is the only line he had that was written specifically for the movie. And even though you're wondering what he means when he says it, it really emphasizes the craziness of the whole situation.

Fortunately, there are some explanations provided for why he has reached a mental state where he's trapped inside himself, and won't let anyone in. As a child, he was rejected and had a mother who didn't care about him, a school which nothing more than reprimanded him, a father who died in the war, and had to witness the destruction of all things good, tons of lives lost to a cause worth nothing. And the relentless school teacher? That's his step father. His life has been a nightmare all along, and we see him trying to connect with other people but never going anywhere. The TV which he mindlessly watches becomes his only comfort in life.

But one can't go without mentioning the beautiful animated sequences, which overflow with such creativity and unforgettable visuals. There is the iconic scene where two flowers carefully approach the other, with relatively calm music playing. And then, as they violently **** each other the sound gets louder, and it's suddenly kinda scary to watch. I don't even know why it is, but something about it is so bizzarre you are taken aback. The album cover and poster for The Wall are represented as well.
WARNING: spoilers below
The poster shows up as a screaming face emerging from the wall, and even though it's brief all three times, it's just as terrifying as you would imagine it. That poster still makes the list of one of the scariest posters I've seen next to Zazie. As for the album cover, it manifests itself in several forms. First as unbreakable, a wall which Pink tries to get through, but just won't relent no matter how much he tries, and then at the end when he finally breaks the wall, as a symbol of freedom. He's finally broken the evil circle, he will no longer stay isolated from everyone.

I have to applaud the bravery of Alan Parker for taking on this project. Nobody understood it at the time it came out, and sadly, Parker himself thinks he failed as well. Don't worry, Parker. We understand now what you were trying to do, and if you ask me, you succeeded.

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About Schmidt

Warren Schmidt has worked in the insurance industry for many years, and now it's time for his hard-earned reward: retirement. But what is a reward to some is a showstopper for others. What will he do now? How will he proceed in life? Warren gets even more to think about when a tragedy happens with his wife as well...

Jack Nicholson is one of those actors who's admired for his larger-than-life performances, but can also be surprisingly sensitive when he wants to be. In this movie, he deplays the most natural acting he's ever pulled off in his career. Everything we see and feel with this character feels completely real. He goes about his daily routines, he engages in smalltalk (keeping his own little grievances mostly to himself) and has a somber expression and drooping eyes which show he's not getting younger. It blurs the line between watching someone acting and just... watching someone. Warren is very softspoken, and keeps a lot inside. The only time he gets a chance to express himself fully is to Ndugu, his donor child. This provides an interesting choice of narrative, where we get to follow a spiritual journey expressed through his letters, and Jack's slow, methodic narration works quite well. He's shown as more much more likeable than some of his other characters too, where he seems to get annoyed by a lot of things, but also genuinely cares about people. He wouldn't be on his daughter's case about her new boyfriend if he didn't care about her. Even more so when his wife Helen passes away, he doesn't want her to grow into a life full of disappointment. Randall is the pretty-boy type he absolutely hates: making money in dishonest ways, acting so perfect and polite that it's almost like a joke, and as he finds out later on, has a family full of freaks. But no matter how much he hates him, Jeannie loves Randall, and won't do anything to let him interfere with their happiness. The movie smartly sometimes makes you side with Warren, other times doesn't. In a way I can understand Warren's problem, there's something about Randall that seems very fake, and that he's too full of himself to be a decent partner for his daughter. In another, Warren doesn't rule over her anymore. If she loves him that much, she has the right to stay happy that way.

Warren's soul searching trip with his van ranges very often between comic and deeply sad. When he arrives at his old childhood home only for it to be turned into a tire shop, you gotta smile at how he doesn't mind it in the least and just happily talks about his memories to the shopkeep. Or when he arrives at his old school and shares a motto with the other students that leaves them confused. But when he meets up with two other travelers, things turn dark. After he gets some time alone with John's wife Nicki, she starts to psychoanalyze him, and sees right through his happy fascade right away that he's been unhappy for a long time, and feel like he's accomplished nothing. Mistakenly taking them as inviting words, he kisses her. Obviously, she's shocked that a lonely old man kisses her out of nowhere and throws him out. Now, I'm not saying that he was right to kiss her, because that was literally the worst thing to do in that situation. But what kind of right does she have to psychoanalyze him like that when he was just having a good time, laughing and enjoying their company? For the first time in long, he seemed to legitimately enjoy being with people, and not having to worry about anything. And so we follow him as he briskly leaves to do his healing elsewhere. One of the most touching scenes in the film is when he looks up at the stars, forgiving Helen for cheating on him when he constantly rejected her, and also questioning if she stayed with him because she loved him, or did it because she didn't want to hurt him.

