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

 

 

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Christopher Walken Weekend – The Anderson Tapes (1971)

Director: Sidney Lumet

Writer: Frank Pierson (Screenplay) Lawrence Sanders (Novel)

Starring: Sean Connery, Dyan Cannon, Martin Balsam, Ralph Meeker, Alan King, Christopher Walken, Val Avery, Dick Williams

 

Plot: After Duke Anderson is released from prison after ten years for taking the rap for a scion of a Mafia family, he cashes in a debt of honor with the mob to bankroll a caper.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Easy to Watch Crime Thriller

 

Story: The Anderson Tapes starts with Duke Anderson (Connery) being released from prison after his 10-year stretch, he meets his former employees and heads back to his old girlfriend Ingrid (Cannon).

Duke wants to make a score to make up for his time in prison by pulling off his own score with his new team Tommy Haskins (Balsam), The Kid (Walken) and Spencer (Williams) but little does he know that he is being watched by the law, waiting for him and his associates to make a mistake.

 

Thoughts on The Anderson Tapes

 

Characters – Duke Anderson is a safe cracking thief that has done his time in prison, released he wants to use his connections to pull off an honour job with his former employers and uses all the skills he has to put the job together. Ingrid is the girlfriend of Anderson whose flat becomes the base for most of the job. Tommy Haskins is one of the team members, he is the one Anderson trusts the most and can landscape a place instantly for potential. The Kid is another member of the team and the youngest member of it at that, he has the connection but could but he loose cannon of the team.

PerformanceSean Connery is good in the leading role of the team of thieves, we get the first screen role for Christopher Walken here as he shows how he can play character that is always different to the rest of the cast. We also have a good supporting cast that all give us good performance through the film.

StoryThe story follows a former prisoner head out of jail looking to claim what he believes is his. The story shows the team being put together for this job from different backgrounds and the different loopholes to get the green light from the mob to do this job but we also see how the police would be tackling such a crime with the early surveillance technology.

Action/CrimeThe action is pretty tame because most of it is an odd punch but most of the film is about the slickness of the heist going on, we follow everything unfold as the crime gets committed.

SettingsA large amount of this movie is set inside the apartment building which shows how planned out the heist is, outside of this the film is New York streets.

Scene of the Movie – Planning the crime, building visit.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The technology noise.

Final ThoughtsThis is an easy to watch heist film, it follows the ideas of most very well and puts together a clever way to make the crime happen.

 

Overall: Easy to watch crime thriller with a slick heist.

Rating

 

 

The Verdict (1982)

verdictDirector: Sidney Lumet

Writer: David Mamet (Screenplay) Barry Reed (Novel)

Starring: Paul Newman, Charlotte Rampling, Jack Warden, James Mason, Mile O’Shea, Lindsay Crouse, Edward Binns, Julie Bovasso, Roxanne Hart

 

Plot: A lawyer sees the chance to salvage his career and self-respect by taking a medical malpractice case to trial rather than settling.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic

 

Story: The Verdict starts as we see how Frank Galvin (Newman) a lawyer who drinks himself through each day after finding his once promising career turned into ambulance chasing. When Frank gets given a medical malpractice case he could get an easy settlement against the hospital for the Doneghy family, but when he sees the condition the victim is in Frank decides to take the case to trial to redeem him career.

When the family learns that Frank turned down a brilliant financial deal they are furious but Frank having dug this hole must go ahead with his decision with the help of his former partner Mickey Morrissey (Warden) as they plan to go up against the most feared lawyer in the business Ed Concannon (Mason).

The Verdict is a courtroom drama that shows one man going into a court case that could redeem his career even if it is against the odds. The story is pretty simple to follow as the court case is easy to follow and there aren’t any twists involving the case. The story is everything you would like in the genre without every trying to be more.

 

Actor Review

 

Paul Newman: Frank Galvin is a former promising lawyer who has hit the drink as his practise has almost gone. When his former partner offers him an easy settlement case Frank takes things to the next level as he wants to take it on in court proving the full medical malpractice suit. Paul gives us a brilliant performance as the man on both sides of his life.

Charlotte Rampling: Laura Fischer comes into Frank’s life seeing that he is still a good man inside searching for the truth. She keeps his mind away from the drink, but her true nature could put the whole case up in the air. Charlotte is good in this role without getting the full screen time for the characters twist.

Jack Warden: Mickey Morrissey is the former partner and friend of Frank who gives him the case but when he learns that Frank wants to take it to trial he gets to work with the lawyer side of the Frank he has missed for years. Jack is good in this role being the important character for Frank.

James Mason: Ed Concannon is the opposing lawyer that is feared in the law community as he always gets the results. He is fair in the courtroom but will play the games outside of it. James is great in this role even if we don’t see all of his side of the case.

Support Cast: The Verdict has a supporting cast that deals with different sides of the story when it comes to dealing with the case, each member works for how the story unfolds.

Director Review: Sidney LumetSidney gives us a courtroom drama that tackles the sensitive subject for the time the film was made.

 

Drama: The Verdict shows one man trying to redeem himself by taking on the case that could easily change how this law was looked at.

Settings: The Verdict keeps everything in location in which we would see the case put together next to where the case would happen. This keeps everything simple throughout without adding any unrequired scenes.

Suggestion: The Verdict is one I do think all the true cinema fans over the casual fans, should see at least once. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Newman’s performance.

Worst Part: Might be slightly slow for the modern cinema audience.

 

Believability: This could have been a real court case.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 5 Oscars including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Director.

Box Office: $54 Million

Budget: $16 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 9 Minutes

 

Overall: Classic courtroom drama.

