Sunday, 6 June 2010

(500) Films of Empire - Day 264

302 - The Best Years Of Our Lives - 4 stars
An interesting take on the war film. Whilst so many in the genre follow the young grunts as they are initiated into the horrors of war (see the next film reviewed), this shows us how soldiers that have survived the war attempt to readjust to everyday life.
A strong ensemble cast but notable for Harold Russell, a war veteran who lost both his arms in the war and his performance is excellent as a non-actor bringing his real life experience to the film. There is a heart-breaking scene where he shows his girlfriend what life would be like if she stayed with him; undressing him, putting his prosthetic arms on, etc. Very moving.

60 - Come And See - 4 stars
Bloody hell this was a grim watch. A harsh and at time hallucinatory descent into hell and madness for a young boy who joins the Russian forces fighting the Nazis during WWII.
The young boy Florya in question is played by Aleksy Kravchenko and it is a startling performance. For the second half of the film he is almost mute and appears to be in a state of shock or even catatonic, which makes me wonder if the filmmakers didn't do something to him during production as it was a hell of a lot to put him through.

97 - Reservoir Dogs - 4 stars
It makes feel really old to think that this film was first released 18 years ago! It was one of the first films that got me really excited about cinema, and it was an event too as my mates and I watched on a pirate copy since we were 12 at the time!
Now its funny to see how young the cast look in this film (especially Tarantino, he has got a little chubbier since then).
Described as the 'L'Enfant Terrible' of cinema upon its release, Quentin Tarantino gave Hollywood a shot in the arm with his violent, profanity and pop culture spewing heist movie that didn't show the heist.
He made wearing black suits really cool and helped to create the modern CD soundtrack that featured cool songs from the movie interspersed with snippets of dialogue.
The slow motion walk to Little Green Bag and the ear slicing scene to Stuck In The Middle With You are still iconic but have inspired a million inferior copycats.
Oh, and my favourite 'dog' has to be Mr. Pink. Buscemi is awesome as the fast talking weasel of the group who doesn't tip. Plus he gets away in the end... or does he?

Days remaining - 101 Films remaining - 119

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