Barry Lyndon (1975)

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Writer: Stanley Kubrick (Screenplay) William Makepeace Thackeray (Novel)

Starring: Ryan O’Neal, Marisa Berenson, Patrick Magee, Hardy Kruger, Steven Berkoff, Gay Hamilton, Marie Kean

Plot: An Irish rogue wins the heart of a rich widow and assumes her dead husband’s aristocratic position in 18th-century England.


Tagline – After reaching the top, where can you go…except down?

Runtime: 3 Hours 5 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Way too Slow

Story: Barry Lyndon starts as we meet Redman Barry (O’Neal) an Irish man born into wealth who ends up trying to win the heart of his cousin, only to kill a English officer, Barry needs to go into hiding which sees him going out alone and joining the army to try and regain a reputation.

Barry finds himself becoming a spy both for Capt Potzdorf (Kruger) and The Chevalier du Balibari (Magee) playing and watching over both sides before he finally falls in love with Lady Honoria Lyndon (Berenson) before trying to settle down, though his lifetime has created enemies.

Thoughts on Barry Lyndon

Characters – Barry comes from a rich family in Ireland, he hasn’t been assigned a wife yet, but has set his eyes on his own cousin, when he learns he can’t have her, he end sup being pushed out the family where he travels the world in the military, reaching high ranks, saving lives and rubbing shoulders with the wealthy around the Europe. Lady Honoria Lyndon is a countess that Barry meets and wins the heart of despite her being married, after her husband’s death the two marry. We do meet plenty of different people that Barry meets through his lifetime, each one shows his true colours through the years.

PerformancesRyan O’Neal is the highlight of the acting in this film, he keeps us believing the events of his character’s life, when you look into the supporting cast nobody does anything wrong, they just don’t seem to get a chance to make that big of an impact on the story with their performances.

StoryThe story here follows one man that came from wealth, lost everything before needing to rebuild his reputation and will do anything to do so, only to make his own enemies along the way. This is a story that is meant to show how the wealthy would live in the 18th century and how money would be their own biggest weakness. We have a 3 hour runtime here, which shows because we diving into so many almost pointless side stories could easily be cut from the film and by the end of this story you will feel like half a day has gone past.

Adventure/HistoryThe adventure side of this film shows us just where Barry heads to rebuild his reputation around Europe, it is set as a story from history, it just shows how naïve the people were at this time.

SettingsThe film can’t be faulted with the settings which are fantastic with how each set is created through the film to show where Barry has been through.


Scene of the Movie – The fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It has a weak story.

Final Thoughts This is an overly long movie that just drags out the story even though it is cover up by brilliant cinematography, costume design and set design.

Overall: Not my cup of tea.

Rating

Franchise Weekend – Jaws (1975)

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Peter Benchley, Carl Gottlieb (Screenplay) Peter Benchley (Novel)

Starring: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton

 

Plot: A local sheriff, a marine biologist and an old seafarer team up to hunt down a great white shark wrecking havoc in a beach resort.


Tagline – See it before you go swimming.

Runtime: 2 Hours 4 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Suspenseful Classic

 

Story: Jaws starts as when a college student goes missing, Chief Brody (Scheider) believes it to be a shark attack and wants to close the beaches, but the Mayor (Hamilton) refuses to allow it, when the shark takes another victim, the town becomes a panic after a reward is put forward.

Quint (Shaw) offers to rid the town of the shark, but for a price, but random hunters from around America turn up to try and capture the shark. Marr Hooper (Dreyfuss) arrives in town to help with the higher level of knowledge even understand the species of shark behind it.

With July 4th around the corner Chief Brody must battle the mayor on whether to keep the beaches open until the latest appearance leaves Brody, Quint and Matt needing to hunt down the great white.

 

Thoughts on Jaws

 

Characters – Chief Brody is the police on the island, he is afraid of the water, he does want to do the right thing and close the beaches, but doesn’t get the support from the mayor, he must work on his fears to hunt down the shark. Quint is an expert hunter, he offers to kill the shark for a higher target, an outsider in society, a drunk, blunt with anyone he doesn’t like, which is most people. Matt Hooper is the expert that comes down to identify which shark species could be feeding off the shores, he knows his sharks and the danger, habits they possess.

PerformancesRoy Scheider is great in the leading role because he needs to be the fear between the three men, while also being the authority. Robert Shaw as the outsider works well, he makes us believe he is an outsider with each action. Richard Dreyfuss is great too which does complete the chemistry the three lead men need for the second half of the film.