The last act involves him spending time with Randall's family, a band of misfits, but none of them more so than Roberta. Not only is she one of those talky types who will utter any kind of nonsense without second thought, but she's uncomfortably open about sex as well, much more than Warren is used to, going so far as to assume the reason Randall and Jeannie stick together so well is because of their lively sex life. Kathy Bates provides some needed comedic relief in her role, and despite the somewhat annoying nature of her character is fun to watch. Nothing is more memorable than when she sits down in the jacuzzi together with Warren, whose look on his face is that of Oh-God-what-the-hell-am-I-getting-myself-into, and gets up as soon her flirting goes too far. He reacts exactly what a person who wouldn't want to find him/herself in that situation would do, and it's priceless.

The final conclusion is the wedding, where you wonder if Warren will do something to stop it or not. Will he blindly accept his daughter's happiness or steadily refuse and protest in front of everyone?
WARNING: spoilers below
He opens his speech rather negatively, re-iterating what he and his wife have said about their daughter's boyfriend, that he's up to no-good. But then he cops out and instead delivers a speech dripping with such intensity and heart that you'd be crazy not to believe it. But Jeannie knows her father, and that despite how convincing he came off, none of it was genuine. And Warren isn't happy that he didn't go through with it, and takes a miserable piss afterwards, in disbelief over what he just did.

But just when things look the bleakest and Warren's had nothing but disappointments, he gets a letter from a nurse taking care of Ndugu, who's made a drawing where they hold hands. You start to tear up along with Warren, who is crying over someone ever making such a sweet gesture for him. Just by telling a small child pieces of his life, he's found someone who gives it meaning. A reason for him to not give up, to enjoy what he's been given.

mattiasflgrtll6's Avatar
The truth is in here

Over the summer, Danny and Sandy find love with each other, and are the happiest they've ever been in their lives. But school starts, and it seems like they never will see each other again. ... Or will they? As it turns out, they both start a new year at the same high school, and naturally they're happy to be reunited. But things are not the same anymore...

I got the luck to see this in theaters, as a 40th anniversary showing. And right from the start you're getting ready for a fun ride. The animated opening sequence is very stylish and smoothly animated.
The dialogue whenever the characters talk has a certain style of its own. If you're bothered by exaggerated dialogue it's gonna be a hurdle, but I thought it had a comical flavor to it, especially when the greasers talk about girls and try to look cool. John Travolta is believable as the greaser with a heart of gold, and well conveys the pain in his face when he's forced to give into peer pressure by at first talking to Sandy just as romantically as before, but then copping out and talking like a dorky "ladies' man" type. He gives the most genuinely good performance in the movie, and you gotta love Travolta's snarky laugh when he tells Sandy not to make him laugh.
The main attraction of course, are the musical numbers, and aside of maybe 1 or 2, I pretty much loved all of them completely. There are many I could mention, but I'll go with Beauty School Drop-Out. The costume design and the grand staircase paired with the witty lyrics and great music makes it one of the stand-outs.

The final car chase where Danny and Leo have a car race is short, but excitingly executed.
WARNING: spoilers below
The surprise ending where Sandy is dressed in greaser-like clothes made me smile even though it kinda contradicts the overall message of the movie to go your own way instead of trying to fit in? Nevertheless she looked very cool, and it was great to see her and Danny finally ending up together.
Sugarsweet, but in the best way possible.

Why is it so god-damn hard to write about this movie? It's actually kinda giving me angst I loved it so much, yet I can't think of much else to write about it.

9.5/10, rounded up to

mattiasflgrtll6's Avatar
The truth is in here
Utøya 22. juli

I was afraid to see this movie. But it's one of those cases where I felt I HAD to. I was inevitably drawn to it. I thought there was a risk of it being a little exploitive. But I looked at the cast list, and an actor cast as Breivik was nowhere to be found.

And as soon as you watch the movie, it makes perfect sense. Many of the campers didn't have a chance of seeing who the shooter was, and if they did they were most likely doomed. It makes the situation extremely scary, as there is no visible presentation of the threat. Just shots firing from a gun, with one person after the other getting hit...

I'm sorry, I'm getting too emotional. But it's really hard not to. I felt all the fear, all the dirt and sand and the uncertainty over whether someone was going to make it out alive or not. The fact that it's impossible to know the fate of any of the victims beforehand is particularly horrifying. There are no easy hiding places, not a spot where you can feel completely safe and sound.

It feels weird to point out the acting in a way, since never at any point in the movie did I notice I was watching people acting. But I still have to give props to the especially brilliant performance of Andrea Berntzen as Kaja. Even though her mission to find her sister is extremely dangerous, you understand it from her angle why she would do it. You can sense every heartbeat and emotion that she goes through as she finds herself witnessing things that once you've seen it, it's stuck in your mind forever.

I was bawling my eyes red at the end of it. It's unbelievable that such a tragedy struck a country like Norway, at a nice and homely island, the place where you would least expect something like this to ever occur.

Yes, it's "just" a movie. But this is the closest you will possibly come to experiencing a tragedy at an isolated resort. As horrible as watching it play out in great detail was, be as grateful as you can it never happened to you. And to all the brave people who survived, stay strong and live your lives as happily as you can.