Spielberg Month: Always

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Always is a movie that I cant believe I had never heard of until recently, it was released in 1989 and is a remake of a much older black and white film called “A Guy Named Joe” which was directed by famed movie maker Victor Flemming, I cant compare the two movies as I haven’t yet seen the original so please keep that in mind.

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The movie is a romantic war drama which follows the brief life of an aerial firefighter called Pete Sandich “Richard Dreyfuss”, Pete is in a very comfortable relationship with his girlfriend Dorinda “Holly Hunter” but unfortunately he is killed in action when his plane catches on fire and explodes which leaves his now ex girlfriend Holly heartbroken.

Audrey Hepburn, Always (1989, Steven Spielberg) starring Holly Hunter, Richard Dreyfuss and John GoodmanAudrey Hepburn is in this movie, she plays an angel called Hap who guides Pete’s spirit while he try’s to set up Holly with a new love interest so that she can move on with her life and be happy, unfortunately this was the last movie Audrey Hepburn ever starred in before her death in 1993.

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There really isn’t much to say about this movie, It’s very cheesy and corny but it has a fantastic cast who all do a great job so its hard for me too dislike the film, Richard Dreyfuss as usual was outstanding in his performance and Holly Hunter also did an awesome job of portraying her character, the only cast member I wasn’t a fan of was John Goodman, I don’t think hes a bad actor but his acting style works so much better in comedies and action films that I felt that he didn’t really suit this type of movie.

Unfortunately there was no John Williams composing the music this time, however the soundtrack is still very good and it fits the film perfectly, there is nothing epic in there you wont be finding something as iconic as the Jaws theme but its still very well done either way.

I really liked this movie, it was a lot better than I thought it would be and I now really want to see the original, however I do have one massive complaint, as you may recall the lack of directors commentaries have really let me down this month but this Blu-ray has to take the crown as the biggest waste of money since it has no special features apart from the original trailer, I just want to pre warn people who are buying blurays for more than just an enhanced version of the film because if that is the case I would skip out on this one.

And so we end Spielberg Month, Steven Spielberg is one of the most influential film makers in Hollywood and all four of the movies this month have proven that, I have really enjoyed this experience it was fun looking at some of my old favourites as well as some new ones and I cant wait to eventually do something similar to this again, perhaps with a different director.

Want to buy this weeks movie? click the link below to get in from Amazon, I recommend subscribing to Amazon Prime to get fast next day delivery as well a lot of other benefits.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Always-Blu-ray-Region-Richard-Dreyfuss/dp/B00TYFM25I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1491601965&sr=8-1&keywords=always+bluray

You can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

Spielberg Month: JAWS Review

We’re gonna need a bigger boat

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This two hour thriller about a great white shark that’s terrorising the locals of Amity Island may not have been the first theatrical film directed by Steven Spielberg but the impact it left definitely kick started a string of back to back hits for the film maker.

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Based on the book of the same name, the movie stars the late Roy Scheider as  chief Brody Amity Islands chief of police, Brody is the first person on Amity Island to witness one of the sharks victims when he finds the half eaten remains of a young girl washed up on a beach, Brody quickly informs the mayor who only really cares about the towns income and he refuses to allow Brody too close the beaches as he doesn’t want to risk turning away tourists, of course this decision only leaves more victims for Hollywood’s most famous shark  and eventually Brody decides to gang together with an old fisherman played by Robert Shaw and a marine biologist played by Richard Dreyfuss to take out the shark themselves.

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For a film with such a simple premise it’s honestly amazing just how well it was directed, so many scenes in the movie are directed in a way so that the audience can always know when the shark is on screen even when they cant see it, the Oscar award winning John Williams score that consists of only a few notes only plays to make the audience aware of the sharks presence but when the audience cannot see the shark the music doesn’t play so when it then appears in the same scene it always catches people off guard, by far the most moving part of the movie is the entire final act with our three heroes on the boat, throughout this entire act we can see the different views and personalities of the characters as they bounce off each other and constantly butt heads, my favourite scene is when the marine biologist and the fisherman are showing each-other their battle wounds with each scar and cut getting more grizzly as the competition goes on and its during this scene that we learn that the fisherman was part of the crew on the Indianapolis which is why he is always so angry and short tempered.

