Film Score Monthly
FSM HOME MESSAGE BOARD FSM CDs FSM ONLINE RESOURCES FUN STUFF ABOUT US  SEARCH FSM   
Search Terms: 
Search Within:   search tips 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
 Posted:   Feb 20, 2024 - 5:18 AM   
 By:   Solium   (Member)

Jaws (1975

7.5/10

I hadn't seen the film in about 20 years, but I thought I knew it well enough to give it a perfect 10. Roy Scheider and Robert Shaw were outstanding as were the rest of the cast...

...except for Richard Dreyfuss.

In the first half of the film, when he is the expert on sharks, he is excellent. It is in the second half of the film when he is along for the shark hunt, his performance becomes hammy, distracting, and downright silly at times. So what happened? Was he "coked up" like he seemed to be in his irritating, Oscar-winning performance in The Goodbye Girl?

I always thought that Richard Dreyfuss was the on-screen surrogate for Spielberg himself, and when I saw the Temple of Doom behind-the-scenes footage of El Spielbergo prancing about like a fool for Kate Capshaw, I thought that Dreyfuss served as Spielberg's onscreen persona.


I thought he brought much needed levity. The goofiness was how he expressed his frustration.
The other two were always uptight like they've been constipated for three days straight.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 20, 2024 - 8:19 AM   
 By:   Rameau   (Member)

Sin City: 2.5-5

First time viewing. I knew a little about the premise, like it was in black and white with some color enhancements and filmed like a live action graphic novel. It was interesting in the beginning but after an hour or so it was just the same thing over and over again. Basically a horror style film noir gore fest that focused on depravity.

I question the decision to have the film mostly in black and white. I thought the only accent color for enhancements was going to be red. Which makes sense from a contrast point of view. But then other colors started to show up, blue, yellow, green. Those colors did not add to the visual presentation and if that was the case they should have either done the whole film in black and white or color.

To bad the script wasn't more interesting. It had an amazing cast, it looked interesting and there was some legitimately funny moments sprinkled in among the violence.

Classic case of style over substance.


It gets a solid 5 out of 5 from me, quite brilliant. However Sin City 2 is not nearly as good, the poor stories let it down.

 
 Posted:   Feb 20, 2024 - 9:19 AM   
 By:   Solium   (Member)

Sin City: 2.5-5

First time viewing. I knew a little about the premise, like it was in black and white with some color enhancements and filmed like a live action graphic novel. It was interesting in the beginning but after an hour or so it was just the same thing over and over again. Basically a horror style film noir gore fest that focused on depravity.

I question the decision to have the film mostly in black and white. I thought the only accent color for enhancements was going to be red. Which makes sense from a contrast point of view. But then other colors started to show up, blue, yellow, green. Those colors did not add to the visual presentation and if that was the case they should have either done the whole film in black and white or color.

To bad the script wasn't more interesting. It had an amazing cast, it looked interesting and there was some legitimately funny moments sprinkled in among the violence.

Classic case of style over substance.


It gets a solid 5 out of 5 from me, quite brilliant. However Sin City 2 is not nearly as good, the poor stories let it down.


Fair enough. Its not really my kind of thing to begin with.

 
 Posted:   Feb 20, 2024 - 1:50 PM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

Midsommar (2019) ... 2/10 and I'm being kind

Glorious cinematography, beautiful scenery ... even a nice musical score (by The Haxan Cloak ...Bobby Krlic) with excellent sound design (the subwoofer had something to do). But ...

Despite an impressive performance from lead Florence Pugh (unknown to me) and I'm being paid so I'd better do something by her co-stars it all comes to nothing. IMDb suggests the film includes genres Drama/Horror/Mystery/Thriller but misses the obvious one: Comedy!

There is an early scene in which the main cast of five (maybe four) take hallucinogenic drugs but I think the Producer, Director and film studio heads must have been so influenced to have green-lit this stupid, derivative and self-obsessed script. It belies belief to think anyone thought they were making a serious drama.

The film opens with very distressing scenes appearing to provide some background for the lead character. By the time she arrives in Sweden with her lack-lustre boyfriend and his obnoxious friends, all of this is forgotten. The group arrive and leave their car blocking the sole road/path whilst they absorb their first taste of their new lives. The communal hall has exactly the right number of spare beds; there are just two who wish to join the after-life but don't jump together ... etc. Nothing in the script makes any sense: it's so stupid it makes me feel stupid for having watched.

