Tag Archives: murder

Movie Review: No 3. The Godfather: Part II

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Movie Review: No 3. The Godfather: Part II

♫ Been spending most our lives living in the gangsta’s paradise ♫
♫ Keep spending most our lives living in the gangsta’s paradise ♫

Well, I might as well embrace it right? The imdb Top 100 list is certainly a gangsta’s paradise… and I feel like I’ve been spent most (of the past year of) my life living in it!

I’m 29 now, but will I live to see 30 (oh)
The way things are goin’ I don’t know 

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Murder at 40 Baskets

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Murder at 40 Baskets

With the remaining days of my twenties slipping between my fingers faster than a wet fish, panic has begun to set in. Will I really complete all of my Top 30 challenges before I turn 30?!

On Friday night, I dashed to my friend Pat’s house to commiserate. She has signed herself up to a similar challenge. With more time up her sleeve, but fewer challenges completed, she understood my predicament well.

You may remember Pat from the Maccas Challenge. You might think that challenge a little less… well… challenging than some of the others, but that’s probably because Pat knew she’d be asking me to return the favour. Little did I know, when providing Pat with my challenge, that her list has a catch. You see, anyone who offers Pat an item for her list has to actually complete the challenge with her. It’s only now that I know to regret my challenge for her, “Break the law”.

Pat enjoys the outdoorsy life in Sydney’s beautiful Northern Beaches. So, after a night drowning our respective third-life-crisis sorrows, we headed out to greet the new day with an excursion to a little beach called ’40 Baskets’, nestled along the shore of Sydney Harbour.

Little did we know that we would both tick off a challenge that day… and little did we know it would be one of the most traumatic days of our lives.

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Movie Review: No 23. The Silence of the Lambs

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Movie Review: No 23. The Silence of the Lambs

As many of my friends and family would know, I have a terrible memory. My mum has accused me of “manufacturing memories”, my only defense being that without my brain concocting memories out of thin air I would probably have none at all.

On a rare occasion, my dodgy memory is actually a blessing in disguise. It allows me to re-read books and re-watch movies with all the wonder and suspense of a first viewing. Most of the time, however, having a dodgy memory is a real pain in the butt.

To get around this frustrating problem, I rely almost exclusively on my calendar and written notes to make sure I turn up where I need to be and don’t miss any important birthdays.

Unfortunately, even this strategy is not fail-safe… as I very recently discovered thanks to ‘The Silence of the Lambs’.

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Movie Review: No 49. M

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Movie Review: No 49. M

This review is sponsored by the letter ‘M’ and the number ‘6’.

I was never going to rate this movie highly. How can you rate a movie highly when it’s about a kiddy murderer?

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Movie Review: No 2. The Godfather

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Movie Review: No 2. The Godfather

I have two words for you.

False.

Advertising.

All these years I thought ‘The Godfather’ was going to be all about “the Don”. Marlon Brando at his best, enunciating at his worst, gently scratching his chin and making all sorts of offers that no one in their right mind would refuse.

Sure, the movie had all that, but will someone please tell me why the entire movie-going world failed to mention the real star of this film: the Don’s son, Michael? The Don himself is bedridden for around 80% of the film so why, then, does he get all the press? Michael is the real Godfather (something that I assume will be revealed in full in the second film). I thoroughly object to Al Pacino being forced into Marlon Brando’s shadow when it is clearly his star shining.

Alright, now that I’ve got that out of my system I’ll try to review this movie (without offending the countless people who’d nudge it all the way to number 1 if they could).

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Movie Review: No 4. Pulp Fiction

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Movie Review: No 4. Pulp Fiction

I’d love to include a quote from the movie as I normally do, but there are children present and it’s hard to pick one out among the litany of F-bombs (265 to be exact) that punctuate this film.

Then again, there is this line:

You know what they call a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Paris?… They call it a Royale with cheese.

Apparently this was voted as the #81 of “The 100 Greatest Movie Lines” by Premiere in 2007, which should bring me some solace after crying out for a quotable quote with ‘The Departed’.

You have got to be kidding me.

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Movie Review: No 6. 12 Angry Men

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Movie Review: No 6. 12 Angry Men

After criticising ‘City of God’ for valuing plot too highly over visuals I must now admit that ’12 Angry Men’ was the very epitome of this imbalance… and I didn’t mind it one bit.

I can hear the cries of “double standards!!” from here… Allow me to explain.

Set almost entirely within a single room, with very little need for editing beyond a few close-ups, ’12 Angry Men’ is exactly that: 12 Angry Men. Nothing more. (Unless you count the table and chairs?)

The film follows the decision-making process of a jury in a murder case, and I suspect it is this strong link to my own version of reality that held me captivated in a way that ‘City of God’ could not.

Whoa, hang on… I’m not a murderer (I regularly have the mens rea required for murder – often coincidentally while travelling on public transport – however the actus reus remains… unproven…)

No, i’m not a murderer. I’m that other evil thing – the law graduate. I can therefore relate very closely to the subject matter, despite the fact that I will never be permitted to sit on a jury myself. You see, law graduates are exempt from eligibility, no doubt due to our capacity to intimidate fellow jurors with our legal mumbo jumbo.
Then again, several of the ’12 Angry Men’ manage to intimidate just fine without it!

At times it felt like I was watching an anti-bullying video in a rainy day PE class. When I have children of my own one day I intend to show the film to them as an example of just how to respond to bullies and how to avoid becoming one.

It’s an inspirational film; If not for Juror #8’s fine example of going against the crowd, then certainly for Juror #2’s pride in what might have made him the subject of bullying in real life. That is, his voice.

The actor who plays Juror #2, John Fielder, is most notable for his distinctive cartoonish voice, which has seen him play ‘Piglet’ in countless ‘Winnie the Pooh’ adventures. Far from disguising the abnormality to avoid ridicule, he has made his uniqueness his strongsuit, and made a fine living for himself in an industry that chews up and spits out aspiring actors every day. Let that freak flag fly, my friend!

The movie is, of course, a product of its time. For starters, women have since managed to weasel themselves into the juror ranks like the vile temptresses they are. Switchblades, on the other hand, are slightly less prevalent, thanks to the widespread installation of metal detectors. (For all those law nerds out there, the knife issue in ’12 Angry Men’ may remind you of the naughty jurors in the Skaf brothers cases…)

Rather than ruin the film for you with a play-by-play of the jury room, allow me to sum up with a memorable quote… (Everyone loves a lawyer joke, right?)

Juror #8: … It’s also possible for a lawyer to be just plain stupid, isn’t it? I mean it’s possible.
Juror #7: You sound like you met my brother-in-law.

If, like me, you still enjoy ‘Law & Order’ after 10 glorious years, you will love this film. It is elegant in its simplicity and will leave a permanent imprint on your moral code.

It is the film’s power to affect the viewer on such a deeply personal level that has informed my rating and, without reservation, I give this film 10 pumpkins.

Have you seen ‘12 Angry Men’? Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments below.