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During this same act the three men drink whisky and sing a song with very important lyrics as it tells us that they are drunk and it also shows that they all realise that this mission could very likely get them killed and all three of them would much rather be back home where its safer.

“Show me the way to go home
I’m tired and I want to go to bed
I had a little drink about an hour ago
And it’s gone right to my head
Wherever I may roam
On land or sea or foam
You can always hear me singing this song
Show me the way to go home”

During the scene this song is sang multiple times getting faster and louder every time the actors sing another verse and whats very clever about this moment is that eventually the shark attacks the boat and the song ends as our heroes are now preparing to fight for their lives, I don’t believe this scene has ever had a confirmation for its meaning but personally I like to think that it was made to distract the audience, its one of the only light hearted scenes in the film and the fact that the song gets faster as the shark approaches is very similar to the John Williams score that was this time absent, so I have to wonder if perhaps this scene was made in the way it was to shock the audience as they may not have expected the shark to attack the boat which makes the shark more sneaky and much more frightening.

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My favourite performance in Jaws is Richard Dreyfuss as the Marine Biologist but the entire cast does a brilliant job at performing their roles and I cant complain about a single performance as  Spielberg did a fantastic job of making sure that everyone worked to the best of their abilities, Spielberg is known to have been very strict during the films production and the final result from the actors and actresses really pay off because of this.

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Over 40 years later and Jaws still has a massive impact on so many people, today I am always wary of going into the ocean when I visit the beach and this movie is big cause of this, thankfully I was able to get hold of a Blu-Ray for this movie and even though I am yet again disappointed with the lack of a Directors Commentary, the special features have hours of extras including a two hour long documentary about the making of the film,  this along with a lot of deleted scenes is a great excuse to pick up a copy for yourself.

Only one week left in Spielberg Month and lets hope that the next movie allows us to finish off this celebration of Spielberg’s work with a bang.

Want to buy this weeks movie? click the link below to get in from Amazon, I recommend subscribing to Amazon Prime to get fast next day delivery as well a lot of other benefits

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jaws-Blu-ray-Region-Free-Scheider/dp/B00LY0T7RM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1491602163&sr=8-1&keywords=jaws+blu+ray

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

 

Spielberg Month: Munich Review

Munich-PosterI had never seen or heard of the movie Munich until recently and to be completely honest if it wasn’t made abundantly clear that the film was based on true events it would have flown straight over my head.

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The film is based on the horrific tragedy that took place during the 1972 Olympic games in Munich West Germany, during the event 11 Israeli athletes were taken hostage and eventually murdered by a Palestinian terrorist group known as Black September, according to Wikipedia the terrorists were assisted by German Neo-Nazis and five of the eight Black September members were killed via German gunfire during a rescue attempt which unfortunately failed due to the athletes already being killed.

munich1Steven Spielberg’s film based loosely on these events stars Eric Bana as Avner an agent who is given leadership of a small group who’s job it is too track down and assassinate the members of Black September, the group consists of four other members, Daniel Craig plays the role of Steve the teams designated driver and working along side him is a professional document forger called Hans, Robert a crafty bomb maker and Carl who cleans up after the assassinations.

