ABC Film Challenge – Biopic – Q – Quills (2000) Movie Rob’s Pick

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“Why should I love God? He strung up his only son like a side of veal. I shudder to think what he’d do to me.” – Marquis de Sade

Number of Times Seen – 1 (14 May 2019)

Brief Synopsis – In the dark days of the Napoleonic Era, the Marquis De Sade is imprisoned in an insane asylum run by a priest and tries to keep his sanity by writing very graphic novels about human interactions.

My Take on it – This is a film that I heard about when it came out and never had any real desire to see what it was about.

Geoffrey Rush was nominated for an Oscar for playing the lead role and he does an exceptional job with it in order to make us believe that his character is truly tottering on the edge between sanity and insanity.

His performance is quite impressive especially since he is able to help keep things a bit more clear in a plot that spirals downward due to the way things are presented.

The overall storyline of the film isn’t as good tho and that hurts things a bit.

In the second half, they try to push the story through numerous twists and turns to a point where it gets a bit complex which takes so much away from the impressions left before hand an it causes the film to lose the freshness and innovative feel at that point which hurts things a lot.

The supporting cast is also quite talented, but Michael Caine, Kate Winslet and even Joaquin Phoenix can’t make their characters more memorable enough even if they still are able to hold their own in a story that keeps veering off the track every now and then along the way.

Bottom Line – Interesting idea that doesn’t work as well as one could hope. Rush is superb in the lead role and makes us believe that his character is truly on the edge between sanity and insanity. He plays the character quite impressively which helps make things a bit more coherent to watch unfold. The story twists itself deeper and deeper into a more complex tale and loses some of its innovation by the mid-way point which hurts things a bit. The rest of the cast is also quite good even if they aren’t as memorable as Rush is in his role.  Caine, Winslet and Phoenix all carry their own here even if the story veers off the track every now and again.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Every single line cut from the script made it into this movie They were written on de Sade’s clothing, the bed sheets, or in his prison cell at the end. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)

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ABC Film Challenge – Biopic – P – Patton (1970) Movie Rob’s Pick

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“Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.” – Patton

Number of Times Seen – 3 (on video in the 90’s, 7 May 2013 and 14 May 2019)

Link to original review – Here

Brief Synopsis – Biography of the outspoken general who helped lead the US and the Allies to victory in North Africa and Europe during World War II.

My Take on it – This is a film that I saw a few years back and when Darren told me what this month’s theme was, it was my immediate first choice since I was curious to watch and review it again after 6 years.

This is a superb film that is able to show in epic style the way that a military commander can lead his men largely due to him being a tactical genius.

He is able to lead his men through Hell and back again as they strive for victory.

The fact that he wasn’t very politically savvy and always spoke his mind (even to reporters) got him into a lot of trouble during World War II.

In addition, his attempt to make all of his men act in true military fashion and seem heroic also led to some issues because of his very string stance on the subject which lacked sympathy for some of the men.

George C. Scott is superb in this film and was extremely deserving of his Best Actor Oscar for this performance.

It is widely known tho, that he was the very first actor to refuse to accept this honor.

This movie won a total of 7 Oscars that year.

In addition to Best Actor, it won Best Sound, Best Editing, Best Screenplay, Best Art Direction, Best Director and most deservingly, Best Picture.

This film is nearly 3 hours long, but it is presented in such a fashion, that it is easy to get lost in the epic nature of the film that one doesn’t even notice the time going by.

This is not the most comprehensive and bloody epic war film ever made, but they still do a wondrous job showing us things from the epic perspective of this military commander.

This is one of the best films of its kind, if not THE best.

Bottom Line – Amazing film that manages to show in epic style how a military leader can be such a great tactician and lead his men to victory despite his lack of ability to deal with the politics around him or be more sensitive to his men while trying to make them heroes.  Scott is superb in the lead role here and towers high above every other actor in this film, just as it should be and was clearly the best choice for the Oscar for Best Actor that year.  This movie very deservingly won 7 Oscars including Best Picture, Director, Art Direction, Screenplay, Editing, sound and Actor (as mentioned earlier). The film is almost 3 hours longs, yet it doesn’t drag at all as it tells this epic story from this leader’s perspective.  This is far from being the most comprehensive and jarring war film ever made but it clearly is one of the best, if not THE best film to show things from the perspective of a military leader in epic proportions.  Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Francis Ford Coppola says in the DVD commentary that he wrote a draft screenplay in 1966 and was fired from the film, in large part because Fox objected to opening the movie with Patton’s speech. When the film finally went into production, Coppola’s draft was dusted off and most of it used in the final film. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10) (no change from original review)

ABC Film Challenge – Action – Y – You Only Live Twice

ABC Film Challenge Non-Review Selection

I won’t be doing reviews for everything letter, so here are my pick for today.

ABC Film Challenge

Action

Y

You Only Live Twice

Why I’ve Picked this choiceOk, there is no review for this movie, yet, I have been teasing the James Bond movies for a couple of years, now. I can finally announce they will be happening through November, you will get the tease of the final rating in the poster though.

