ABC Film Challenge – Romance – C – The Comedians (1967) Movie Rob’s Pick

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“Well, you can’t let the stuff rust away. It’s a crime to waste good weapons.” – Major Jones

Number of Times Seen – 1 (2 Jul 2020)

Brief Synopsis – A Welsh hotel owner living in Haiti gets involved with both the local population and some visitors to the island as he tries to find a way to reignite his romance with the wife of the Ugandan Ambassador.

My Take on it – This is a film that I heard about a while back and was quite interested in seeing another joint venture between Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.

I decided to finally watch it when I saw that it was a romance and would fit in perfectly with this month’s ABC challenge.

It turns out that looks and movie synopsis’ can be deceiving since the romance aspect of this film is more subtle than expected.

It does play a large part in the motivations of the main character so I guess it could be somewhat classified as having important romantic elements in the film.

The cast is superb and that helps keep thing quite intriguing to watch unfold.

The film unfortunately tho has far too many subplots which make things more confusing yet still pays off.

The 150min plus runtime is a bit too much and there are scenes that drag along slightly.

That being said the same long runtime allows for the characters to be fleshed out more thoroughly which allows for a better understanding of everyone’s motives.

Burton does a wonderful job in the lead role and creates a sympathetic character who we can care about.

This is helped by the way that he constantly seems to always try and help everyone during their own ordeals.

His character constantly pines for the character that his wife plays and it all comes across as being both exhausting and charming in the way that he does this.

This helps make it feel even more genuine and realistic.

The supporting cast is also great with Paul Ford, Lillian Gish, Taylor, Peter Ustinov and James Earl Jones in sympathetic characters who we can care about.

Alec Guinness tho steals every scene he is in and his amazing performance constantly makes the viewer question what is perhaps real and what is perhaps an elaborate fabrication in his mind.

This is ultimately a story about how people perceive themselves and those around them.

It also shows how people must learn to adapt to the environment around them.

Bottom Line – Interesting film that has a superb cast yet tries too hard to deal with far too many sub plots. The film is slightly too long at 2 and half hours yet it does allow for them to flesh out many of the characters for the viewer to get a better understanding of who everyone is. Burton is amazing in the lead role and makes us really sympathize with the various plights that his character must endure throughout the film.  The way that he pines for Taylor throughout the film is both charming and exhausting at the same time yet still feels quite realistic throughout.  The supporting cast features Ford, Gish, Taylor, Ustinov and Jones as very sympathetic characters that we can care about. Guinness tho steals every scene he is in by this amazing performance that constantly makes us wonder what is perhaps real and what is perhaps only fiction of his mind.  The story deals with the way people perceive themselves and those around them and show how people need to sometimes adapt their personality to the given situation. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – To get Dame Elizabeth Taylor to do the movie at a “bargain” salary, Producer and Director Peter Glenville told her that he had offered it to Sophia Loren. She promptly cut her customary one million dollar salary in half and signed on. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (7/10)

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – P – Pixels (2015) Movie Rob’s Pick

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[On TV during the ball. Reciting] “New York was in trouble. / Pac Man caused a ruckus / But the Arcaders saved us / ‘Cause they’re bad mother – [TV broadcast is interrupted]” – Choir Kids

Number of Times Seen – 1 (14 Jun 2020)

Brief Synopsis – Aliens mistake a message from Earth as being a call for war and use Video Arcade characters to attack the Earth.

My Take on it – This is a film that I have avoided ever since it came out because I’ve never really been the biggest fan of Adam Sandler films.

In the end, I chose to watch this movie or this series because it fit in so perfectly to my schedule and I went in to watching this with very low expectations.

As a child of the 80’s I was entranced by this film because it features so many of the video arcade games that I grew up with and still have fond memories for.

This enhanced the film for me so much and I’m sure that others who also are of my generation and who were fans of video games at the time will equally enjoy the way that this film brings forth such nostalgic themes so well.

The film utilizes modern special effects really well and that helps make these animated creatures come to life; Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, Qbert, Galaga and Centipede and more all look fantastic with modern CGI graphics.

The film’s overall story is extremely weak and silly and even at certain points things hit rock bottom, but the scenes that do work (which are mostly action scenes) helps make this so enjoyable to watch.

The film has a spectacular cast that almost all fit so well into the geek/nerd ideas of the 80’s.

Sandler has Kevin James, Peter Dinklage and Josh Gad all join him on this quest and they are all perfectly cast in these roles.

The odd (wo)man out here tho is Michelle Monaghan, who is a great actress but fails to integrate herself well enough into this geek crowd for us to believe her character.

They do an amazing job integrating lots of TV and Movie nostalgia from the 70’s and 80’s and that also helps make this feel so retro in order to bring back feeling of my own youth 40 years ago.

