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Average User Score: 8.4Jan 18, 2019Reaping the Whirlwind
Akira Kurosawa’s “Ran” “Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity.” “For they sow theReaping the Whirlwind
Akira Kurosawa’s “Ran”
“Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity.”
“For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.”
“But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the Lord, and be sure your sin will find you out.”
What a difference 33 years makes(Duh!) When I first saw this movie in 1985 I just knew if was a great movie. I was totally captivated by the Attack on the Third Castle(which I still am) but it has now become obvious to me how all truly great works of art are hopelessly(hopefully?) entangled with the Biblical worldview(even if the director doesn’t embrace that view.) Although you would expect Kurosawa to be a Buddhist he seems to acknowledge that the Eightfold Path does not succeed in conquering suffering. Indeed, the son who returns at the end does “not” cure the chaos(oh how Kurosawa could have used the conquering Messiah of the Christian faith here!) Tsurumaru’s drop of the Amira Buddha image near the end also seems to indicate a lack of faith in the Buddhist way.
But the other Christian themes reflected in the quotes above are beautifully explored here.
Mise en scène Score(20/20) Kurosawa is a master here. The scene in which Hidetora exits the Second Castle is gorgeous. As is the overhead shot in the ruins with Hidetora and Kyoami. Although the Attack on the Third Castle is not static there are many powerful images here as well. The final shot of Tsurumaru matches the bleakness of the final shot in Vertigo, and repeats the theme of a fall from great height(The Garden of Eden?)
The Attack on the Third Castle(30/30) If this isn’t the greatest sequence in movie history it is surely the greatest sequence without dialogue. How can such carnage be so captivatingly presented? This type of “operatic” violence is what Peckinpah presents at the end of “Wild Bunch” but raised to a higher degree.
Proverbs 22:6 Score(30/30) The inverse holds true as well. Even though Saburo escapes this tendency(by the grace of God?) he can’t save the day in the end.
Revenge vs. Forgiveness/Loyalty Score(10/10) The sins of Hidetora, Taro and Jiro come full circle as Lady Kaede takes her revenge. But Lady Sué’s way of forgiveness, and the loyalty of Tango and Kyoami, stand out as the way forward.
Acting Score(4/5) Hidetora’s death seemed overacted to me.
Worldview Score(4/5) Perfect presentation of our hopeless state without God. What Kurosawa needs is the nun from Vertigo to offer hope.
Average User Score: 7.6Jan 18, 2019If this be My Destiny
Spider Man:Homecoming – Wit – (20/20) The screenwriters continue a great job of integrating humor into the stories.If this be My Destiny
Spider Man:Homecoming –
Wit – (20/20) The screenwriters continue a great job of integrating humor into the stories.
Story – (18/20) ( -2 for rebooting the character for the 3rd time.)
Iconic Homage (20/30) – 30 points for at least noting the event(which the two previous Spider Man’s failed to do) but -5 for substituting an inferior motivation(earning a suit instead of saving Aunt May) and -5 for rushing through the moment. Let him struggle, let him suffer, let him bleed, let him almost give up.
Uncle Ben Score – 0/10
Creativity – (20/20) Love the new suit. It’s great to see Spidey get some new abilities, as the Scarlet Witch has.
78/100 Four Stars… Expand
Average User Score: 6.1Jan 18, 2019The Kessel Run
Solo: A Star Wars Story (80/100) Introducing Chewie Score(10/10) Introducing the Millenium Falcon Score(10/10) Tie FightersThe Kessel Run
Solo: A Star Wars Story (80/100)
Introducing Chewie Score(10/10)
Introducing the Millenium Falcon Score(10/10)
Tie Fighters in the Maelstrom Score(0/5) They would never do this(they shouldn’t have followed them into the asteroid field in TESB either.)
Going back to save your friends score(10/10) This was the moment when the movie became more than a 3 star experience.
Kessel Run Score(5/10) As far as I’m aware there is no canon of Star Wars reference data which contains the official explanation of the use of “parsec” to measure the trip. Whether it’s a boast about the ships speed or it’s navigational technology is still up in the air. And Han’s boast in Episode IV is about the ship’s speed so the theories about the ship’s navigation make no sense. This would have been the perfect place to establish a canonical explanation.
“Less than 12 parsecs” Score(0/5) So is he rounding down or not?
Good Guy and Bad Guys Score(10/10) A excellent cast of characters, expecially the new ones. Much better new characters than in Episodes VII and VIII.