ABC Film Challenge – Action – F – Firewalker (1986) Movie Rob’s selection

This is Movie Rob’s selection, head over to his site to read his thousands of reviews

“FRUITCAKE? FRUITCAKE? Listen Bucko, I happen to be a highly educated, intelligent girl with an I.Q. that would put you pea-brain in the cellar. So remember, If it weren’t for me, you wouldn’t be here. Call me for dinner.” – Patricia

Number of Times Seen – 1 (3 Apr 2019)

Brief Synopsis – Two adventurers are hired to try and find a long treasure hidden deep in South America.

My Take on it – AS my second choice for this challenge, I decided to go with a film that I had never seen before and after watching it, I can safely say that this will probably be the sole time that I ever watch this film because it is so bad.

To call this film an action film is a huge overstatement and it feels as if they were just trying to cash in on the success of the Indiana Jones films and wanted to give us a similarly themed film, but unfortunately, this doesn’t work on any level.

The fact that Chuck Norris and Louis Gosset Jr. star in this film gave me some hope that this might have some fun martial arts sequences, but the best we could get here are a few bar room brawls where Gosset is able to do more damage than Norris who is a martial arts expert.

They never manage to develop the characters to more than a superficial level and that hurts this film so much.

I’ve always been a HUGE fan of Sonny Landham especially his roles in 48 Hrs (1982) and in Predator (1987), but he is an atrocious villain here and doesn’t do much more than grunt his way through the film.

To top it all off, they try to make this movie feel even more like and Indiana Jones movie by adding John Rhys-Davies as a sidekick, but even that ploy can’t help save this disaster.

Bottom Line – Terrible action film that feels like a cheap imitation of an Indiana Jones film that doesn’t work on any level. The characters are developed quite poorly and even with the likes of Norris and Gosset Jr. nothing could help save this horrendous film. The story plays out in a very silly way and the only real action in this film is a few brawls in bars where surprisingly Gosset does more damage than the martial arts expert Norris. I’ve always been a big fan of Sonny Landham who was great in both 48 Hrs (1982) and in Predator (1987), but he is an atrocious villain in this film and even his grunting is annoying the whole way through.  In order to make it seem like another Indy film, they even recruited Rhys-Davies as a sidekick but he also doesn’t manage to be of any real help here.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Chuck Norris and Louis Gossett, Jr. have their stars back to back on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. (From IMDB)

Rating – Razzie Worthy (2/10)

ABC Film Challenge – Action – D – Die Hard (1988) Movie Rob’s Selection

For more reviews from Movie Rob head over to his site.

You want money? What kind of terrorists are you? ” – Joseph Takagi

Number of Times Seen – Seriously too many to count (Video, Cable, DVD, 4 May 2000, Jan 2012, 24 Nov 2013, 30 Nov 2014, 4 Nov 2015, 11 Nov 2015, 13 Jul 2017, 3 Dec 2017, 30 Jul 2018 and 2 Apr 2019)

Link to original review – Here Here Here Here HereHere and Here

Brief Synopsis – A NYC detective visiting his family in LA gets trapped in an office building after it is taken over by terrorists.

My Take on it – When Darren first told me about this month’s theme, I didn’t hesitate for even a second before choosing this film as one of my picks.

Darren claims that I would use any excuse to rewatch this film and he’s partially right; since I never need an excuse to see this movie, cause I love watching it so much.

This is an amazing action film that actually changed the way people looked and perceived what action movies are ever since it came out.

They were able to create a sub genre of action films that is still in high demand even after 30 years; the idea of an every-man facing off against a group of terrorists in a perceived unwinnable situation.

Bruce Willis was superbly cast in the lead and with this performance, he showed everyone that even without the physique of Sylvester Stallone or Arnold Schwarzenegger, it’s still possible to play the role of action hero and in some ways even make things seem more plausible and realistic.

Alan Rickman also is excellent here because he was able to create a villain who doesn’t feel like a stereotype or caricature and yet still holds an amazing screen presence without the need to over do things while still staying devious, cunning and even soft spoken throughout.

The story has a great mixture of action and suspense while giving us vulnerable characters who are able to even pepper in a bit of humorous lines of dialogue along the way.

This is truly an iconic action film that despite the hundreds (???) of doppelgangers created over the years, has yet to be surpassed in the way it presents thing so near perfectly.

Bottom Line – Amazing film that was able to change the way action films are perceived especially since it’s able to create a sub genre dealing with an every-man against terrorists. Willis is superb in this film and was able to show that he can play the role of action hero despite not having the physique normally associated with these kind of films. Rickman also helped create a new archetype of villain who is soft spoken and devious and doesn’t feel like a caricature or stereotype at all. The story is able to mix action, suspense and vulnerability of the hero while also peppering in some humorous lines along the way. Such an iconic action film that has yet to be surpassed by any of its doppelgangers over the 3 decades plus since it came out. Highly Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Director John McTiernan found it necessary to smash cut away from Hans Gruber’s face whenever he fired a gun, because of Alan Rickman’s uncontrollable habit of flinching from the noise and muzzle flash. If you look at Rickman’s face when he shoots Takagi, you can see him wincing. (From IMDB)

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