Ratingcard

 

 

Network (1976)

rob challengeThis week Rob pick this classic Oscar winning film, let’s see what I think

network 

Director: Sidney Lumet

Writer: Paddy Chayefsky (Screenplay)

Starring: Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch, Robert Duvall, Wesley Addy, Ned Beatty

 

Plot: A television network cynically exploits a deranged former anchor’s ravings and revelations about the news media for its own profit.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Ranting Classic

 

Story: Network starts when Howard Beale (Finch) a news anchor is being let go because of poor ratings, he announces a two week before his ‘retirement’ that he is going to kill himself live on air. The network decides to fire him before this happening but when Diana Christensen (Dunaway) sees the ratings she suggest bring him back along with his head of new Max Schumacher (Holden) as ruthless new owner Frank Hackett (Duvall) wants to see ratings rise.

The rating continues to grow leading to Howard becoming a hit but just how much do the network really care about what he is saying and will he follow through with what he says.

Network really is a film that I can understand why it is rated so highly but I didn’t enjoy, nearly every character gives epic rants about life which end up coming off very repetitive once we heard them all once. We do get to see the cut throat world of entertainment world but by then it all ends up making the lives of the characters feel like a television show. The social commentary does work well about how the general public can be blinded by bigger stories.

 

Actor Review

 

Faye Dunaway: Diana Christensen is the ruthless lady in the network who wants to make Howard Beale the biggest name on the station with the highest ratings, she will take chance other wouldn’t but she really is just compensation for something else. Faye gives a great performance as a very independent woman in a world way before its time.

 diana

William Holden: Max Schumacher is the former new head who gets fired once Howard is getting too big for him to bad able to handle or take serious. He gets involved in a relationship with Diana which puts his own marriage in danger. William gives a good performance in this role.

 

Peter Finch: Howard Beale is the news anchor who is threatening to kill himself after the network decides to force him into retire, but when people start tuning into his news reports he becomes an overnight success as a ranting man the nation starts to follow him. Peter gives the most memorable performance as he goes through the most rants.

 hoard

Robert Duvall: Frank Hackett is the new network President that is desperate to become the next big thing and he see Howard as a way to make himself the biggest name in the network. Robert continued to show how much a consistent performer.

 duvall

Support Cast: Network has typical network performance from the supporting cast that all work well for the roles being played.

 

Director Review: Sidney LumetSidney gives us a great idea behind the film but sadly it has started to feel dated now.

 

Drama: Network brings us lots of character ranting and screaming in a cut throat world.

Settings: Network keeps most of the action inside the network studio showing how things are closely knit to make sure we see how fast things come in and out of popularity.

Suggestion: Network is one to watch once to see how well the films used to be made. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Peter Finch

Worst Part: Too much ranting.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Won 4 Oscars and 5 Nomination

Budget: $3,8 Million

Runtime: 2 Hour 1 Minute

Tagline: Television will never be the same!

 

Overall: Brilliant cinema but too much ranting for my liking.

Ratingcad

12 Angry Men (1957)

rob challengeThis week on the challenge Rob pick one of the all time classic 12 Angry Men ranked number 5 on the IMDB all time greatest film voted for by fans a like.

logoDirectorSidney Lumet

Writer: Reginald Rose (Screenplay)

Starring: Martin Balsam, John Fiedler, Lee J Cobb, E.G. Marshall, Jack Klugman, Edward Binns, Jack Warden, Henry Fonda, Joseph Sweeney, Ed Begley, George Vokovec, Robert Webber

Plot: A dissenting juror in a murder trial slowly manages to convince the others that the case is not as obviously clear as it seemed in court.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Masterpiece

Story: 12 Angry Men starts with our jury being taken to the jury room to make their verdict. Early conversations discuss the idea that the case being cut and dry, but when the first vote goes up only eleven men pick guilty while one man stands up and votes not guilty. He wants to discuss the case before making it quick decision on whether to send the accused the death row.

As the 12 men discuss the case the solo juror that stood up against the guilty verdict slowly starts to talk the rest of the jury into looking at the facts of the case and slowly starts to turn the jury.

12 Angry Men is one of the simplest stories you will ever see, it also takes a fresh turn on a trial film. On paper this could sound very boring, and it would be hard to talk anyone out of that, but once you watch this you will not be able t look away. When you look at what this film achieves you will bee impressed too a new level and even with this film being nearly 60 years old it hasn’t dated a single bit. (10/10)

Actor Review

Full Cast: 12 Angry Men only uses the 12 actors and I don’t think it would be fair to judge each individual performance because this could easily be the best ensemble cast of all time, each character has their different background and opinion on what is the outcome of the case. Every single cast member does a brilliant job showing just how intense being stuck on a jury can be.cast

Director Review: Sidney Lumet – Sidney gives us one of the greatest films ever put onto film, end of discussion. (10/10)

Crime: 12 Angry Men shows the 12 juror discussing a criminal case while making final verdict, this is a great insight into how they would have got to the final out come. (10/10)

Drama: 12 Angry Men gets top marks for this brilliant piece of work. (10/10)

Settings: 12 Angry Men uses just the jury room for the whole setting giving us an insight to just the conversation between the jurors. (10/10)

Suggestion: 12 Angry Men is a must watch for all the film fans out there I do still think casual film fans might find it not their cup of tea. (Watch)

Best Part: The performances are all brilliant.

Worst Part: No, isn’t one.

Believability: While I have been on a jury and understand how the discussion take place this cold very well be how intense it gets in there. (10/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 3 Oscars

Budget: $350,000

Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minute

Tagline: They have twelve scraps of paper… Twelve chances to kill!

Overall: One of the greatest films you will ever see.

Rating 95