Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith

Every now and then James and I watch a Star Wars film together and tonight we watched this one.

Here is my review from the last time watched this back in 2017:

The last time we watched this was in December 2013, you can read the review for it here. My opinions of the film have not changed much, but I would add that some of the dialogue was diabolical.

It was a big improvement over the previous two episodes though, and had some pretty good action scenes.

Nothing has changed. The dialogue remains diabolical, and there are scenes were dialogue is needed but Georgie instead just left awkward silence.

It is watchable, and there are a few good scenes here and there, but it should have been a whole lot better. Poor Hayden Christensen got a lot of flak for his performance which I suppose is partly justified, but I would also blame the poor script, although all of the actors had to endure that. Hayden though got some of the worst lines.

Looking him up on Wikipedia I found that he is still doing the odd film once or twice a year, but most of them are poorly rated. He made a film along with Bruce Willis in 2017 called First Kill, but that was a major bomb (Bruce has had his day).

Georgie is apparently working on the next Indiana Jones film… don’t Georgie, just don’t.

Episode IX is a few months away, and we are looking forward to that very much. I think the new trilogy has been great so far. It is not perfect, but it is certainly light years better than Georgie’s last trilogy.

Date watched: October 5th
Score: 7/10
Film count 2019: 29

Stealth

For reasons I cannot fathom right now, I decided to watch this film again after having seen it years ago, and well remembering that it was a crappy film. It is still a crappy film.

The story is about three ace pilots who fly a new extremely high-tech fighter. They are all quite annoying, mostly because of the buddy-banter, as well as their extremely white teeth. They are not too pleased when a new even more high-tech fighter joins their little squadron, a plane flown by an AI robot thing. It goes berzerb when hit by lightning and causes all kinds of grief, but by the end of the film comes to it’s senses and tries to make up for killing one of the pilots, and of course sacrifices itself to save the two remaining pilots.

A lot of the story is so improbable that it is just plain funny. My favourite was the high-altitude unmanned blimp which carries tonnes of jet fuel for mid-air refuelling… basic physics be damned. I found a blimp payload calculator online that told me in order to lift 1000 kg of payload you would need 1,000,000 litres of helium, which is a lot. The blimp in the film seemed to be carrying much more than that though. But this film was probably written by teenagers and for teenagers, so science and making sense is a low priority.

What was very annoying though was the camera work. In some flying action sequences the camera seemed to be set on a low shutter speed and the cameraman was just wildly swinging the camera around. On top of that more blur was added in with CGI so that not only could I not figure out what the heck was going on, but I also felt rather queasy and unsure of my spatial existence.

This was a huge bomb back in 2005, making a loss of US$111 million, and also making it one of the worst in history in fact. Despite it’s bombiness though everyone involved in this seems to have continued on as normal in their careers, including the director, Rob Cohen. Perhaps it was the huge successes of his previous films The Fast and the Furious (made US$207 million from it’s US$38 million budget) and xXx that saved him, and his next film after Stealth made a huge bucket in profits too (The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor).

To erase the memory of this film from my consciousness I must watch something to cancel out it’s negative effects, so the first film that comes to mind is Top Gun… Tom’s pearly whites in that film actually make sense.

I did enjoy writing this entry though, so that is something.

Date watched: September 22nd
Score: 2/10
Film count 2019: 28

No Escape

Having watched two film-noir flicks recently I though one more would be a good idea, so I found this on YouTube.

The story tells of a woman who thinks she may have moidered someone (by accident), a down-and-out musician who at first tries to extort money out of her, and her boyfriend, who is a cop but obviously a dirty one. Things happen and by the end the woman and the musician fall in love with each other, and the bad cop turns out to be the actual murderer.

Pretty standard stuff, and neither good nor bad. Mostly I enjoy these kinds of film because it is a good look into how life was before computers, smartphones, people saying “awesome” (a word I flatly refuse to actually speak) at everything, and reality TV. Still, you can’t call yourself a film buff if you don’t watch a wide variety of flicks.

At the end of the film the down-and-out musician gets to sing his new song “No Escape”, and it is heard by a film executive who offers to buy the song, thus ending the film with smiles all round. Awesome!

I can’t really recommend it, watch a Humphrey film instead, but at the end after a chuckle at the silliness of it all I was satisfied.

Date watched: September 17th
Score: 5.5/10
Film count 2019: 27

Take One False Step

It was good to watch an old-timey film again, so I chose another last night. This was a completely random choice on YouTube.

The opening credits started the film off with shots of people stepping into various bad incidents or situations (stepping into open manholes, stepping onto a bar of soap outside the shower, going up steps to the wedding altar, etc), played to some upbeat music, so it seemed like a comedy. It turned out to be a thriller though, a passable one.

Cops on the case.

Shelley Winters played an old flame of a successful college professor, and both get mixed up in a murder mystery (her murder, or so it seemed) with the professor trying to clear his good name while having to deal with a potential rabies infection.

It has a simple plot with no extra machinations piled on that today’s films would do. It all plays out as we would expect it to which makes the little twist at the end all the more twisty.

The acting was quite standard. The actors, apart from Shelley, all had decent but not stellar careers. The lead role was played by William Powell who looked awfully fancy in this 1922 silent film called When Knighthood Was in Flower

At first I found it hard to get into watching this, but once the plot picked up I found it to be watchable. It was interesting to see 1949 Los Angeles and San Francisco though. At one point in the film the main actor refers to his rental car as a “drive yourself” which I found odd. It turns out this was probably referring to the American Driveurself Association, which seems to have been how you rented a car in the U.S. back in the day.

