Gideon58's Reviews

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This is one of my all time favorite films. I voted for it high on the 90's countdown, but I fear it won't make the list. I don't think enough people have seen it; it's a shame because I think it deserves to be there.

Chappie doesn't like the real world
Arthur is one of my favorite movies. It's funny as heck, but there is also a genuine sadness and loneliness to Arthur that makes it a lot more complex than just a movie about a funny drunk. The performances feel honest and there is rarely a combo as good as Hobson and Arthur.

Plus it has Liza.

Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
I don't think it's even good,
at best. Some of the final scenes are downright embarassing in their laughable melodrama. I know it wasn't Lumet's intention, but that's how I see it.
It's what you learn after you know it all that counts. - John Wooden
My IMDb page

Hmmm, I've been in a couple situations where I felt my life was spiraling dangerously out of control, and this movie captured that very realistically in my eyes. I truly identified with the characters and felt what they were feeling. It's not a pleasant film, that's for sure. No light moments whatsoever.

Though he will probably always be remembered for 1981's Arthur, my favorite Dudley Moore performance is still from the 1979 Blake Edwards classic "10". Moore plays George Webber, a man who seemingly has it all: a flourishing career as a songwriter, money, a gorgeous home, an equally gorgeous girlfriend (Julie Andrews), but still feels like something is missing in his life.

Then one day, while stopped at a traffic signal, he glances at a girl (Bo Derek)in a limo, on her way to her wedding. George becomes obsessed with this vision, this perfect "10" and forsakes everything in his life, including Andrews, to find and be with this woman. After getting six fillings drilled by the girl's dentist/father (James Noble), in an attempt to learn where the girl went on her honeymoon, George flies to Mexico to find his "10" and eventually learns the lessons you would expect from such a venture.

In addition to some great physical comedy offered by Moore, there are moments of great warmth here too. The scenes at the outdoor bar in Mexico where Dudley encounters a lonely woman (Dee Wallace) and plays the piano are lovely. Brian Dennehy is effectively cast against type as the bartender. Also cast against type is Robert Webber as George's gay songwriting partner who tries in vain to make George see what an idiot he is and appreciate the things he has.

This is not just a smarmy sex comedy, but a warm character study of a man chasing something he really doesn't want or need and features one of Dudley Moore's most charming performances.
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1776 is the 1972 film version of the groundbreaking Broadway musical that chronicles the people and events that led to the writing and signing of the Declaration of Independence.

The musical centers on soon to be second President, John Adams, who according to this musical was a tireless but obnoxious advocate for the thirteen colonies independence from Great Britain and it was his zeal for this cause that led him to being central to the creation of the Declaration of Independence.

William Daniels brilliantly recreates his Tony-nominated Broadway role as John Adams, the restless and ever-vocal spokesperson for Independence who would not be silenced. He receives solid support from Howard da Silva, who does a scene stealing turn as Benjamin Franklin, Ken Howard as Thomas Jefferson, John Cullum as Edmund Rutledge, and the lovely Blythe Danner as Martha Jefferson. Virginia Vestoff also recreates her Broadway role as Abigail Adams, John's wife who is presented as communicating with John through letters brought to life.

The heart-pumping musical score features highlights such as "Sit Down, John", "He Plays the Violin", "Yours, Yours, Yours", "But Mr. Adams", "The Egg", "The Lees of Old Virginia", and the haunting "Molasses to Rum" (brilliantly performed by Cullum). One number, "Cool Considerate Men" was cut during the film's original release but has been restored to some prints. If you're a musical comedy fan with an open mind willing to experience something a little different, give this treasure a try.
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Aided by the stylish direction of George Cukor and a flawless screenplay by Garson Kanin and Ruth Gordon, Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn created cinema magic in Adam's Rib, a caustic and brilliant comedy classic that forever redefined the battle of the sexes without really taking sides or failing to entertain. Tracy and Hepburn play Adam and Amanda Bonner, attorneys who find themselves on opposing sides of an attempted murder case.