StoryThe story follows a tourist island which finds itself being targeted by a shark, wanting to treat it as the new feeding ground. We follow the three different characters, from different fields that must work together to rid the waters of the shark before the tourist industry is ruined for the residents. This is a simple story to follow which is good because that is what it needs to be, it bottles down to needing to deal with a problem the quickest way possible.

AdventureThe adventure side of the film shows the three needing to work together to take on the shark, roaming the waters.

SettingsThe film keeps the settings simple, we have the land island surrounded by water which because the hunting ground of the shark, this could be any water related resort.

Special EffectsThis is where Spielberg became an icon, he knows how to handle the need for the use of effects, which is used only when required.


Scene of the Movie –
Bigger boat.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Mayor power.

Final ThoughtsThis is always going to go own as one of thee greatest movies of all time, still feeling timeless which is what we like in our movies, the simple story works and the use of music adds to the tension throughout the film.

 

Overall: Wonderful thriller.

Rating

 

 

Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

Director: Sidney Lumet

Writer: Frank Pierson (Screenplay) Leslie Waller (Book)

Starring: Al Pacino, John Cazale, Penelope Allen, Charles Durning

 

Plot: A man robs a bank to pay for his lover’s operation; it turns into a hostage situation and a media circus.


Tagline – This movie was not dreamed up by a screenplay writer. It couldn’t have — not with all the bizarre things that actually happened that day in a real bank, with real hostages and with Sonny Wortzik – the most unreal person who ever wanted to rob a bank

Runtime: 2 Hours 5 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tension Biopic

 

Story: Dog Day Afternoon starts as Sonny (Pacino) and Sal (Cazale) attempt to rob a bank, they are polite with how they handle everything not wanting to hurt anybody in the process. What seemed like a simple bank robbery takes a turn when officer Moretti (Durning) calls to negotiate a peaceful outcome.

With Moretti trying to keep Sonny calm we learn just how unprepared Sonny is, as the hostage situation soon turns into a media circus spiralling out of control. We soon learn Sonny’s motivation for the robbery which gains him the support of the public leaving us to wonder how it will end.

 

Thoughts on Dog Day Afternoon

 

Characters – Sonny has planned the bank robbery, but he has only planned for the robbery not a hostage situation, he is working to stay in control as he befriends the hostages never get violent enjoying the media circus that surrounds the situation. His motivations are good and over the course of the movie we start to support his actions. Sal is the partner in the robbery, he doesn’t want to hurt anyone, he is a man of few words and doesn’t seem like he is completely all there in the head. Sylvia is the head cashier, she doesn’t want to leave her girls behind becoming the voice of reason at times between the two sides.

PerformancesAl Pacino is fantastic in this role, he showed everybody just how talented he is, the career he was about to have and how he can control, dominate a 2-hour movie. John Cazale is great in the supporting role, he shows must of his feelings in expressions which is what his character requires. Penelope Allen is strong too, while only being a supporting role she is strong throughout the film.

StoryThe story starts with the robbery starting and finishes with the outcome, we have no build up no aftermath which is what we needed for the film. while I know it isn’t real time it does feel like real time as we follow the events as Sonny and Moretti try to stay one step ahead of each other. This is based on a real event which was the circus event shown in the movie, this is one of the stories that drags you in and makes you want to see where things will go.

Biopic/CrimeThis is a biopic that shows one event on Sonny’s life, this is the only part we need to see because it is the event that changes his life. The crime is a bank robbery which goes from simple to complicated for Sonny quickly.

SettingsThe whole film is set at the bank, this is the only setting we need because it shows how the situation could get out of hand because Sonny has been backed into a corner.


Scene of the Movie –
Attica, Attica.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I couldn’t find one.

Final ThoughtsThis is an acting masterclass from Pacino, this is his best performance of his career, it shows a story that was based on the real events which keep us on edge throughout the film. This is easily one of the best movies of all time.

 

Overall: Brilliant Thriller that stands the test of time.

Rating

 

 

Double Feature Weekend – The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

Director: Jim Sharman

Writer: Jim Sharman, Richard O’Brien (Screenplay) Richard O’Brien (Original Musical)

Starring: Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Richard O’Brien, Patricia Quinn, Nell Campbell, Jonathan Adams

 

Plot: A newly engaged couple have a breakdown in an isolated area and must pay a call to the bizarre residence of Dr. Frank-N-Furter.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Cult Classic

 

Story: The Rocky Horror Picture Show starts as Brad Majors (Bostwick) and Janet Weiss (Sarandon) get engaged as they were heading home they get trapped in a storm. Seeking refuge the couple find themselves in a mysterious castle full and strange and colourful characters hosted by Dr Frank-N-Furter (Curry).