Bottom Line – Really fun film especially for those of us who grew up on arcade games of the 70’s and 80’s. The special effects are done quite well and help make these animated creatures come to life. The story itself is a bit too crazy for its own good and at certain points, really hits rock bottom.  The cast is spectacular and really fit into this kind of story with Sandler, James, Dinklage and Gad all doing great jobs with these characters to help make them so much fun to watch.  I love Monaghan as an actress, but she is the one casting decision that really doesn’t work at all.  Loved the way that they integrate nostalgic 70’s and 80’s film and TV into the story in some very clever ways. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The movie’s video game high scores are based on real scores. Sam Brenner’s Pac-Man score of 3,333,360 is the highest attainable score for the game, first achieved by Billy Mitchell. A higher score is possible on the Namco Pac-Man Anniversary edition machines. Ludlow Lamonsoff’s Centipede score of 16,389,548 is one point higher than the real-life marathon world record set by Jim Schneider. Eddie Plant’s Donkey Kong score of 1,068,100 is 100 points higher than Hank Chien’s former world record. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (7/10)

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – I – Interstellar (2014) Movie Rob’s Pick

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“We’ve always defined ourselves by the ability to overcome the impossible. And we count these moments. These moments when we dare to aim higher, to break barriers, to reach for the stars, to make the unknown known. We count these moments as our proudest achievements. But we lost all that. Or perhaps we’ve just forgotten that we are still pioneers. And we’ve barely begun. And that our greatest accomplishments cannot be behind us, that our destiny lies above us.” – Cooper

Number of Times Seen – 4 (6 Nov 2014, 15 Jun 2015, 12 Sep 2017 and 10 Jun 2020)

Link to original review – HereHere and Here

Brief Synopsis – A group of astronauts are sent on a mission to find a new home for the people of Earth when the planet seems to be dying.

My Take on it – This is a film that I highly anticipated for quite a long time and made sure to be at one of the very first viewings on the day it debuted.

Christopher Nolan is an amazing writer and director and once again is able to give us something so awe inspiring to watch unfold.

He knows how to keep the story moving at a great pace while still leaving things suspenseful and gripping no matter what genre he chooses to tell his story in.

This film’s plot is quite realistic and that enhances things to a point where it is so easy to believe that these events can possibly occur in the not too distant future.

Having now watched in whole we all are still in “Corona Mode” gives an even more interesting perspective to the story as we can see in a chilling fashion how easily life and the world we live in can change which will cause us to find a way to adapt to this new reality.

The film has an amazing cast led by Matthew McConaughey who is near perfect in the lead role.

We can easily see how he deals with his internal conflict between trying to save humanity while also wanted to get back to his family which weighs so heavily on his throughout his mission.

The film explains the science of it all in a pretty simplistic manner which helps those of us (like me) who are less scientifically inclined to get a clear grasp of not just all that is transpiring but the reasoning and explanations as to why it happens.

The movie is able to blend amazing cinematography with state of the art special effects which helps make all of the locations and terrain seem so much more realistic and tangible in the way things are depicted.

This is a film that leaves the viewer with so much to ponder long after the credits roll.

They deal with themes that range from the environmental effects on the world by man, how we each relate to our family and close friends and most importantly how we are deal with the time that we have been given so that it can be used in the most efficient and effective way possible.

Even after more than 5 1/2 years, I’m still shocked that this film didn’t receive more accolades or nominations for the work done here because it all is so impressive and amazing to watch unfold.

Bottom Line – Another spectacular film by Nolan who knows so well how to create such a gripping tale no matter the genre. This is a realistic story that works really well because we can believe so much of what happens since it takes [lace in the not too distant future. Watching it after seeing the effects of Corona on people is a bit chilling because we can see how easily life can be changed causing us all to find new ways to adapt. The cast of this film is spectacular and McConaughey is super n the lead role. We can feel his feelings about saving humanity yet also can feel the way that his family weighs so heavily on him throughout this mission. The science is explained in a simplistic fashion which helps make things feel even more genuine and understandable even for non-scientific minds like mine. The cinematography and special effects are blended so well here that every terrain or location shown seems quite realistic in the way it is all depicted. The film gives the viewer so much to ponder about the effects we have on the planet, the way we relate to family and friends and most importantly how we deal with our time in the most effective and efficient way possible.  Surprised that this film didn’t garner more accolades for this exceptionally made film. Highly Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Like Inception (2010) and the last two “Dark Knight” movies, Writer, Producer, and Director Christopher Nolan has focused on as many real environments as possible. “We have spatial interiors. We built closed sets and shot it like a documentary, like the actors were really there”, he said. Nolan had the visual effects created in advance, and projected onto screens placed outside the spacecraft set, so when the actors and actresses looked out the windows of their vessel they would be able to see and react to a real environment, and not a greenscreen. Technically, Nolan said he shot with an IMAX camera on this movie more than on any of his previous movies. He also wanted to give greater enhancement to the audio experience this time around. He stated that he has “very ambitious sound mix plans. I want to give audiences an incredible immersive experience. The technical aspects are going to be more important than any film I’ve made before.” (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (10/10) (no change from original review)

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – B – Blade Runner 2049

ABC Film Challenge


Blade Runner 2049

Why I’ve Picked this choice – When the long awaited sequel finally happened, we got one of the most beautiful movies you will ever see, with performances that are amazing from start to finish, building upon one of the most talked about films of all time. it is one that was worth experiencing on the big screen first, but it also one you can pick up small details each time you watch the film.