Shane (1953)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 1
CULT – 1

 

 

VERDICT – 5/5

 

 


PROS –
1) A mysterious drifter tries to settle down with a homestead family but a greedy cattle baron makes him revisit his violent past.
2) While it appears as a plain old western story of good vs evil, it’s definitely more than that. The young kid (Joey) idolizes Shane and to ensure that Joey’s hope remains unbroken, he pretends to leave the valley in the climactic scene where in reality he’s clearly mortally wounded. His final message to Joey was to be not like him.
3) The cinematography in the scenic valley is breathtaking.
4) One of the most “American” movies I have ever seen.
5) While the movie provides a strong non-violence message, the gun-fighting scenes are incredible. The technique used to show the impact of being shot is influencing all leading action directors to date.

 

 

CONS –
N/A

 

 

QUOTE –
Shane: A man has to be what he is, Joey. Can’t break the mould. I tried it and it didn’t work for me.

Patriot Games (1992)

STORY – 0
DIRECTOR – 0
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

 

VERDICT – 1/5

 

 


PROS –
1) Retired CIA analyst Jack Ryan on vacation accidentally foils plans of an IRA splinter group’s attempting a political assassination. Now, the brother of the dead assailants vows revenge from Ryan’s family.

 

 


CONS –
1) The problem with Jack Ryan‘s character is that he is an analyst, unlike other fictional CIA field agents.
2) Tediously formulaic, and slow spy-thriller.

 

 

QUOTE –
Robby: So, you just waded on in like John Wayne. Why’d you do it? What were you thinking, man?
Jack Ryan: I don’t know. I wasn’t thinking.

A Farewell to Arms (1932)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

 


PROS –
1) A tragic love story of an American ambulance driver and an English nurse in Italy during World War I.
2) Some groundbreaking camera works by Charles Lang for a 1932 movie.
3) Screenplay without any unnecessary melodrama. Adolphe Menjou as Major Rinaldi plays the colorful antagonist for the first-half of the movie however his character is more sympathetic towards the lovers in the third act.

 

 

CONS –
N/A

 

 

QUOTE –
Rinaldi: I will see you are decorated for bravery. Perhaps we can get you the medalgio d’argento. But certainly the bronze one. Did you carry somebody out of battle?
Lieutenant Frederic Henry: I didn’t carry anyone. I couldn’t move.
Rinaldi: Surely there was something heroic. Tell me what you did.
Lieutenant Frederic Henry: I was blown up eating cheese.

Terms of Endearment (1983)

STORY – 0
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

 

VERDICT – 2/5

 

 


PROS –
1) A movie exploring the ups and downs in a mother-daughter relationship over a span of 30 years.
2) Jack Nicholson as Garrett Breedlove provides some comic relief as the flamboyant and lecherous retired astronaut.
3) Shirley MacLaine as Aurora is the cornerstone of this movie. Indeed an Oscar-worthy performance.

 

 

CONS –
1) A sappy family drama with its fair share of infidelity, melodrama, and cancer.
2) A 2-hrs long boring movie without any reason to rewatch.

 

 


QUOTE –
Garrett: Do you want to know what bothers me? None of us ever got together in one room, locked all the doors, and compared notes on the experience. I think there was a rule we had to pretend that it wasn’t the fun that it was.

Fatal Attraction (1987)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1

 

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 

PROS –
1) A happily-married lawyer’s one-night stand became a nightmare when the woman turns out as a psychopathic stalker who makes his life hell. 
2) The plot can be summarised in one line however the entire movie is elevated by some intense performances from Michael Douglas and Glenn Close. The 2 fight scenes in the last 15 minutes are brilliantly executed.
3) Glenn Close’s performance is definitely Oscar-worthy. Her performance in the movie is a final warning signal for all wannabe adulterer. 

 

 

CONS –
N/A

 

 

QUOTE –
Alex Forrest: Well, what am I supposed to do? You won’t answer my calls, you change your number. I mean, I’m not gonna be ignored, Dan!

Indecent Proposal (1993)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

 


PROS –
1) A young couple’s relation is turned upside down after a billionaire offers one million dollars to them for one night with the wife.
2) Robert Redford plays the suave billionaire John Gage, who believes everything’s for sale in this world for a price.
3) Scintillating Demi Moore in her prime.

