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The Final Conflict Review


OK
The third installment in the Omen series -- and popularly referred to as just The Omen III instead of its "official" name -- wraps up the story of Damien Thorn, starting where we expect and finishing up with its logical conclusion. Easily the weakest entry in the trilogy (a fourth was made -- for cable -- but it's widely ignored as non-canon), it's lacks the thrills of the first two entries, but it's still a watchable experience.

Damien is now grown up, and being played by a creepy Sam Neill with such menacing fire that it's a miracle his career recovered to the point where he'd become mostly known for blonde "good guys." Having run Thorn Industries for seven years, Damien uses his powers to coerce the American ambassador to England into committing suicide, then finagles the appointment for himself. Exactly why he needs such a job is never explained, but it does bring the story full circle, as Damien's original dad in The Omen held that very position.

Continue reading: The Final Conflict Review

South Pacific (1958) Review


Excellent
This is an embarrassing statement for a man to make but I think that South Pacific is one of my favorite old movies. As an art form, the musical is dubious at best. And Joshua Logan was not one of the great Hollywood directors -- as demonstrated by the film's uneven pacing and use of colorful camera filters during certain intense scenes.

So why is this movie a classic? Because it was produced soon after WWII, when even Hollywood war romances had a serious edge. Because it was filmed on location (well, Hawaii, I think) and in full Technicolor glamour. And because the occasion brought out the best in Rodgers and Hammerstein, when the songwriting team wrote poignant and thoughtful lyrics put to classic melodies.

Continue reading: South Pacific (1958) Review

South Pacific (1958) Review


Excellent
This is an embarrassing statement for a man to make but I think that South Pacific is one of my favorite old movies. As an art form, the musical is dubious at best. And Joshua Logan was not one of the great Hollywood directors -- as demonstrated by the film's uneven pacing and use of colorful camera filters during certain intense scenes.

So why is this movie a classic? Because it was produced soon after WWII, when even Hollywood war romances had a serious edge. Because it was filmed on location (well, Hawaii, I think) and in full Technicolor glamour. And because the occasion brought out the best in Rodgers and Hammerstein, when the songwriting team wrote poignant and thoughtful lyrics put to classic melodies.

Continue reading: South Pacific (1958) Review

Mondo Cane Review


Weak
"Cannibal's macabre tribal rituals, pig killing in New Guinea, dog eating on Taipei, blood rites of secular Italian Catholics!"

Never mind the cannibals: There's Catholics in this movie!?

Continue reading: Mondo Cane Review

The Italian Job (1969) Review


Very Good
Only the British and Steven Soderbergh seem to be able to make funny caper movies. The Italian Job -- the original one, that is -- is a quite funny, minor classic of the genre, elevated from midnight movie fare thanks to the presence of a spot-on Michael Caine.

The film's setup is pretty staid: Caine's Charlie Croker is straight outta prison, and he's right back at the crime game the moment he's released. Thanks to guidance from boss Bridger (Noel Coward, appearing primarily in films given to Caine), the job is meticulously planned and staffed: Ultimately the gig is to cause a giant traffic jam in the city of Turin, steal $4 million in gold from an armored car, and escape using clever non-roadway surfaces so the cops can't follow them.

Continue reading: The Italian Job (1969) Review

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