Thomas Balkcom’s Movies

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Hello all, time for some actual reviews, I apologize for the delay I just have been getting settled into the school year and dealing with other random distractions. This post marks a new addition to the format, similar to the “(revisit)” prior to films that I have seen before, there will be “(lab screening)” for films that I watched for one of my film classes’ lab.

(lab screening) Ossessione – 7.5/ 10 <- – This was the first film we watched for my Italian cinema course, and it’s an Italian adaptation of The Postman Always Ring Twice and it was pretty good. I am really looking forward to this class as it is the perfect excuse/opportunity for me to see older foreign films. This one was a bit long, but very enjoyable and the ending was very close to perfect.

(lab screening) Gimme Shelter – 5.5/10 <- – This was an interesting documentary, one that I have debated watching several times but now that I had to, I have to say although it was “good” it dragged a bit, and by the end I had sort of forgotten about what it was trying to accomplish. Any dedicated Rolling Stones fans and/or fans of the late 1960s should give this film a shot but I have to say it wasn’t all that great.

(lab screening) Germania, anno zero – 9/10 <- – Beautiful film concerning Germany immediately following World War II, it truly was a beautiful movie but it was horribly depressing. Ending suited the film perfectly but it really makes you think about life outside of the US and in such horrid conditions.

(revisit) Eastern Promises – 7.5/10 <- – I absolutely adore this film, I recently purchased it and got a chance to watch it again, the first time since I saw it in theaters. Mortenson plays a fantastic Russian mobster, and the always-brilliant Naomi Watts was as shining as she normally is. Cronenberg, as I have said before in this blog, perfectly handles gore and violence, both scenes involving a character’s throat being slit were fantastically executed. If you have not seen this, and you are a fan of A History of Violence or other Cronenberg masterpieces, give it a shot.

(lab screening/ revisit) Raging Bull – 6.5/10 <- – Nothing too special here, seen this movie quite a few times and had to watch it again for a screening. One major thing I noticed is how this movie has always been seen as a masterpiece, where I agree with that from a technical standpoint, but how enjoyable is it? Keep in mind that I love this film, but I am starting to see how people could easily not enjoy this movie. Also, down the road (fifty years or so) I bet this is one of the most-studied and analyzed American films but I guess time will tell.

Redbelt – 6/10 <- – Continuing my David Mamet streak, his newest film finally came to DVD and I rented it this past week, and really enjoyed it. It wasn’t anything too amazing, but it had, as expected, some great dialog and depiction of ethics and how they appear useless at times. Good movie, give it a chance and I think you will not be sorry.

I have been extremely busy these past couple weeks, but will be stepping up and watching more films over the next week or so. You will be hearing from me soon. I will close with a picture of my new The Proposition Steelbook.

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Written by thomasbalkcom

September 2, 2008 at 5:48 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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