Wednesday, 4 August 2010

(500) Films of Empire - Day 323

25 - The Good, The Bad & The Ugly - 3 stars
What better way to review The Good, The Bad and The Ugly than to talk about the parts of the film that were good, bad and, er, ugly!
The Good - Eli Wallach's Tuco is a very entertaining character and makes for a great double act with Clint's Man With No Name, so much so that Tuco could have been The Man Who Talked Too Much. Morricone's score is terrific.
The Bad - the film is a tad overlong if I'm being honest, and Lee Van Cleef's Angel Eyes aka The Bad disappears for too long during the middle of the film.
The Ugly - Not sure what to put here so I'll just talk about the awesome Mexican standoff at the end of the film. Leone manages to wring every drop of tension he can from this face-off as the three men fight for the right to get their hands on the gold. There are more cuts in this moment than I think there were in the rest of the film as Leone cuts back and forth to each man, starting off with wide shots then moving closer and closer till you can see the whites of their eyes (and noticing that Lee Van Cleef is missing the top part of one of his fingers). The time taken over this final showdown was even longer than it takes Dermot O'Leary to read out the results on the X-Factor!
A fantastic moment that leaves you with an overinflated appreciation of the film, until you start analysing it later and realise that the rest of the film doesn't live up to this one iconic gun battle.

31 - Gone With The Wind - 3 stars
Well at least I can say I have finally watched GWTW. If it wasn't for this blog I would probably have never seen it. Why? Mainly due to the fact that it was my sister's favourite film and she would go on about it all the time and I just got so sick of it that I could be bothered watching it.
My honest verdict now that I've sat through all 4 hours of it? Not as bad as I thought it was going to be. Actually maybe that's the wrong choice of words. I was never really expecting it to be a bad film, more that I would find it insufferable.
I did struggle with the first half of the movie set against the backdrop of the Civil War (wow, both films today were set at this time, spooky), mainly due to the fact that Scarlett O'Hara is such a spoilt little madam.
The second half is an improvement because Scarlett does show some attempts to change her ways following her pledge "I'll never go hungry again", and she grows into a headstrong woman which finally leads her into the arms of Rhett Butler.
Their love story is the real reason why the fans love the film so much but I had to wonder why? These relationship between them is heated that it is almost like two magnets pushing against each other that it is impossible to keep them together. They are in love, they break up, they marry, they divorce, etc, etc, etc. Now I might be old-fashioned, or maybe they are, but I'm pretty sure that when Butler carries O'Hara up the stairs saying "this is one evening you're not keeping me out" that he is forcing her to have sex, but the film makes it ok by having her smiling the morning afterwards even though he apologises for his actions. True Love indeed!
The film does end the right way however by having they go their seperate ways. Will they get back together as Scarlett intends? Well to quote Butler himself... Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn!

Days remaining - 42 Films remaining - 42

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