Adam is the assistant DA trying to convict a dizzy housewife (Judy Holliday) of the attempted murder of her adulterous husband (Tom Ewell)and Amanda decides to to defend Holliday when the question of the "Unwritten Law" comes into play...a man can be exonerated from murder in defense of his home but does the same law apply to a woman?

Tracy, Hepburn, and Holliday shine with solid support from Ewell and the wonderful David Wayne as the Bonners' neighbor who as a mad crush on Amanda. A classic comedy from the golden era of film-making that's a joy from start to finish.
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A History of Violence is a disturbing and completely riveting drama that shines a light on several aspects of the concept of violence and its varying effects on the lives it invades.

What appears to be a simple story slowly unfolds to reveal several different layers of a richly textured look at violence on several levels. The film stars Viggo Mortensen as Tom Stall, a small town everyman who owns a diner, is married to an attractive lawyer (Maria Bello)and is the father of two children whose life is changed forever when during what appears to be a random act of violence at his diner one night, Tom kills two people in self-defense and in defense of his business and patrons.

The publicity that surrounds this event shines an unflattering light around Tom which he is clearly uncomfortable with but we're not sure why until a stranger pulls into town claiming that Tom is not who he says he is. Tom denies the allegation but it eventually becomes clear that Tom is actually a former mafioso named Joey Cusack, who has been tracked down by his brother, with whom he has unfinished business.

The slow reveal of this story is quite unsettling because as we watch, we begin to figure out what is going on, but we hope we're wrong. The film not only looks at mob violence, but it also looks at violence as an instrument of self defense; it looks at the possible connection between violence and genetics as Tom's son is observed dealing with a school bully in a rather unsettling way, and it even examines violence between a husband and wife as Tom's world begins to unravel and he attempts to take control of his life again by taking control of his marriage.

Mortenson turns in a complex and evocative performance as Tom/Joey, a quiet man driven to extremes as the new life he has constructed for himself begins to fall apart. Maria Bello gives the performance of her career as Tom's wife Edie, who has had the emotional breath knocked out of her marriage and is at a loss as to how to deal with the fact that her entire existence has been a lie. Ed Harris does a bone-chilling turn as the mobster who tracks Tom/Joey down and, as we learned, was disfigured because of him and William Hurt received an Oscar nomination for his flashy turn as Joey's brother, a performance that gets more interesting with multiple viewings.

A haunting and powerful film experience that will get inside you and eat away at your soul and provide just as many questions as it does answers.

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Just about as perfect a film as they come, 1950's All About Eve was an instant classic upon its release and remains one of the most talked about films by cinema historians fifty years later. The film received an unprecedented 14 Oscar nominations (a record unbroken until Titanic) and walked away with 7 Oscars, including Best Picture of the Year.

Joseph L. Manckiewicz, for the second year in a row, won dual Oscars for directing and writing this sparkling comedy drama about an aging actress named Margo Channing (Bette Davis), who befriends a star struck fan named Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter) who we slowly learn has her own agenda in befriending her idol. This film is an on-target skewering of the New York theater scene and the poor souls who toil in it.

Davis and Baxter are both flawless and were both nominated for Best Actress. George Sanders won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance as an acid-tongued theater critic named Addison DeWitt, who becomes a prime player in the delicious twists this story takes. Gary Merrill plays Bill Sampson, a theater director and Margo's much younger lover. Hugh Marlowe (in probably the most significant role of his insignificant career) and Celeste Holm play Lloyd and Karen, the playwright who writes almost exclusively for Margo and his wife, Margo's best friend. There are also memorable turns by Thelma Ritter as Margo's housekeeper and a very young Marilyn Monroe as Addison DeWitt's "protegee", Miss Casswell.

The cast all work at the top of their game, thanks to inspired direction, but it is the screenplay that is the real star of this classic. I can't think of another movie in history with dialogue that sparkles and dances the way it does here. Mackiewicz's Best Screenplay Oscar was richly deserved. His Best Director Oscar primarily stemmed from having a perfect cast.

Ironically, Claudette Colbert was originally slated to play Margo but had to drop out due to an injury, twist of fate that allowed Bette Davis to give the most amazing performance of her career which should have won her an Oscar as well. A true classic in every sense of the word...don't miss this one.
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