Lovable Droid Score(8/10) No R2d2’s here but still good.
Metanarrative Score(7/10) Still trialing the MCU here but making progress. I’ve been surprised how well I’ve liked the “gap story” movies. But they’ve still never reached the quality they had in Episodes IV – VI. It does seem that they’ll be continuing this story in later “gap story” movies.
Romance Score(Guy gets girl, guy loses girl, guy gets girl back)(20/20) A nice take on the classic storyline.
Average User Score: 8.7Jan 18, 2019“We don’t trade lives”
Avengers: Infinity War (NO SPOILERS) Metanarrative Score(20/20) It’s great to see so many threads from the MCU come“We don’t trade lives”
Avengers: Infinity War (NO SPOILERS)
Metanarrative Score(20/20) It’s great to see so many threads from the MCU come together.
Opening Scene Score (10/10) The best opening scene since Raiders.
Humor Score(2/3) It’s a delicate balance but, like Ragnarok, this movie feels too serious for this much humor.
Hulk Score(1/2) A chance worth taking I suppose but I didn’t resonate with the use of The Hulk in this film.
Fight Scene Score (20/20) Through the end of the 3rd fight scene this may have been the best action picture of all time.
“We don’t trade lives”/”There was no other way” Score(1/3) Open to revision upon further reflection.
Time Stone Score (0/2) This is the most narratively complex aspect of the movie and the question of Dr. Strange’s position with regard to the stone needed more explanation. Open to revision upon further reflection.
Heroes acting stupid Score(0/3) If you’re going to lose a battle be outfought, not outthought.
The-Riders-of-Rohan-come-to-Pelennor-Fields Score(10/10) Welcome to Wakanda, Thor.
Self-Sacrificing-Nature-of-Love-Score (30/30) I could not help but be reminded all through this film that what so many were so hesitant, or so unwilling, to do, and what Abraham was not required to do on Mt. Moriah, God did on Calvary.
Average User Score: 7.9Jan 18, 2019I Can Only Imagine (75/100)
Worship Score(25/25) There was a lady down front with her hands up during the finale! I don’t blame her! SongI Can Only Imagine (75/100)
Worship Score(25/25) There was a lady down front with her hands up during the finale! I don’t blame her!
Song Score(20/20) This lyric certainly taps into a core truth.
Field of Dreams/The Rookie/Lost–>Found Dad Score(10/10) Dennis Quaid finds himself on both ends of this doesn’t he?
Teenage Actor Score(0/5) Why is a 30-something actor playing a high school student?
Abuse Score(10/30) This is a key element in the plot but you’ve got to devote more than 2 paragraphs of recollection and some off-screen implications to establish the breach between Bart and his dad. Quaid does a great job of playing a monster(and of struggling to ask for forgiveness) but the script writer(s) need to help him out more.… Expand
Average User Score: 4.3Jan 18, 2019All’s well….
The Last Jedi Retread Score (15/20) – The island scenes are a new take on the Dagobah motif but the opening scene and theAll’s well….
The Last Jedi
Retread Score (15/20) – The island scenes are a new take on the Dagobah motif but the opening scene and the attack scene at the end feel to much like a retread of Hoth. (But a much better job than “The Force Awakens” which really struggled in this area.)
Light Saber Duel Score(20/20) – Well conceived and well executed.
Light Saber Turning Score (10/10) – This is where the movie really hooked me.
Depth of Characters (10/10) – One in particular but no details to avoid spoilers.
Dialogue Score (0/10) – Serviceable but not memorable(definitely no “I know” ‘s here.)
Pacing Score (15/20) – I thought the movie was going to end 3 times before it did.
Ending Score (10/10) – But when it did end, well done. “He is our last hope. No, there are others.”
80/100 – “All’s well that ends well.”… Expand
Average User Score: 7.7Jan 18, 2019(Find me…) somebody to love
Bohemian Rhapsody Live Aid Score(20/20) They kicked out the jams, no doubt. 6 Minute Single Score(20/20) Way to(Find me…) somebody to love
Live Aid Score(20/20) They kicked out the jams, no doubt.
6 Minute Single Score(20/20) Way to stick to your guns guys.
Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll Score(20/20) Unlike some movies(I Walk the Line, Ray) this movie realizes that there’s more to the story than these struggles. They’ve got their place but the whole movie doesn’t have to be about them.
