Finalium Films

‘Rope’ – A Movie Review.

Making a movie that takes place entirely in one room is by no means an easy task. So, when Alfred Hitchcock set about filming ‘Rope’ in 1948, he must have really had his work cut out. Surely even ‘the master of suspense’ himself would be hard pushed to sufficiently rack up the tension in a film that is limited to the living room/dining area of a city apartment….

However, Hitchcock amazed everyone with his superb adaptation of the 1929 play by Patrick Hamilton. Not only is ‘Rope’ a wonderfully competent movie, it also happens to be one of the greatest in Mr Hitchcock’s career! This film has all of the most important ingredients; oodles of suspense, masses of atmosphere, a water tight script and some damn fine acting too. It’s just a pity that more modern directors do not take a leaf out of Alfred Hitchcock’s book…

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The Bogey Man.

There are certain hard facts in life which simply cannot be ignored; ice is cold, peas are green, open fires are cosy and pages on MySpace take flipping ages to load. And another great truth is this – Humphrey Bogart was inarguably cool!

‘Casablanca’, ‘Angels with Dirty Faces’, ‘The Desperate Hours’, ‘The African Queen’, ‘Key Largo’, ‘The Maltese Falcon’…. He starred in so many wonderful movies (75 in fact!!!) and he is still very sadly missed.

They just don’t make actors like Bogey any more…

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The Timeless Appeal of ‘The Man With No Name.’

It is my sincere belief that the majority of modern movies have very little point to them at all. I simply find them bland, bland, bland! They all seem to centre on seriously oversized budgets, overpaid actors and masses of computer generated special effects. And those are the main reasons why I tend to look to the past when I want something good to watch. At least movies had a bit more substance to them back then, even when they were action-based

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Discovery through strange mediums…

Like your good self, I work for a living (already I have assumed you are 1) good and 2) a worker. See how generous I am?). That means I get up every day and deal with Red Diesel Prices …and I know…I know…you’re probably thinking what a bore I am. I was actually just beginning to think that myself…

But the point is this: sometimes really interesting things do happen as a result of my direct connection with diesel, and now I am going to tell you about one of these such occasions. Luck you, right?

It was an ordinary day: I had got in on time and was making phone calls to different suppliers and generally doing my diesel admin work. Sometimes it’s more interesting than others, but one thing is for sure: like anything, after a while it can get mundane…

It’ll transform your views on the world as we know it, and seriously make you think twice about where we will be if we keep going as we are

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“Searching For Bobby Fischer” Makes You Want to Buy Chess Sets

‘Searching for Bobby Fischer' was released in 1993 but still never fails to make an impact on an audience whenever it is viewed. On its initial release, hundreds of cinemagoers reported afterward that they felt compelled to go and buy chess sets which considering the content of the movie is hardly surprising. Unlike a lot of modern films though, ‘Searching for Bobby Fischer' was not designed with product placement in mind.

The film follows the story of Josh Waitzkin – a typical American boy only interested in playing baseball. That is until one day he challenges his Dad to a chess match and wins. Realising that he’s found something he’s good at, Josh ventures into the outdoor matches held in Washington Square in New York City and quickly makes friends with a chess hustler names Vinnie. Vinnie teaches him ‘speed chess' whilst Josh’s parents hire a renowned chess coach called Bruce who teaches Josh the value of measured and tactical planning. Like all kids, Josh becomes impatient and tires of Bruce’s system and chess in general and deliberately throws an important match leaving the chances of winning a national championship in serious doubt.

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The Dark Knight: The Dark Horse

The Dark Knight: The Dark Horse

People think “Batman” = another childhood favourite turned to smut by Hollywood. But they’re wrong. The Dark Knight remains one of my all time favourite films to date. A film that dwarfed its predecessors and competitors and still continues to thrill me to this day.

That scene when the Joker lets lose on someone on national television, or where a police officer crashes into the Mayor’s window still make me jump with excitement. The constant twists and developments in the plot are the groundings for some brilliant acting, particularly on Michael Caine’s part.

I have to say though, what really made the movie stand out from the other greats is Heath Ledger’s brilliant acting. I was sorrowful when he passed away, truly he was a gifted actor.

Anyway, on to a less miserable note, his performance as “the Joker” bared semblance to the Shakespearian Machiavellian Villain – Iago. The Joker is the puppet master in the movie; whether they be criminals in the slums, Mafia bosses in penthouses or a senators in three piece suits, the Joker gets them on his side or kills them.

After Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises must deliver, and it promises to. With a cast of esteemed Hollywood actors, the next instalment in the Batman Saga promises to deliver. All we can hope for is that Christopher Nolan can pull it out of the bag once again, and give us a spectacular film that we can enjoy time and time again.

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Never to be Forgotten: The Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Never to be Forgotten: The Cave of Forgotten Dreams

It is not often that a film leaves me in a state of real awe, not just about the filmmaker’s ability, but also about the subject of the movie.

The Cave of Forgotten Dreams excelled all expectations in leaving me in a awe-struck, dream-like haze for days afterwards. In fact, even weeks after I first saw the film, whenever I think about it, I am still easily drawn into a state of wonder.

It is such a simple premise. In 1994 some cavers found what they were sure should exist, a large cave inside the limestone cliffs in southern France. Gleefully, they scrambled in, only to be drawn up short but something they had never expected – the cave walls were covered with fantastic prehistoric paintings. They turned out to be the oldest known in the whole world, dating back to 30,000 years ago, and since the cave system is so extensive, it was literally an historic find.