Tonight, is a special night for the Doctor as he is about to bring his Creation to life in full Frankenstein style. The longer Brad and Janet spend in the castle the stranger the night becomes but one they will never forget.

 

Thoughts on The Rocky Horror Picture Show

 

Characters/PerformanceDr Frank-N-Furter is bar far one of the most iconic characters in musical and film, leading the transsexual movement in the main stream, he is another version of Dr Frankenstein but one with extreme sexual motivations. Brad is the newly engaged man who feels out of place in the party but grows to respect the choice. Janet is Brad’s new fiancé who enjoys the sexually driven party more than Brad. The rest of the characters all add to the style of the film.

Performance wise, Tim Curry does steal the show with his eccentric performance that you can see he fully commits to, Sarandon and Bostwick are great as the new engaged couple put in the awkward situation with the rest of the cast all giving us the performance we need to see.

StoryThe story is easy to follow like you would imagine with musical and with the narration does make certain things easy. The idea of staying at a strange castle where you could end up involved in a mad party hosted by a crazy scientist. This is a unique story that does have moments from the Frankenstein story involved.

Comedy/MusicalThe comedy is used to make this story come off fun with the musical numbers throughout.

SettingsThe castle makes for a wonderful setting full of the gothic style and the scientific laboratory used to make the creation.

Special EffectsThe special effects are few are far between but all come off when they are needed.

Final ThoughtsI knew this was a cult movie for years but never got around to see it, I found this exactly what I was expecting, unique, crazy and a stand-alone special event.

 

Overall: This is a true cult classic film.

Rating

 

 

Original v Remake Weekend – Rollerball (1975)

rollerballDirector: Norman Jewison

Writer: William Harrison (Screenplay)

Starring: James Caan, John Houseman, Maud Adams, John Beck, Moses Gunn, Pamela Hensley

 

Plot: In a corporate-controlled future, an ultra-violent sport known as Rollerball represents the world, and one of its powerful athletes is out to defy those who want him out of the game.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Entertaining Sci-Fi Sports Film

 

Story: Rollerball starts as we get to see how the sport of Rollerball is played with the star of the league Jonathan E (Caan) and his team picking up another win in the league. The sport of Rollerball is a mix of roller-skating, motorcycling and fighting diving into the violent desires of the audience.

Star player of the Houston team Jonathan E has the attention of the owner of the sport Bartholomew (Houseman)) who will be giving Jonathan his own show looking at his career as the team prepares for semi-finals of the season.

When the powers that be want to change the face of the sport they want Jonathan to retire from the game for the greater good for the world. When Jonathan doesn’t want follow through the league gets new deadlier rules Jonathan and his team must overcome the odds against them to win the title and bring down the corporations running the league.

 

Thoughts on Rollerball

 

Characters/PerformanceJonathan E is the star of a world-famous sport, he teaches up and coming players the game, while being a brilliant face for the sport for the media. He winning mentality is a threat to the people who run the sport but he will fight for trophies and his team mate’s lives. Bartholomew is your typical businessman owner of the league who wants to dictate how the league is run as well as not having anyone bigger than the sport.

Performance wise James Caan is great in the lead role showing the physical side of the sport as well as the brains to want to understand the bigger picture. John Houseman works as the businessman character too showing how corrupt the sport can become. Looking into the rest of the cast they all give good performances too.stars

StoryThe story shows once more a future world where people have found a dangerous sport to turn too while the rest of the world is under control from the corporate leaders. This at the core of the story is the look into one man having to stand up against these people to give the people of the world hope for the future that they won’t be controlled by the corporations.

Action/Sci-Fi/Sports – The action is big and grows through each game on the level of violence being taken into the game, we are kept on the edge through each game to see what the next big hit will be. The sci-fi side of the story comes from where the world is now turning to a sport to get them through their days.

SettingsThe Rollerball arena is a brilliant creation that shows just how deadly the sport can be, we also have plenty of futuristic looking settings showing us how this future will look.

Special EffectsAll the effects are well created to show the brutality of the sport with each game becoming more violent.genre

Final ThoughtsThis film is long and does play into the idea of corporate fear taking over the world nicely, the sport is entertaining to watch with the violent nature it has making it all come together to be an entertaining film.

 

Overall: This is a film that stands up there with the best of the sci-fi world created.

Ratingrating