You can find much better films to watch from the 1940’s/50’s, but I found it quite watchable.

Date watched: September 15th
Score: 6/10
Film count 2019: 26

Fourteen Hours

This is a 1951 film noir drama about a young chap who wants to jump from the 15th floor of a hotel because life sucks, and the cop who tries to talk him off the ledge.

I had not heard of most of the actors, although upon researching this film I found that they were all significant film and TV actors in the day and beyond, just not up there with The Kirkster or Elizabeth Taylor or whatnot. Grace Kelly made her film debut in this with a minor role.

The young chap was played by Richard Basehart who would go onto play Wilton Knight of Knight Rider fame, although he was killed off in the pilot episode. His voice lived on though in the intro…

The cop was played by a fellow named Paul Douglas who had a decent career in radio, TV, and film but nothing as significant as Knight Rider. He died aged 52.

Barbara Bel Geddes played the fiance of the young chap. She had a role in Vertigo, and was Miss Ellie Ewing in Dallas.

Debra Paget played a sympathetic onlooker on the street (everyone else was waiting for the young chap to jump, including a bunch of comedy relief taxi drivers who placed bets on when he would jump). She would go on to play Elvis’ love interest in his film debut in Love Me Tender. She is also the only main cast member who is still alive, she is 86 now. Elvis apparently took a liking to her…

From Wikipedia: During production of Love Me Tender (1956), Elvis Presley became smitten with Paget, who in 1997 claimed the singer even proposed marriage. At the time, however, the media reported that she was romantically linked with Howard Hughes and nothing came of this. A 1956 article quoted Paget’s comments about Hughes:

I was in love with Howard for two years, and I don’t care who knows it… I was never alone with him in the whole two years. Mother was always with us… I haven’t seen Howard for a long time now, because I’m a one-man woman, and I’ve got to have a one-woman man… But I’ll always remember Howard with fondness.

Agnes Moorehead played the young chap’s mother. She appeared in Citizen Kane (her first film) and had a very long and successful career. She played Samantha’s mother in the TV series Bewitched, she was fab in that.

The film itself was decent. It moved a long at a good pace and despite mostly taking place on a hotel ledge or in the hotel room it worked well. The acting was pretty good on the whole. It was nominated for an Academy Award, but did not win anything (An American in Paris won best picture).

Events for the film were closely based on an actual event in New York in 1938 which had a tragic ending. According to Wikipedia the film too was going to have a tragic ending, but due to the daughter of the Fox president killing herself by jumping from the roof of the Fox West Coast Building, the ending was changed (two endings were filmed). As in the film the cop tried for fourteen hours to talk the man down, and was almost successful until a photographer interfered (read the Wiki article).

This is not an essential film to watch, but I found it to be a decent watch.

Date watched: September 14th
Score: 7.5/10
Film count 2019: 25

Terminator

A couple of weeks back we all headed to Hokkaido by ferry, which was a long and somewhat boring trip, although I did enjoy looking at the wide open sea. I did not see any sea creatures though, which was disappointing. In Sapporo, where we stayed, our hotel had a nice TV setup that included a few free films to watch, so I chose this one as I felt like an Arnie action flick, and it has been quite some time since I last watched this.

It was just as I remember it, and in some ways better. Despite being released in 1984, it has aged quite well and it’s eighties-ness only added to the spectacle. The CGI of course is primitive, and the shots of Arnie doing eye surgery on himself were very obviously an animatronic Arnie head, but it didn’t detract from the film at all. In fact, it was rather quaint, and modern films these days are just not quaint are they?

I can’t really fault it. It moved along at a good pace, Arnie was having a good time playing a video nasty and came up with one of the the most famous lines in film history all by himself, and he got to shoot a lot of people up. All good.

Here are some dancing chimps, which for some reason came up in my search on Giphy.com for Terminator…

Thoroughly enjoyable.

Hokkaido was great, I thoroughly recommend you go there if you can.

Date watched: August 16th
Score: 8.5/10
Arnie-O-meter: 10/10
Film count 2019: 24

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

I last watched this a very long time ago, some time before the turn of the century, so I had forgotten most of it.

This was a bomb when it came out in 1988, it made only $8 million from it’s $46 million budget, but it is a Terry Gilliam film after all. This article explains the making of the film, and also some of the troubles in the film including some quite dangerous scenes, which were very clearly evident while watching it. Sarah Polley, who was nine years old at the time, had a co-starring role and as you will read in the aforementioned article was very traumatised as a result of being in the film.

I quite enjoyed it though. It was funny in places, especially when Robin Williams made his appearance as King of the Moon. Oliver Reed too was very funny as Vulcan, in fact I would say he was the highlight of the film. The rest of the film though was entertaining and quite good to look at. As well as Robin and Oliver, the film included such fine actors as Eric Idle, Uma Thurman, and Jonathan Pryce. A very respected actor, but virtually unknown at the time was John Neville who played the Baron, and he was most excellent. Sting had a cameo.

Some of the humour does fall a bit flat, and if you are a Monty Python fan then you will know what the punchlines to some jokes will be, and it also slows down a bit in places. It is also not really a kid’s film, especially with several beheadings and a risqué scene involving the tickling of the Queen of the Moon’s feet and suggestive groans.

A rather enjoyable watch, and better than I was anticipating.

Date watched: August 11th
Score: 8/10
Film count 2019: 23