Named after the caver Jean-Marie Chauvet, the Chauvet caves are strictly guarded, and are only open to scientists for a few days a year. The condensation from visitors'breath and modern lights can destroy cave paintings, so the French authorities rigidly control entrance. So it is a miracle that veteran German filmmaker Werner Herzog and his small team were allowed to accompany a short expedition by archaeologists into the caves.

The stunningly beautiful art is revealed slowly and lovingly in the resulting film, with flickering lights such as our ancestors might have known. It is a powerful, moving film, and my only concern is that with the rubbish retail display equiptment some DVD rental shops have, an art-house film such as this might never reach a wide audience, although it deserves the attention of us all.

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Watch It Now: Never Let Me Go

If you ask me, Kazuo Ishiguro is the man: few people can write great sci-fi, and even fewer can do it with the kind of mesmerizing sensitivity and nuance that he can and apparently so easily does. More than that, he’s a talented short-story writer with enough printed words under his belt to rival almost any other credible modern author.

Never Let Me Go is, as you may know, a story of human cloning brought back down to earth and made simple. It is not filled with special effects, is a film which is carried wholly on the few major cast members – Keira Knightley is excellent, and believe me I don’t often say that after “Domino” appeared – and is a film with a great deal of depth. Strangely, the first time I watched it it didn’t grab me too much, but on the second viewing I enjoyed it more – by then very familiar with the story, I was then able to devote myself to understanding the dynamics of the lead characters and how they change and grow-up.

Even my dad liked it, and he usually only watched documentaries on Dave about red diesel suppliers . Or Ice Road Truckers, of course. His all-time favourite.

The last great point I want to mention is that here is a film which is for the boys and the girls. Moving and full of impact, it’s a sad take which will ask a lot of you but also give a lot back.

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The Lord of the rings saga continues…

Since the moment fans around the globe stopped rejoicing over the Lord of the rings trilogy, there has been an effervescent stream of rumours surrounding the development of a prequel story, ‘The Hobbit’. Many people were cynical that the Lord of the rings story could be made into a convincing narrative for a modern audience, the way J R Tolkien portrays many story elements is rather old fashioned and often relatively impenetrable . The language is dense (featuring many made up words) and the action described is somewhat clichéd by modern standards. Additionally, the characterisation is rather old fashioned with most female characters portrayed as unattainable ethereal prizes to be won, as the trilogy was being developed they even considered rewriting the Frodo’s long suffering and reliable best friend (Sam) as a girl because they were worried that the relationship was seems ‘too gay’.

However, the themes which Tolkien explores is his books have a lot of important messages for a contemporary audience, the feeling of the mechanised industrial world of the Orks pillaging the resources of the land, battling against the holistic hobbits who support and nurture the natural world has as much relevance today as it did in Tolkien’s day as he witnessed the echoes of the industrial revolution.

Peter Jackson showed a huge amount of vision and foresight to make the Lord of the rings trilogy in a deservingly dramatic and epic manner and the rugged New Zealand coast seems to capture the wild lands which Tolkien once described perfectly and keeping to budget without the need of a mortgage broker . The fact that Peter Jackson has agreed to direct the Hobbit is massive boost for the project and a source of reassurance for the fans, filming is scheduled to begin in February 2011 with the film’s release planned for December 2012. Martin Freeman has been confirmed to play the lead character Bilbo Baggins with many other prominent actors rumoured to have been approached, including the excellent Leonard Nimoy.

One of the thing that over looked was the effect that the films had on New Zealand, it’s used to be people would dream of buying villas in Portugal , now everyone wants a hole in the ground in the Shire. It’s incredibable the effect a blockbuster film can have on a country, when they said that they want to charge over the top for them to film The Hobbit in the country they were realy shotting themself in the foot.

Further cast rumours can be found at (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0903624/).

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Animal Kingdom

Type Animal Kingdom into the Rotten Tomatoes search bar and you will very quickly discover that it gets a whopping 97% and has been hailed by the critics as a modern day masterpiece with a Shakesperian tone. As if that wasn’t already proof enough that you have been wasting your evenings by not hunting it out, I am now going to detail what it is about this thoroughly fantastic and original film that makes it stand out head-and-shoulders above the rest.

Firstly, in a world where you can watch Alan Partridge Online, get your emails wherever you are, and send a document at light-speed from one place to another across vast distances, Animal Kingdom takes a decidedly old-school approach to film-making. By that I mean that in this film about an element of Australia’s crime underworld – one concerning a family’s affairs with drug sales and an impending war between the authorities that one boy is unknowingly thrown into – doesn’t focus on technology. It’s about relationships, bonds, and what happens when one killing becomes an epidemic of bad decision making. Also intriguing is the casting of a young and intensely dull actor in the title role; on paper the film should be far from riveting, yet the mounting tension prevalent in every scene is more than real enough. You can practically smell the Australian bush in the background, engulfing the small community where the family live and hide from ever more sinister twists.

But be warned, Animal Kingdom is not for the faint-hearted: it’s brutal in places, and so unassuming in others that you’re willing the characters to look over their shoulders. But best of all, among all this is something we can relate to: just a family, trying to survive the only way they know how.

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