Thursday, June 20, 2013

Midnight Cowboy (1969) Review

Midnight Cowboy is famous for being the first (and only) X-rated movie to win the Academy Award for Best Picture The story revolves around Joe Buck (portrayed brilliantly by Jon Voight) who leaves Texas to go to New York and become a male prostitute. While there he meets Enrico Salvatore "Ratso" Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman) who at first scams him but then they end up becoming friends.

Midnight Cowboy is an incredibly amazing movie with a very bleak ending. (Spoilers?) Upon arriving in New York, it is evident that Joe Buck is extremely naive and thinks that it must be easy to become a male prostitute. He has more difficulty than he thought he would have on finding his first woman.

When he finally comes around to finding a woman to sleep with, Cass (Sylvia Miles), it turns out that she is not a customer and she is a prostitute herself. Sylvia Miles earned a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her five-minute contribution to this movie. Her scene worked really well and showed good acting and if it were lenghtier maybe something would have come of it but thinking back to the movie there would really be no more need for character.

Following that incident, Joe comes along and meets Rico who is a sick man that says he wants to help Joe find customers. Rico scams Joe but eventually Joe finds Rico and is made to move in with him since he can't pay for his hotel and they're not giving him his luggage.

The movie relies heavily on the amazing chemistry between Hoffman and Voight. It is incredible to see there characters going from being ambivalent about each other to actually caring for one another. The scene after the weird party when Rico falls down the steps and Joe wants to make sure that he is alright is great. Both actors work really well together and the chemistry that they create makes the ending scene that much more heartbreaking.

Another great scene that reveals the chemistry between Rico and Joe is when Joe buys medicine and gloves for Rico. We see that Rico is succumbing to his disease but he's still too proud to say thanks and says that he could have stolen them from someone. You can see that Rico is grateful and Joe is genuinely concerned.

Overall, the movie is extremely entertatining and heartbreaking and that is due to Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman's chemistry.

5/5 stars

What did you think? 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Mrs. Brown (1997) Review

Mrs. Brown focuses on a period of Queen Victoria's life in which she is in deep mourning over the death of her husband Prince Albert and a servant, John Brown, is brought in to help her out of her depression. Mrs. Brown is truly a great movie and I believe that it is mostly because of the amazing chemistry between Judi Dench and Billy Connolly.

Judi Dench does an extraordinary job at capturing the sadness felt by Queen Victoria. The Queen was desribed as being inconsolable and it is proven in the first scene in which John Brown addresses her by being surprised at how depressed she is. Judi's acting is right where it should be and it makes the scene powerul. Judi Dench also does a great job at revealing the growing dependency that Queen Victoria has on John Brown. She relies on him to help her through her grief and does not allow for anyone to speak against him.

Billy Connolly also does an amazing job at expressing the pride that John Brown takes in being the right hand man of the Queen. He does not allow for anyone to speak ill of the Queen and he will defend her at the expense of his pride. The scene in which after John Brown was beaten up and his brother is helping him with his wounds is great at revealing the devotion that he has for the Queen. Although he is extremely hurt he does not allow his injuries to keep him from serving his Queen.

Again, the chemistry between the two leads is electrifying. The scene toward the end is absolutely compelling. When Queen Victoria is admitting to John Brown that she has not been a loyal friend like John has been to her and then John attempts to reassure her by saying that he will continue to look after her. That scene is so fascinating.

Of course the movie also benefits from having such a spectacular supporting cast. Geoffrey Palmer as Ponsonby and Antony Sher as Prime Minster Disraeli. The sets and costume designs also add to the movie's greatness.

The story is really good too and it allows for Judi Dench to show the mourning of the the complicated figure that was Queen Victoria. It might not have been the most intriguing story but it made for an entertaining movie.

Mrs. Brown is an incredibly entertaining film and it owes much of its merit to the incredible performance by Dame Judi Dench.

4.5/5 stars

What do you think about the movie?

Saturday, June 1, 2013

She Done Him Wrong (1933) Review

She Done Him Wrong was an overall good picture, in my opinion. I thought that some parts didn't make sense and at times I found it a bit difficult to pay attention even though the movie was only about an hour and four minutes long.

The amazingly talented Mae West plays Lady Lou and she is a singer/entertainer at a bar/cabaret. Mae West was great as Lady Lou and she delivered her lines amazingly well. I would have nominated her performance for an Oscar because I enjoyed her that much!

I did have some problems with the movie though. I thought that it only served to showcase Mae West's talents and her humor and not much more. I found some of the plotlines rather silly, if I'm being honest. The one where her lover escapes from prison is kind of silly. I also didn't really feel any chemistry between Mae West and Cary Grant (although his performance was rather enjoyable on its own).

Back to Mae West though, the movie is clearly made to showcase all her talents and I've read that it was criticized and lauded for launching Mae West's career so fast. The way she says her lines is great as it adds to the humor that is supposed to be in the film. I believe that it was Mae West's performance that made the film interesting because at other times I thought it was somewhat dull.

Mae West's musical numbers were also done pretty well. "A Guy What Takes His Time" was definitely the most memorable to me especially because of the dialogue that came before it when she was talking about being nervous.

The costumes were another thing that I found especially enjoyable, particularly the dresses worn by Mae West through out the movie.

All in all, I enjoyed the movie and would recommend that one watches it. It's easy to see why it is considered a classic by some and that's because of Mae West's star-making performance as Lady Loud. The movie offers some good old fashioned humor and has enough drama to keep one interested for a bit.

3/5 stars

What do you think if you've seen the movie?