Brian May Score(5/10) He drew some exquisite tones from his guitar. It seems to me that should have been a bigger part of the story.
I’m in Love with My Car Score(0/5) “Told my girl I’ll have to forget her, Rather buy me a new carburetor” That’s a great lyric and was better than the dissing it got as a possible single release
Kansas Score(0/5) Totally biased perspective here. Ever since I saw “A Star is Born” I’ve been thinking we need a movie about Kansas. They made a career of doing songs like Bohemian Rhapsody.
Somebody to Love Score (20/20) Freddie seeks what we all do, to love and be loved. May we all choose wisely.
Average User Score: 8.7Jan 17, 2019...not to be alone
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse(90/100) A very different MCU movie experience. Most of the characters in this film were...not to be alone
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse(90/100)
A very different MCU movie experience. Most of the characters in this film were introduced after I stopped reading comics and were new to me.
Humor Score(20/20) Maybe the funniest cast-wide performance in the MCU. Robert Downey Jr.'s wit on a troupe-wide scale.
"Death" Score(20/20) For a film that is so fast moving and funny this movie strikes a great balance with the mortality that is so evident in the unfolding events of the film and the backgrounds of the character's lives. Every time someone is in danger you really believe they might perish. The risks of the calling they've undertaken are at the forefront of the story and never far from our minds.
"Being Alone" Score(20/20) I don't know if I've seen a film since Witness that juggles so many big themes so well. With great power comes great responsibility and also, it seems, a good bit of isolation. Some of these characters have loved, lost, and decided not to love at all. Maybe as they save the world they can rescue the possibility of friendship for themselves as well.
Family Score(20/20) A third great theme. In a 2 hour movie there's only so much depth you can explore here but the scenes with Miles and and his dad are fabulous. The scene as dad drops him off for school is hilarious. The scene on either side of Miles' dorm room door is touching even though Miles doesn't(well, can't) say anything. You want Miles to reach out to his Dad for help at that point but he eventually finds his own way to deal with his problem. Their final encounter in the street makes me long to see how their relationship develops.
"Spider-Lair" Score(5/10) A tough scene to pull off and I don't think they quite did it. Given the composition of the full team this scene came off as a little silly.
Mise-En-Scene Score(5/10) The Collider battles were sometimes just a big splash of color. You couldn't tell what was happening.
Average User Score: 8.2Jan 17, 2019This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It's the end of the world....again
Fallout(Possible Spoiler for James Garner Movie Fans)
Action Score(30/30) I think this is what the Bond films are going for but don't achieve.
Surprise/Bait-and-Switch Score/36 Hours Score(25/30) One I saw coming. Two I didn't.
Verisimilitude Score(10/20) You'll accept the plot while you're entertained by the action and chases but you get skeptical with time to reflect.
2nd Chase Score(5/10) Don't put 2 of these back to back.
Boy Gets Girl, Boy Loses Girl, Boy Gets Another Girl Score(10/10) I reject the premise(aren't there any other Ethan Hunt's on the planet?) but if you can't be with the one you love, honey .....
Average User Score: 7.4Jan 17, 2019One Giant Leap...
First Man Sound Score(20/20) Great use of high volume to make you feel you're there in the capsule, hearing every littleOne Giant Leap...
Sound Score(20/20) Great use of high volume to make you feel you're there in the capsule, hearing every little creak of the walls and the roar of the engines.
Apollo 1 Score(30/30) Knowing it's coming makes the dread even worse. The "popping" of the hatch brought me to tears. When Neil tells Gilruth it's a little late to be questioning the human cost of the program you realize how much was risked by so many.
Astronauts Wive's Score(20/20) "You're just little boys making models of balsa wood!" "No, Henry! Those people don't put one piece of equipment on my lawn. If they have a problem with that, they can take it up with my husband. He'll be HOME... on FRIDAY!"
The wives get all the best lines don't they? And they die a little every hour until their men return safe, it they ever do.
Angel of Death Score(10/10) It's a miracle Neil lived long enough to be the first man on the moon. What an incredible effort by so many to make this happen.
"Moody" Neil Score(6/10) These seemed to come out of nowhere. The script needed better transitions to these scenes.
Lunar Descent Score(6/10) A fascinating visual experience but I wanted a better idea of the trajectory of their descent with more exterior shots. The sequence starts off that way but then shifts inside the capsule and stays there.