James Bond is infinitely entertaining. These series has so far done nothing but demonstrate to me that he is someone I will never get tired of, and he oozes potential. If only the big budget blockbusters of today could all match up to the sheer enjoyment level supplemented by “Goldfinger”, the third Bond outing this time directed by Guy Hamilton (who would later return to the series with “Diamonds are Forever”, “Live and Let Die” and “The Man With the Golden Gun”). Sean Connery proves even more sufficiently that he completely understands the character of James Bond. People complained of Roger Moore’s age in “A View to a Kill”, but I think I’d pay anything to see the 85 year old Connery give the role one last bash.
Gregory Peck stars in “Cape Fear” though only when the credits roll. The real star without a shadow of a doubt is Robert Mitchum as Max Cady, the ex-convict who is now seeking revenge against Peck’s Sam Bowden — the lawyer that helped put him away. Mitchum, who also starred in the unprecedented “The Night of the Hunter” as a villainous preacher, seems born to play the bad guy. The scenes where he reservedly watches Bowden’s family at a distance all too close for comfort are disturbing despite us not actually witnessing any brutality from the man himself. The presence of the villain elevates J. Lee Thompson’s “Cape Fear” above the usual trappings of the revenge thriller.
“Akira” is one of the most influential movies to come out in the last 30 years. It opened up anime to film-goers outside of Japan in a big way, and the animation style was unique and expensive — but still lauded to this day. “Akira” is one of the most intense films I have ever seen — not just in animation — and even though I am writing this review the day after I saw it, I am still thinking about it. “Akira” is memorable not just because of its brilliant plot but also its visual design, fantastic setting, and the phenomenal soundtrack. Some people are put off by anime, but if you are going to cut your teeth on some and need something to get you started, watch this movie.
It is always a shame to hear that a great film wasn’t appreciated by its contemporary audience, but it unfortunately happens far more often than might be initially expected. “The Night of the Hunter” is a gem — a gem that has been painstakingly crafted into the best of its kind — a gem where how it came to be is just as important as what it sets out to convey — a gem that manipulates light into a thing of beauty in a way that seems almost impossible and sometimes uncanny. Light and dark swathe the sets created in Charles Laughton’s magnum opus which just so happened to be his only film of his career. If he decided not to direct again because of the attacks from the critics and audiences of the time then its hard not to feel like the brightest candle had been snuffed out just as it got burning.
Darren Aronofsky has managed to very successfully melt my brain. “Pi” is his debut feature and I’m still sat here thinking about it even as I write. I feel very close to fully understanding it but I’m not quire there and it is driving me insane. Fitting I feel, as this is the exact feeling Max Cohen (Sean Gullette) has as he approaches the number that will show him the numerical system that the universe must abide by. A number that may or may not exist, but Max is driven mad by the desire to find it. This is the premise of “Pi”, one of the most cerebral movies I have ever seen.