If you've watched The Wicker Man, Logan's Run, The (Michael Caine) Island and Carry on Up the Jungle, you've seen this film ... but had a better time in doing so (I hesitate re: Caine's The Island which was appallingly poor).

I'm reminded of something Peter Sellers is supposed to have said: When Peter Sellers was asked whether he would make changes in his life if he had the opportunity to do it all over again, he jokingly replied, "I would do everything exactly the same except I wouldn't see The Magus. ... I think he'd add Midsommar ... I certainly would.

 
 Posted:   Feb 21, 2024 - 3:05 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

A few theses last few weeks.... don't have time right now to write anything about them, so I just mention them quickly:

Inside Out (Pete Doctor, 2015) 9/10
Just all around excellent, from a time when Disney and Pixar turned out successful and creative movies.

Everything Everywhere All At Once (Daniel Kwan, 2022) 4/10
So this was the "Best Picture" winner? I found the movie confused and loud. I get that this was a mixture of various movies, science-fiction and absurdist comedy, but the problem I had with it is that it didn't really work on any level. It wasn't really engaging and it wasn't very funny (apart from a few scenes, I grant that) and while it was certainly absurd, there was no real entertainment value to it. I will say some positive things about it though: it was an original movie, the acting was top notch, Ke Huy Quan certainly deserved his Oscar, he could switch from one version of his character to the next on the drop of a dime. And the scenes with him really provided some entertainment.


Murder at 1600 (Dwight Little, 1997) 6/10
Competent thriller with a great premise. The first half of the movie was terrific, and hearkened back to the classic conspiracy thrillers of the 1970s... the second half, unfortunately, wasn't quite as good... we are back in the 90s there and it became a conventional (and preposterous) action thriller.

Six Degrees of Separation (Fred Schepisi, 1993) 6/10

Fargo (Jonathan and Ethal Coen, 1996) 7/10

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (Tom Gormican, 2022) 6/10

DC League of Super-Pets (Jared Stern, 2022) 5/10

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 21, 2024 - 6:55 AM   
 By:   Hurdy Gurdy   (Member)

Haha.
Funny review Mitch.
I heeded the warning of the director after seeing his first film - HEREDITARY - at the cinema.
Described as THE SCARIEST FILM EVER MADE!!! MORE FRIGHTENING THAN THE EXORCIST!!!...

IT...WASN'T

Like you say above (about MIDSOMAR) most times it came off feeling like a comedy.
So I decided this guy and his pretentious m.o was NOT for me.

 
 Posted:   Feb 21, 2024 - 9:18 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

Interesting. I liked MIDSOMMAR (for its slow burn creepy atmosphere), and I really enjoyed HEREDITARY, which I considered indeed one of the better horror movies of this century so far.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 22, 2024 - 1:05 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

MEAN GIRLS (2024) – 7/10

Twenty years ago, Tina Fey of “Saturday Night Live” wrote a screenplay called MEAN GIRLS based upon a nonfiction self-help book called Queen Bees and Wannabes, authored by Rosalind Wiseman. The film turned the book into a teen comedy directed by Mark Waters, which starred Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Lacey Chabert, and Amanda Seyfried. The film follows “Cady Heron” (Lohan), a naïve teenager who transfers to an American high school after years of homeschooling in Africa. Heron quickly befriends two outcasts, with the trio forming a plan to exact revenge on “Regina George” (McAdams), the leader of an envied clique known as the Plastics. The $18 million production became a hit for Paramount, with a worldwide gross of $130 million.

A made-for-TV sequel, MEAN GIRLS 2, premiered on ABC Family in January 2011. That film told a similar story of another girl in the same school dealing with a similar group of “Plastics.” The only cast member retained from the first film was Tim Meadows, reprising his role as the principal “Ron Duvall.”

The original film was turned into a stage musical with a book by Tina Fey, lyrics by Nell Benjamin, and music by Jeff Richmond (Fey’s husband). The story was updated from 2004 to take place during the social media age, with the incorporation of social media and mobile technology into the plot. The musical opened on Broadway on 8 April 2018, and ran for 804 performances. The somewhat overstuffed show had 18 original songs, and 7 song reprises. “Mean Girls” was nominated for a dozen Tony Awards, but won none of them. (The big musical winner that year was “The Band’s Visit,” which won 10 Tonys.)

