Saturday, February 18, 2017
Weary of the conventions of Parisian society, a rich playboy and a youthful courtesan-in-training enjoy a platonic friendship, but it may not stay platonic for long.
In all departments a top-notch and lively musical production that is a delight to watch, but the plot itself hardly hold's one interest.
Halliwell***: "Laundered and musicalized version; delightfully set, costumed and performed, but oddly lacking dance numbers."
Maltin****: "Joyous turn-of-the-20th-century musical...Exquisitely filmed, perfectly cast..."
A football player and his friends travel to the planet Mongo and find themselves fighting the tyranny of Ming the Merciless to save Earth.
Well produced and nicely designed attempt to make a campy version of the Flash Gordon saga; the intention is much too in-your-face, and the makers seem to ignore the fact that the original was more camp than they could ever achieve.
Halliwell (no star): "Lively comic strip addition to the increasing numbers of such things being restaged at enormous expense fifty years after their prime."
Maltin***: "Updated version of comic strip is better than expected, thanks to eye-filling production/costume design by Danilo Donati, amusing rock score by Queen. Jones and Anderson are liabilities..., but Muti's evil Princess Aura...leads a strong supporting cast."
Psychotronic/Michael Weldon: "Despite a repetitious rock score by Queen and a terrible campy attitude, this Flash Gordon...is often visually impressive, and Max von Sydow does a good Charles Middleton impression. Basically it's as good as Battlestar Galactica. Sam Jones is a pretty bad hero...His lines had to be dubbed over by another actor!"
Friday, February 17, 2017
Knight, Death and the Devil (German: Ritter, Tod und Teufel, originally Rider, German: Reuter ) is a large 1513 engraving by the German artist Albrecht Dürer, one of the three Meisterstiche (master prints) completed during a period when he almost ceased to work in paint or woodcuts to focus on engravings. The image is infused with complex iconography and symbolism, the precise meaning of which has been argued over for centuries.
An armoured knight, accompanied by a faithful and loyal dog, rides through a narrow gorge flanked by a goat-headed devil and the figure of death riding a pale horse. Death's rotting corpse holds an hourglass to remind the knight of the shortness of life. The rider moves through the scene ignoring or looking away from the creatures lurking around him. He appears to be almost contemptuous of the threats, and is often seen to be a symbol of courage; the knight’s armor, the horse which towers in size over the beasts, the oak leaves and the fortress on the mountaintop are symbolic of the resilience of faith, while the knight's plight may represent Christians' earthly journey towards the Kingdom of Heaven.
The work was mentioned by Vasari as one of "several sheets of such excellence that nothing finer can be achieved". It was widely copied and had a large influence on later German writers. Nietzsche referenced the work in his The Birth of Tragedy (1872) to exemplify pessimism, while it was idealised in the 20th century by the Nazis as representing the racially pure Aryan, and was sometimes used in their propaganda imagery. (Wikipedia)
In a rural setting on the weather-beaten French Atlantic coast, the ten year old daughter of a single mother is implicated in murder, but crime scene evidence contradicts the story of the talented, introverted child as expressed in her Mangas.
Discovering covert and faulty intelligence causes a U.S. Army officer to go rogue as he hunts for Weapons of Mass Destruction in an unstable region.
Well-intentioned and fairly good thriller that seems to think it needs to prove what has always been obvious to the rest of the world: that the claim there were WMD in Iraq was a lie.
Maltin*: "Retrospective look at the situation...asks us to be surprised at its discoveries - and the ultimate outcome of the story - when it's plain from the start to everyone but Damon's character. Vividly realized by Greengrass, a master of verisimilitude, but dramatically pointless."