Showing posts from February, 2023

The Matrix (1999)

Directors: Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski Writers: Lilly Wachowski and Lana Wachowski Stars: Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Ann Moss, Laurence Fishburne, Hugo Weaving, Gloria Foster, Joe Pantoliano, Marcus Chong Although I didn't find this film to be as profound as  many, I would certainly say that it is clever and very smartly written.   I was impressed at how smoothly the Wachowskis managed to fit the conventions of martial arts films into a technological context.   The story is pure comic book--and I mean that in the best sense of the word.   A seemingly average guy (Keanu Reeves) meets some mysterious types (Carrie-Ann Moss and Laurence Fishburne) who introduce him to the reality behind our everyday world and becomes a superhero to battle the evil he finds there.   One of the most interesting facets of the story is the fact that our heroes exist in two worlds simultaneously--in one they are superhuman, while in the other they are nearly helpless.

The Flight of the Falcon (1965)

by Daphne du Maurier The death of an old woman on the streets of Rome  causes a young man whose family was torn asunder by the chaos of WWII to return to the town of his birth, where his older brother, long thought dead, seems to be using his power and influence to inflame the passions of the local youth in a misguided effort to reenact a traumatic event from medieval times.   Daphne du Maurier’s novel is beautifully written and benefits greatly from insightful psychological portraits of its characters and a magnificent evocation of Italy in the 60s.   Daphne du Maurier However, this book is also a thriller, and when I blind myself to its strengths, I find that du Maurier depends upon wild coincidence at almost every turn to move the plot forward.   This prevents it from being entirely satisfying. "The Mystery of the Falcon" (German) "Flight of the Falcon" (Danish) "Flight of the Hawk" (Finnish) "The Flight of the Falcon" (Italian) "Flight o

Bad Lieutenant (1992)

Director: Abel Ferrara Writers: Zoe Lund & Abel Ferrara Stars: Harvey Keitel, Frankie Thorn, Brian McElroy, Frank Acciarito, Peggy Gormley, Stella Keitel, Dana Dee, Victor Argo Harvey Keitel gives a searing performance as the  Lieutenant, a thoroughly corrupted and evil human being who abuses his power, himself, and those around him in equal measure.  He clearly loathes what he has become but knows no other way to be.   As the film opens, he appears to be the final stages of an extended suicide by lifestyle; he is constantly ingesting drugs and increasing the amount of his losing bet on the World Series to underworld thugs who are fully prepared to kill him for welshing on his gambling debts.   When a raped nun (Frankie Thorn) refuses to reveal the identity of her attackers because she has forgiven them, the Lieutenant, a very lapsed Catholic, is stunned by this act of absolution and begins to long for some form of redemption for himself.   This powerful film is essentially plotles