Macbeth (1971)

Emmy says:
I still struggle with the language of Shakespeare and I feel that my enjoyment of this film suffered for it. I was unable to empathise with any character or grasp the impetus of their motivations. The costumes were amazing for the time this was made. 7/10.

Jeff says:
Polanksi’s classic (which was a failure at the time) is a violent nihilistic masterpiece that takes the Scottish Play and shows what the play often only mentions or hints at. Tweaked to fit the world view of a man who lost his wife and unborn child to violence, and who was also somewhat pessimistic about that state of the world, this film is more about the director than the Bard even if the words belong to the latter. The cast is excellent though and the staging, costumes, and attempts at authenticity are impressive for a film 50 years old. This is not the griping tale I remember the play being, however. 7/10.

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Clue

Emmy says:
This story should not work yet it provides a perfect vehicle for the brilliantly witty dialogue and outstanding direction of physical acting. Add in the frenetic music coupled with the copious sprints between rooms you have an entirely quotable movie that is a blast to watch. 10/10.

Jeff says:
One of the most memorable, and quotable, films of all time. Great script, great acting, great atmosphere. How do you turn a board game into a movie? Generally, don’t try (ahem, Battleships), but this worked. The mid 50’s era paranoia plays perfectly into a story that works. To cut a long story short … this is very rewatchable and perfect light entertainment when you don’t know what to watch. 10/10.

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The Matrix

Emmy says:
This movie still packs a punch with effects that don’t look dated. Strong story and script with phenomenal fight choreography. Love the look and feel of this one. 10/10.

Jeff says:
Firstly, this movie still looks great. Amazingly good work, when CGI is needed, and a reliance on the practical when possible, meant that this movie does not look like it came from previous century. The story is strong after many re-watches, and a basic understanding of philosophy makes this so much more than just a fun action film. Film-making done right, from start to finish. 10/10.

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The New Mutants

Emmy says:
I found this movie quite enjoyable as I do love a horror movie and don’t feel let down by the lack of action. The characters had some nuance and the effects were great. I don’t think that the payoff at the end was earned which did bring down my mood. 7/10.

Jeff says:
Despite the well-publicised delays, alleged re-writes and studio ‘notes’, I actually rather enjoyed this. Now, it is NOT an action film, and it’s NOT a superhero film. It’s just a story about kids in a universe where mutants are known and part of the almost-everyday. This is closer to a psychological horror film like The Stepford Wives or Rosemary’s Baby. If you understand that, I think you’ll enjoy it more. Movies are challenged to treat the audience like they have brains but when they do, too often they find they’re criticised for not explaining enough. This happened here. Things aren’t explained to the characters unless it would normally be. They know more than we do, so they don’t get exposition dumps. I like that about this film. I would have loved to see the true-horror vision the director had for this story. 8/10.

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Work It

Emmy says:
This is the type of movie you go into knowing what the whole plot will be. I had a lot of fun watching it unfold and enjoyed the characters, although there isn’t much depth to any of them. Great dancing and music with wonderful costumes. 7/10.

Jeff says:
This reminded me a lot of Bring It On, in a lot of ways. This is not a bad thing, as I love Bring It On. Predictable and formulaic, it still works – the dancing is great and there are some amazing cameo performances (the disabled break dancers were something to behold). An enjoyable movie that doesn’t overstay it’s welcome. 7/10.

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Dr. No

Emmy says:
I must admit this was not what I expected, a lot less action than I thought. Holds up well with the staging and effects used. Great pacing of the story and attention to detail. 7/10.

Jeff says:
The movie that started it all. Wow, Sean Connery is so young! A classic that started more than just a franchise, it really started a whole genre. More spy thriller than action film, it’s what Bond was always meant to be. 8/10.

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Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

Emmy says:
This movie is full of silliness but it really is such a love letter to Eurovision. Outstanding songs and characters and absolutely lovable even while totally predictable. 9/10.

Jeff says:
Filmed with the co-operation of the real Eurovision Song Contest, its competitors, its organisers and even its fans, this movie – which seems like satire – is really a sweet homage to everything that the hard-core Eurovision fans love. The music is on point, the costumes and staging are excellent. Small technical errors of fact that can be spotted by those who know Eurovision, but that’s not really enough to detract from an actually quite lovely film. Douze points. 9/10.

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Army of the Dead

Emmy says:
A real fun zombie movie with interesting characters. Great design and script with a predictable plot. Laughed and cried 8/10.

Jeff says:
This is an interesting addition to the Zombie genre, but it could have been better. It’s easy to see what Zack Snyder cares about by the plot contrivances and “important” story points just overlooked at the conclusion. Predictable in almost every way that matters, it’s still a fun romp. I cared about the characters, I just wish the narrative did a bit more. 7/10.

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Police Academy

Emmy says:
The comedy of this movie is a wonderful caricature and is not mean about it, which I find refreshing. A good tale of triumph and stubbornness. 8/10.

Jeff says:
An old video from Good Bad Flicks came up on our feed, reminding me of this movie. Nostalgia, along with Cecil’s thoughts, contributed to bringing about a re-watch. For a screwball comedy with its outdated stereotypes and caricatures, this a remarkably sweet film that cares about the right people and isn’t actually mean to anyone. The jokes, while somewhat predicable these days, are still funny … except for the last one which felt wrong strangely. Nothing ground-breaking here, but it was released in 1984 – times were different. Still, I’m not ashamed to say I enjoy this movie. It actually holds up rather well. 8/10.

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The Music Man (2003)

Emmy says:
A great fun trip down memory lane revisiting this film. I enjoy the songs and story and it always makes me smile. The beautifully staged look of the sets makes me nostalgic for the theatre. 8/10.

Jeff says:
Well, they certainly don’t make musicals like that anymore! While a newer production than the original 1962 film, this adaptation of the 1957 musical still manages to feel like it came from the start of the 20th century by way of the 50s in a very similar way to Singin’ in the Rain. Some things haven’t aged well, but others remain timeless. The story is silly but the songs are memorable, if not always sensible (I’m looking at you, Shipoopi!) 8/10.

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The Quiet American (2002)

Emmy says:
This look at the First Indochina War from a singular perspective is a marvellously faceted story. The ill fitting costumes of Thomas Fowler and initially lazy disposition to his work elucidated the character in this dialogue heavy film wonderfully. The journey of Thomas from a bystander to contributor is complex and internal, and completely engaging. 10/10.

Jeff says:
Graham Greene’s book is brilliantly brought to life by Phillip Noyce with outstanding performances from Michael Caine and Brendan Fraser. I thought this was a spy thriller, and while espionage is involved it is not really the point of the story. At the heart is a love triangle that mirrors the tensions that were going on in Vietnam at the time. The depth to the story is kept in the film and filming in Vietnam made the visuals more poignant. 10/10.

IMDb

The Hunt for Red October

Emmy says:
An absolutely gripping character driven story filled with brilliant actors. Loved the use of the compact sets and the camera motion to show the underwater movement. The seamless transitions between Russian and English are expertly crafted to show the shift of understanding. The only disappointing part was the extremely obvious green screen scene at the end. 9/10.

Jeff says:
Once again, thanks to Patrick (H) Willems for putting this on our sonar … although it took a while to finally get around to watching it. I have all the original Jack Ryan novels, and watched all the movies that were made from them. I love the stories, and this movie (despite Sean Connery not even trying to sound anything other than himself) is excellent. The cast is full of “hey! it’s that guy!” actors doing outstanding work as usual. The direction and cinematography were impressive for how long ago this was made. Very rewatchable. 9/10.

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