Who needs another remake? It turns out we do. As a rule, I generally eschew remakes. In this case I made an exception. The trailer looked good so I gave it a chance. And friends, I am glad I did. This film is fresh and original in its interpretation. Bradley Cooper proves himself an adept director and makes a lot of smart choices in the presentation of this material. Lady Gaga is a wonder. The thing about Gaga for me has been she always wears a mask and we never get to see the real person behind the persona. Here we do. A very satisfying portrayal of an insecure character with a lot of personality and a load of talent.
Bradley Cooper is very good as the alcoholic country rock star who is in decline and fighting his own demons. The chemistry between the stars is palpable and their love story believable.
I liked the camera work and the production values are superb. It’s not an unqualified success, but Bradley Cooper hits this one out of the ball park. Two thumbs way up!
This has been a pretty good year for black filmmakers with Sorry to Bother You and Blindspotting coming out of Oakland, both very fresh, very original, and entertaining, each packed with a powerful punch. Here comes along a Spike Lee Joint. It is Spike’s best effort in years. The brother is back in full form and he has plenty of mojo to boot!
This brilliant film is based on the true story of a black police officer who infiltrated the KKK. It is very timely in its theme of white supremacists who want to take America back and to make America great again.
It is a reminder that White House is currently inhabited by white supremist racists and backed by David Duke and the KKK. Trump and Duke both make cameo appearances in the film as well as stock footage of the riots in Charlottesville where Trump smugly says there were some very fine people on both sides. Ha ha! Ho Ho!
This is a must see for everyone in America. Spike’s practiced hand is at the tiller of this skillfully wrought movie. It jumps immediately to my top 10 list and as of now it sits on top.
Il Deserto Rosso was Michelangelo Antonioni’s first foray into color and a painterly palette did he choose. He explores the themes of alienation in the modern world and the divorce between reality and spirituality. His scenes of industrialized post war Italy are both beautiful and frightening. Progress comes with a cost. Monica Vitti is extraordinary as the wife of the plant manager who suffers a mental breakdown in the face of modernity.
I rate this movie 8/10.
Debut film by Nicholas Ray. A film noir that is a cut above the rest. A genuine love story between two innocents that was bound to fail.
Ray did some innovative things with sound and one of the earliest overhead shots shot from a helicopter. He went on to direct such films of note as, Rebel Without a Cause, Johnny Guitar, and King of Kings.
They Live by Night was remade in 1974 by Robert Altman using the title, Thieves Like Us, which is the title of the novel the two movies was based upon. It was a pretty good flick as well.
Don’t confuse these two well made and entertaining movies with the execrable, Live By Night, directed by Ben Afleck in 2016. It is unwatchable.
They Live by Night (1948), I give it an eight out of ten.