Now we have the filmed version of the stage musical. To hold the film to a reasonable length of 112 minutes (the stage musical ran 2 and half hours), three songs and 5 reprises were dropped. The film stars Angourie Rice as “Cady Heron,” Reneé Rapp as “Regina George,” Auli'i Cravalho as Cady’s friend “Janis 'Imi'ike”, and Christopher Briney as Cady’s love interest “Aaron Samuels.” Tina Fey and Tim Meadows reprise their roles from the original film, “Ms. Norbury,” the math teacher and “Mr. Duvall,” the principal, respectively. Lindsay Lohan, who played Cady Heron in the 2004 film, makes a $500,000 cameo appearance as the moderator of a Mathletes competition. Only Rapp had appeared in the Broadway production as one of the replacements for the original “Regina George.”

Like the filmed musical WAITRESS that I saw a few months ago, MEAN GIRLS is acceptable musical entertainment, but hardly the cream of the genre. The songs depend upon tricky rhythms and rhymes, and there’s nothing that approaches a ballad in the film, but I doubt modern audiences would sit still for one. Even your average Disney animated musical has better songs.

The cast of unknowns (at least to me) acquits itself well enough, given the material they have to work with. Neither the nonmusical nor the musical MEAN GIRLS is a laugh riot. Instead, it trades on the angst that most people have in high school caused by the need to fit in, and uses that to illustrate the absurdities of most of our worst fears, to give vent to our desire to give the tormenters their just desserts, and to provide lessons in redemption and forgiveness. If you liked the original film, and tolerate musicals in general, you’re probably going to like this reworking.

MEAN GIRLS was originally set for a streaming-only release on Paramount+, but in September 2023 a decision was made to switch it to a theatrical release, after positive test scores. The decision appears to be a wise one. After 5 weeks in theaters, the $36 million film has grossed $102 million. It has already been released digitally, with physical media releases scheduled for the end of April. A CD with most of the film’s songs has been released by Interscope Records.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 24, 2024 - 9:08 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

In recent memory -

THE DEVILS (GB 1971) 8
Remarkable.

EVIL DEAD II (US 1987) 6
Quite enjoyable but sadly overboard on the comedy.

THE WOMAN WHO CAME BACK (US 1945) 6
Modest, well done obscurity in the mold of Val Lewton.

VAMPYR (Germany 1932) 7
Dreyer's weird and wonderful vamp film. Hypnotic.

FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER (France 1928) 5
The Epstein one (no, not him). Interesting to say the least.

FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER (US 1928) 5
A short. Expressionistic and very minor.

THE TELL-TALE HEART (US 1928) 5
Another interesting Poe short.

THE TELL-TALE HEART (US 1941) 6
Jules Dassin directs yet another short Poe, or Poe short. Sol Kaplan scores.

THE TELL-TALE HEART (US 1953) 6
Impressive animated short, voiced by the (in)imitable James Mason.

THE BORDERLANDS (UK 2013) 5
I'd read good things about this, so I was disappointed. It is kind of "just another" tired found footage film, but being set in Britain it kept my attention up to a point, if only to get nostalgic about how petrifying the schools still are.

IL CASO VALDEMAR (Italy 1936) 7
Another Poe short, and a surprisingly gory one. Watch Valdemar putrify more explicitly than Vincent Price did several decades later!

THE PENALTY (US 1920) 6
Impressive Lon Chaney film. Horror-crime hybrid.

SOCIETY OF THE SNOW (2023... What's the nationality of this?) 6
Left me cold. Ha!

FAHRENHEIT 451 (US 2018) 3
Pretty dreadful interpretation of the classic story. No poetry to it at all.

LE CORBEAU (France 1943) 7
Clouzot classic! Great psychological thriller. I really only watched it because a lot of it was filmed in the small town of Montfort-L'Aumary, a place I know well because I visit pals there. The streets have hardly changed. Oh, good film too.

THE CABINET OF CALIGARI (US 1962) 5
Unfairly maligned, I found this pretty interesting visually at least. Glynis Johns is dreadful in it however, Dan O' Herlihy plays two parts (you can tell it's him doing the two roles after about one second) and it's all quite watchable. Good Gerald Fried score. Hey you nutmegs crying out for more Bond CDs before you've received the latest ones - Have you all got this on the FSM label? It only came out 25 years ago.

(HORROR OF) DRACULA (UK 1957) 7
I've seen it 100 times and I'd give it a 10 then. This time round I only saw how thin it all is, and the plot holes. I'm crushed, I really am. What happened? I mean, I LOVE this film!