 

 

CONS –
1) While the first act is fast and rich, the remaining movie is a formulaic sappy drama without any interesting outcome.

 

 


QUOTE –
Diana: Someone once said, if you want something very badly, set it free. If it comes back to you, it’s yours forever. If it doesn’t, it was never yours to begin with.

Tales from the Darkside (1990)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

 


PROS –
1) A young boy is captured by a modern-day witch, and the witch is planning to cook him for the dinner party. To stall her plan, the boy tells her three horror stories.
2) Cat from Hell – A hitman hired by a wealthy man to kill a cat. While the story is mediocre, the entire sequence where the cat kills the hitman by forcing itself down his throat and into his stomach was horrifying.
3) Lover’s Vow – A folklore sort of story where a demon spares a man’s life when he swears never to reveal what he saw or describe its appearance to anyone. The final scene where Carola begins transforming back into the monster is an achievement for the special effect team. The scene rivals the transformation scene from An American Werewolf in London (1981).

 

 

CONS –
1) Lot 249 – Michael McDowell failed to give justice to Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic horror short story. Even with a good star-cast, the screenplay and execution is childish. The iconic story deserves a full-length movie.

 

 

QUOTE –
Carola: You promised you’d never tell!

The Parallax View (1974)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1

 

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 

PROS –

1) A presidential candidate is assassinated, and within the next 3 years, 6 of the witnesses to the killing have mysteriously died. A newspaper reporter, who is also one of the witnesses, begins a personal quest to get to the bottom of this vast conspiracy.

2) An intense political thriller which highlights a fictional multinational corporation called Parallax Corporation behind major professional assassinations.

3) The screenplay is gripping and fast-paced. The climax is aptly pessimistic which shows that the Parallax Corporation is deeply rooted in the system which a petty reporter can’t beat.

 

 

CONS –
N/A

 

 

QUOTE –
Joseph Frady: [to Deputy Sheriff] Don’t touch me unless you love me.

Last Train from Gun Hill (1959)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

 


PROS –
1) U.S. Marshal Morgan is in Gun Hill to arrest the man who raped and murdered his wife. The only problem is that the man is the son of an old friend Craig Belden who owns the town.
2) The decent stakeout western with Kirk Douglas & Anthony Quinn.


CONS –
1) Carolyn Jones’s character of Linda dragged the story.

 

 


QUOTE –
Marshal Morgan: Isn’t there anybody in this town that’s not afraid of Craig Belden?
Bartender’: Sure! Graveyard’s full of them!

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1

 

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 


PROS –
1) A meta spy-thriller beyond the guessing capacity of viewers. The lead characters of the story are a merely expendable pawns in the great game.
2) MI6 plant their agent Leamas in HVA to implicate a German officer (Mundt). But in reality, Mundt is himself an MI6 informant, and the entire plan was to get rid of another German officer (Fiedler) as he was getting too suspicious of Mundt. Leamas and his lover Nancy were just small cogs in the grand spy machine.
3) Richard Burton’s final angry monologue on espionage to Nancy was just brilliant.
4) Leamas‘ final decision of not jumping the wall to safety signifies his exhaustion from dreadful spy-games.

 

 

CONS –
N/A

 

 

QUOTE –
i)
Alec Leamas: I reserve the right to be ignorant. That’s the Western way of life.

ii)
Alec Leamas: What the hell do you think spies are? Moral philosophers measuring everything they do against the word of God or Karl Marx? They’re not! They’re just a bunch of seedy, squalid bastards like me: little men, drunkards, queers, henpecked husbands, civil servants playing cowboys and Indians to brighten their rotten little lives. Do you think they sit like monks in a cell, balancing right against wrong? Yesterday I would have killed Mundt because I thought him evil and an enemy. But not today. Today he is evil and my friend. London needs him. They need him so that the great, moronic masses you admire so much can sleep soundly in their flea-bitten beds again. They need him for the safety of ordinary, crummy people like you and me…

Nan Perry: You killed Fiedler!

Alec Leamas: How big does a cause have to be before you kill your friends? What about your Party? There’s a few million bodies on that path!