Summer Film Festival 2017 – Day Three

Day of the Dead

Director: George A Romero 

Screenplay: George A. Romero

Minutes: 102

Year: 1985

Score: 7.07

Release: Shout Factory

I love George Romero movies, specifically the zombie ones. His ability to elevate the genre beyond a splatter fest into a social commentary; he also knows how to make a splatter fest.

Day of the Dead is not lacking in either, he elevated his effects game, with Tom Savini. In an era when science means less than force there is an unfortunate parallel of doomed-to-repeat-in-ness that I hope will change before it is too late.

The recent Shout Factory release looks great, but I don’t remember my old ones looking too bad so it was well made and cared for, for my money you cannot go wrong with Romero zombie movie, they are gross, but if that’s your game then this is a clear recommendation.

Director: 9 – Cinematography: 7 –  Edit: 7 – Parity: 6 – Main performance: 5 – Else performance: 2 – Score: 6 – Sound: 6 – Story: 8 – Script: 9 – Effects: 10 – Design: 7 – Costumes: 4 – Keeps interest: 10 – Lasting: 10

Bird with the Crystal Plumage

Director: Dario Argento

Screenplay: Dario Argento

Minutes: 98

Year: 1970

Score: 7.53

Release: Arrow Video

Expect a full review in the upcoming weeks, but the short version is buy it while it’s available. This was a great transfer of one of the original giallo films.

Director: 10 – Cinematography: 9 –  Edit: 6 – Parity: 6 – Main performance: 7 – Else performance: 3 – Score: 9 – Sound: 6 – Story: 6 – Script: 5 – Effects: 8 – Design: 10 – Costumes: 9 – Keeps interest: 9 – Lasting: 10

Heat

Director: Michael Mann 

Screenplay: Michael Mann

Minutes: 170

Year: 1995

Score: 6.07

Heat was on my list of movies I always wanted to revisit. It didn’t click the first time and while it is an incredibly well-made picture there is still something about which is keeping me from truly endorsing it.

The clear strength here is the cast, each way you turn there is another dynamite cast member. That and Mann’s direction hold the film up, but there are too many other issues that I can’t ignore.

The sound design is pretty good but seemed off at times. There are some sloppy plot choices which could have cut the time down considerably; the length is the biggest problem for me. My opinion hasn’t changed much between the first time and this one. The movie is an action scene followed by too much down time with a closing, long action scene. I know enough now to know how much of an achievement those action scenes are, but it still leaves me wanting more.

Director: 9 – Cinematography: 7 –  Edit: 4 – Parity: 1 – Main performance: 10 – Else performance: 7 – Score: 5 – Sound: 7 – Story: 5 – Script: 6 – Effects: 7 – Design: 5 – Costumes: 4 – Keeps interest: 9 – Lasting: 5

Woman of the Year

Director: George Stevens

Screenplay: Ring Lardner Jr. and Michael Kanin

Minutes: 114

Year: 1942

Score: 6.40

Release: Criterion Collection

I wanted this to be something more than it was. The immortal love affair of Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy starts here.

Woman of the Year is a prime example of the Golden Age of Hollywood, the writing is top-notch, the main cast is perfect, the supporting cast leaves a lot to be desired. And the threads put on the women are amazing. The suits are fine, but are suits. The ladies wardrobe, though, is divine.

If you are a fan of TCM movies then you would love this film. It looks great on the Criterion disc, and is worth the investment for Hepburn or Tracy fans.

Director: 6 – Cinematography: 5 –  Edit: 4 – Parity: 7 – Main performance: 10 – Else performance: 5 – Score: 5 – Sound: 5 – Story: 7 – Script: 10 – Effects: 4 – Design: 8 – Costumes: 10 – Keeps interest: 7 – Lasting: 5

Cat People

Director: Paul Schrader  

Screenplay: DeWitt Bodeen and Alam Ormsby

Minutes: 118

Year: 1982

Score: 6.87

Release: Scream Factory

I still have a lot to unpack with this film. I really enjoyed it, that’s for sure, but there was a good deal of interesting influences that I need to work though.

Director: 8 – Cinematography: 7 –  Edit: 4 – Parity: 4 – Main performance: 9 – Else performance: 4 – Score: 10 – Sound: 6 – Story: 7 – Script: 6 – Effects: 8 – Design: 6 – Costumes: 5 – Keeps interest: 9 – Lasting: 10

Pumpkinhead

Director: Stan Winston

Screenplay: Stan Winston, Richard C. Weinman, Gary Gerani, and Mark Patrick Carducci

Minutes: 86

Year: 1988

Score: 5.07

Release: Scream Factory

I know what you are thinking, and no, it does not hold up well at all. Stan Winston is great at his job, the creature effects are fine, but nearly any other 1980’s horror/monster movie would be a better use of your time.

Director: 6 – Cinematography: 5 –  Edit: 6 – Parity: 1 – Main performance: 5 – Else performance: 2 – Score: 5 – Sound: 7 – Story: 4 – Script: 4 – Effects: 9 – Design: 6 – Costumes: 4 – Keeps interest: 7 – Lasting: 5

 

 

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