LA MAIN DU DIABLE (France 1943) 7
Faustian tale, very impressive. Maurice Tourneur directs.

SVENGALI (US 1931) 8
Hugely entertaining version, thanks largely to John Barrymore's OTT - and often very funny - performance.

THE EIGER SANCTION (US 1975) 6
Watchable for the scenery in the second half and for the outlandish spy shenanigans in the first half. I only really watched this to hear John Williams score in context. Buy dis double CD, nutmegs!

THE WILD ONE (US 1953) 5
Horribly dated but now thankfully amusing portrait of aimless layabouts. All that posturing really got up my nose. Some of those bikers looked like they were auditioning for GREASE, right down to their swooning in front of da girls. I'd have had them all shot.

THE VAMPIRE BAT (US 1932) 7
Lionel Atwill and Fay Wray! Rather splendid old quickie.

THE OLD DARK HOUSE (US 1932) 9
An absolute hoot! Wonderfully scripted and performed, this may be my favourite James Whale film. Either this or THE INVISIBLE MAN.

MIDSOMMAR (US 2019) 8
Really engrossing Wicker Man stuff. A lot of it looks like THE SOUND OF MUSIC, or a butter advert. And so much the better for that! What I love about this (and HEREDITARY) is that they are actually about things! I mean, real issues! Love it!

HEREDITARY (US 2018) 8
I'm lovin' this Ari Aster guy! It's more than just a scary movie! It's about stuff! Excellent!

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 24, 2024 - 10:08 AM   
 By:   Prince Damian   (Member)

The old dark house . Is that the one with Karloff and Ernest ( have a potato) Thesiger?

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 24, 2024 - 10:55 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

The old dark house . Is that the one with Karloff and Ernest ( have a potato) Thesiger?

It is indeed! It's total anarchy. Love it!

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 24, 2024 - 10:58 AM   
 By:   Prince Damian   (Member)

Yep good fun. Haven't watched it in a while.

 
 Posted:   Feb 24, 2024 - 10:40 PM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

MIDSOMMAR (US 2019) 8
Really engrossing Wicker Man stuff. A lot of it looks like THE SOUND OF MUSIC, or a butter advert. And so much the better for that! What I love about this (and HEREDITARY) is that they are actually about things! I mean, real issues! Love it!


Hey, Graham: aggregate our scores for this and we get a perfect 10/10 ! Tell me, when you watched: had you been consuming some of the produce this group of non-entities tried when they first meet the locals?

 
 Posted:   Feb 24, 2024 - 11:09 PM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

Finders Keepers (1966) ... 4-/10

I recall seeing this on release (perhaps a re-run) but I'm not sure if I've seen it since. This was my type of pop music, as opposed to the contemporaneous boy-bands, and even today the light, easy-listening tunes aren't objectionable ... to me.

Being mid-sixties, the story has to involve spies and Robert Morley, Peggy Mount and particularly Graham Stark make the film enjoyable: a good number of laughs. There are a couple of tedious scenes where Cliff Richard and The Shadows make fun of the inept US military and the many back projection shots reveal the film's limited budget.

The opening titles have the leads riding atop a goods train, performing the title song - awful back projection - electric guitars accompaniment: shame it was a steam train ... how did they power these instruments? smile

The Book of Eli (2010) ... no score

I usually enjoy watching Denzel Washington hence thought I'd give this a try, despite the post-apocalyptical story-line not being my usual fare. After about 20 minutes or so, fed up of the boring imagery and the repetitive killing sequences, enough was enough. I wonder if Denzel was as bored making the film as I was watching ...

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 25, 2024 - 4:39 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

MIDSOMMAR (US 2019) 8
Really engrossing Wicker Man stuff. A lot of it looks like THE SOUND OF MUSIC, or a butter advert. And so much the better for that! What I love about this (and HEREDITARY) is that they are actually about things! I mean, real issues! Love it!


Hey, Graham: aggregate our scores for this and we get a perfect 10/10 ! Tell me, when you watched: had you been consuming some of the produce this group of non-entities tried when they first meet the locals?

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Ha, yes Mitch, I had in mind your 2/10 when I gave it an 8! But I wasn't merely rebelling against the Guild of Chartered Accountants, I really did think that this film was a solid 8/10. Maybe if I do procure some of those infusions consumed by the group of non-entities the next time I watch it (and there will be a next time), I might give it a 10!

