Tuesday, 13 April 2010

(500) Films of Empire - Day 209

281 - Interview With The Vampire - 2 stars
What are the odds on getting Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise to star in the same movie for a reasonable price these days? Pretty long I should reckon.
A vampire film that, for me, is a huge case of style over substance. A sumptuous looking affair but unfortunately Brad Pitt's character who narrates the film and suffers a guilt complx over killing humans, is not as interesting as Cruise's Lestat or Kirsten Dunst's Claudia, a ever-ageing vampire trapped in the body of a young girl.
Also the ending feels unnecessary and a power play on Cruise's part.

77 - Spartacus - 4 stars
It seems that from the evidence on this list that the only type of swords and sandals epics that were produced, or at least appreciated by the masses, were the ones that featured a storyline where someone becomes a slave but rises up against an Empire.
Kirk Douglas makes for an engaging lead, even if his chin dimple can be distracting from time to time, and has a great chemistry with Jean Simmons.
Great villany and support from Ustinov and Olivier, with Hopkins providing his voic in a re-instated scene with suspiciously dirty dialogue about snails and oysters.
Whilst not as technically brilliant in the battle scenes as Gladiator, it has a lot more heart particularly in the battle between Douglas and Curtis, to see who will be crucified.
Might have just sneaked five stars if it had featured a young Brian Blessed in the scene where everyone shouts "I'm SPARTACUS!", would have been brilliant.

112 - I Am Cuba - 4 stars
A visually stunning piece of cinema that sees a Russian directs this film about Cuba during the revolution, but in the style and feel of the French New Wave.
There are four different stories that each focus on a different group of characters and also different characteristics of Cuba itself, ranging from the personal to the political.

272 - The Bird With The Crystal Plumage - 2 stars
Dario Argento's first feature that has a lot of his trademark touches; black leather gloves, jazz funk soundtrack, lashings and lashings of blood.
Argento's films also normally feature a foriegner coming to Italy and getting caught up in a murder case where quite often there is a vital piece of evidence missing, or perhaps just missed on initial viewing.
Loved the part where the police were talking about blood samples and running them through a computer and went into a room with 5 of the giant cabinet style computers, all working for one task!
After the killer is finally revealed the denounement feels far too rushed and is a bit silly really, without much explanation, therefore it is not as good as Profondo Rosso (Deep Red) which is far superior and much more deserving of a place on the list.

Days remaining - 156 Films remaining - 201

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