Posted by the editors on Saturday, 10 December 2011
French Connection II(1975)(DVD) Directed by John Frankenheimer (Birdman of Alcatraz (1962), The Manchurian Candidate (1962), Seven Days in May (1964), Grand Prix (1966)), starring Gene Hackman (Mississippi Burning (1987), Unforgiven (1992), The Firm (1993)) with Fernando Rey (Tristana (1970), Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)). While this crime drama may not be up to the level of its predecessor, the enormously successful The French Connection (1971), French Connection II still qualifies as a tense and very good film, largely thanks to dominating presence and inspired acting of Gene Hackman, who portrays the narrow-minded and obsessively determined New York narcotics detective in both films. Though The French Connection was ostensibly based on fact, and shot in a cold, hostile and decrepit New York City, which in fact was one of the striking screen presences in the film, French Connection II is admittedly purely fictional, and is shot in the French Mediterranean city of Marseilles, home of the dreaded international heroin smuggling organisation, the French Connection. Marseilles offers an exotic backdrop, a mix of bikini-clad beach-goers and narrow, garbage-strewn ethnic quarters, for Detective Popeye Doyle’s (Hackman) dogged pursuit of French Connection king-pin Alain Charnier, called Frog One, portrayed by Fernando Rey in both films. With excellent acting by Hackman and some wrenching and wonderfully tense scenes, French Connection II, though perhaps not quite achieving the iconic cinema status of the first film, is nevertheless a great crime drama and, frankly, in itself, a must-see film. (PR) (Pay special attention to the excellent scene between Hackman and Cathleen Nesbitt, as “The Old Lady”.)
See our previous posts on the film The French Connection starring Gene Hackman and on the film Scarecrow, starring Hackman and a very young Al Pacino.
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Posted in Blu-ray Disks, DVDs, film, Film Reviews, General, Movies, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible | Tagged: 1975, amazon instant video, amazon.com, Birdman of Alcatraz, Blu-ray Disks, Cathleen Nesbitt, Crime Dramas, Crime Thrillers, Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, DVDs, Fernando Rey, film, Film Reviews, French Connection, French Connection II, Gene Hackman, Grand Prix, John Frankenheimer, Mississippi Burning, Movie Sequels, movies, MUST SEE, Narcotics, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible, PR, Scarecrow, Seven Days in May, The Firm, The French Connection, The Manchurian Candidate, Tristana, Unforgiven, Wikipedia | 1 Comment »
Posted by the editors on Sunday, 9 October 2011
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)(DVD) Directed by Oliver Stone (Platoon (1986), Natural Born Killers (1994), W. (2008)), starring Michael Douglas (The China Syndrome (1979), Wall Street (1987), King of California (2007)), Shia LaBeouf (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2010), Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)), Josh Brolin (No Country for Old Men (2007), W. (2008), True Grit (2010)), Carey Mulligan (An Education (2009), Never Let Me Go (2010)) and others. Whatever else may be said about Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, the sequel, 23 years later of the award-winning Wall Street (for which Michael Douglas won the Oscar for Best Actor), it must first be said that Michael Douglas, as a post-prison Gordon Gekko, is really very good. Of course, having said that, there is not a great deal more to be said for the film, except that, given the 2008 crisis (and its never-ending implications) it treats a subject that must be treated.
Oliver Stone’s direction, however, lacks consistent punch, Shia LaBeouf, as Jacob Moore, is flat, at best, Carey Mulligan, as his fiancee, Winnie Gekko, is rather ridiculous, Josh Brolin, as the evil Bretton James, is passable, though the story, as a whole, and in many of its parts, is poorly written, regarding motivation, character development, and dialogue.
After all that, is it worth watching? Yes, for Douglas’s acting, and to remind oneself, if necessary, of the ill beast that Wall Street and banking have come to be. (PR)
See our posts on The Game (starring Michael Douglas), No Country for Old Men (starring Josh Brolin) and An Education (with Carey Mulligan).
We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray disks. Have a wonderful personal film library..
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Posted in Blu-ray Disks, DVDs, film, Film Reviews, Movies, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible | Tagged: 2010, An Education, Carey Mulligan, Gordon Gekko, Josh Brolin, King of California, Michael Douglas, Movie Sequels, movies, Natural Born Killers, Never Let Me Go, No Country for Old Men, Oliver Stone, Oscar for Best Actor, Platoon, Shia LaBeouf, The China Syndrome, The Game, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, True Grit, W., Wall Street | 3 Comments »