From what I gather, it's a film that polarizes opinion. We're in two camps, Mitch. Polar opposites. I must admit that I have this "plot dyslexia", which means I get bored trying to follow conventional storylines. It's an advantage in that I don't really mind if a film doesn't make sense narratively. I prefer the atmosphere a film creates, and if the themes addressed come through in some form - even garbled - that's another plus. I think that all the cast did very well in MIDSOMMAR. Apart from the really great Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor did particularly well at portraying his lack of commitment to her. All of this was well-scripted and carried off brilliantly. I also think that the humour was just right. I probably laughed in the "right" places (who couldn't smirk when the... older naked lady gets down to push Jack Reynor's butt cheeks... in order to... help his momentum).

So, the two Ari Aster films I've seen get a resounding 16/20 aggregate! By the way, Mitch (and everyone else on this topic) - Have you ever given a film a 10? I know I haven't. Not yet, but I have in mind some titles. Maybe if I watch them again I'll be forced to score them lower, which is always a pity.

 
 Posted:   Feb 25, 2024 - 4:58 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

MIDSOMMAR (US 2019) 8...
Ha, yes Mitch, I had in mind your 2/10 when I gave it an 8!


Thanks for the explanation, Graham ... and yes, polar opposites. May be if I watched again (very unlikely) I would see some of the qualities you mention but, for me, plot is so important if the story is meant to be dramatic, as opposed to -say- comedic. Your first listed film The Devils (1971) ... now, whilst I might not go as high as '8' I'd certainly rate it closer (I've not seen it for 20+ years) as I found it compelling with an outstanding performance from Oliver Reed, telling a strong, dramatic story.

Oh, and Guild of Chartered Accountants? No such thing ... and, now in my advanced years, I'm no longer a member of that revered Institute ... frown

 
 Posted:   Feb 25, 2024 - 5:42 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

By the way, Mitch (and everyone else on this topic) - Have you ever given a film a 10? I know I haven't. Not yet, but I have in mind some titles. Maybe if I watch them again I'll be forced to score them lower, which is always a pity.

No, not since I started this gig (Jun17) ... though there have been a few '9's, with the highest being the ever wonderful Charade (1963): 9+ smile

Other films I know I enjoy greatly but haven't seen for some years and might push that elusive '10' include Dances with Wolves (1990), Open Range (2003), Thunderball (1965), On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), The Apartment (1960), It's a Wonderful Life (1946) and High Society (1956) ... all solid '9's and - on the right day - perhaps a '10'.

Strangely, each and all tell a story, are well-acted and leave you feeling you've been entertained. Then again, perhaps not strange ... smile

 
 Posted:   Feb 25, 2024 - 6:41 AM   
 By:   Solium   (Member)

The Bride of Frankenstein

First time viewing. WTF did I just watch? The first half seemed like a comedy or parody. Whats with the little people? Frankenstein spends most of the film just wandering about aimlessly. The bride was in the film for all of 5 freaking minutes?! This is a classic?

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 25, 2024 - 8:50 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

The Bride of Frankenstein

First time viewing. WTF did I just watch? The first half seemed like a comedy or parody. Whats with the little people? Frankenstein spends most of the film just wandering about aimlessly. The bride was in the film for all of 5 freaking minutes?! This is a classic?


I understand that reaction, Solium. BRIDE is the film I had a hard time "getting". Only after multiple viewings and exploration of "the James Whale universe" did it finally click. But it's still not my favourite James Whale film and yes, I think it's a tad overrated. It's also a bit tough when you have to read up on a film and its director in order to appreciate it.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 25, 2024 - 9:04 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

MURDERS IN THE ZOO (US 1932) 5

Lionel Atwell is a rich adventurer who owns a zoo. He uses the animals, particularly a dead snake (!) to kill people who get in his way.

Short running time, just over an hour, and we're already half an hour in before things become truly entertaining. One of the things which certainly did not entertain me was Charles Ruggles as the excrutiatingly unfunny "comedy" relief. Unfortunately he's one of the few cast members alive at the end. But the film is saved by the supremely malevolent Lionel Atwill as the urbane sociopath, cool as a cucumber but with fits of manic hysteria just under the surface. He sews up the lips of a man who tried to kiss his wife, he kills his wife's lover, he kills his wife, he "thinks" he's killed Randolph Scott... You can't get much badder than that.

 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
© 2024 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved.
Website maintained and powered by Veraprise and Matrimont.