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There are a lot of heart touching and intense scenes in Munich although honestly it was the multiple ways that the Black September members got assassinated that kept me watching, some of these kills were really creative, my favourite has to be the scene where robert the bomb specialist goes undercover as a journalist and interviews one of the Black September members in their own home, when a good moment appears he asks to use the telephone which he then sketches in order to plant a bomb inside later on, once the bomb has been planted Robert shows the rest of the team that he has rigged the bomb to trigger a red light on the detonator once someone answers the phone,  the group then prepares for the assassination, Carl calls the house from a public phone box hoping to hear the voice of the target but instead he is greeted by his very young daughter who wasn’t supposed to be home that day, Carl then has to run to the other side of the street as fast as he can to stop Robert from detonating the bomb, its a very intense scene and is one of the best moments of the film.

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The entire cast did a great job of not overplaying or underplaying their characters, the opening sequence of  Black September executing their attack was absolutely terrifying and as for our five main characters they are each very different in their own unique ways but they all share a similar bond which expands over the course of the movie.

Munich is an excellent film and one of Spielberg’s best, unfortunately I cant discuss the special features as I wasn’t able to find a Blu ray that was released in my region, however I will be picking one up as soon as I get the chance and as per usual I can only hope that a Directors Commentary is included.

We are now officially half way through Spielberg Month and so far I have been treated to a childhood classic and brand new favourite film from the director, lets hope the second half of the month is just as great.

Want to buy this weeks movie? click the link below to get in from Amazon, I recommend subscribing to Amazon Prime to get fast next day delivery as well a lot of other benefits.

Below is a United States Import of the Bluray, it is not yet available as a Region 2 Disk please keep this in mind 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Munich-Blu-ray-US-Import/dp/B00TF7KZ54/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1491602250&sr=8-1&keywords=munich+blu+ray

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

Spielberg Month: ET the Extra Terrestrial Review

Welcome to Steven Spielberg month, every week throughout
April I will be publishing a review of a movie directed by Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg, I have no choice when it comes to choosing the films as the four movies will be chosen randomly for me

The first movie has been chosen and its a classic so without further ado lets talk about E.T.

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E.T follows the journey of an alien that gets lost on earth, this cliche has been done a million times before but unlike most other attempts at this idea E.T manages to stay much more serious and less comedic, E.T isn’t just a film about an Alien trying to get home but it focuses more on how to deal with a lot of real issues that children struggle with, a lot of this is seen through the young boy Elliot as throughout the movie he struggles to handle his parents recent divorce and he gets bullied on a regular basis, Spielberg manages to capture all of this and teaches the younger viewer life lessons without pushing it down their throats, the lessons are very subtle but easy enough to spot if you know they are there, the biggest lesson in E.T is about the hardships of saying goodbye to someone you care about, of course this is due to the divorce but the entire movie essentially focuses on this lesson since the plot is about Elliot having to accept that E.T needs to be back home on his own planet

E.T is a very special movie and not only for the audience, did you know that the movie is heavily based on an imaginary friend Steven Spielberg created after his parents got divorced in 1960?

When the movie came out it surpassed Star Wars for highest grossing movie of all time and even though that isn’t the case today it’s hard to believe that at one point there was a more popular science fiction movie than Star Wars.

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The cast (image above from the 20th anniversary reunion) were all great but none stand out more than Drew Barrymore who played Gertie, that is not the say the rest of the cast were not as great as Drew, Peter Coyote does a fantastic job as Mr Keys and Dee Wallace knocks her performance out of the park as the mother but as for the rest of them although they did put a lot of effort into their performances I didn’t personally enjoy them as much.

48257-etE.T has a lot of iconic moments that have remained in peoples hearts since the first time they watched the film, for some people its when you spot Yoda in the Halloween scene, for others its the part where E.T uses his magic to heal a cut on Elliot’s finger, for me it doesn’t get better than the famous flying bike scene and lets not forget the phenomenal musical score by John Williams whose name I am sure will be turning up in a lot of these reviews, all of these moments are amazing and are a good reason to pick up a Blu-ray however there is no directors commentary for this film and that is a real shame because for me directors commentaries are the best part of owning a movie and few films could really benefit from one more than E.T.

Thankyou for reading the first review of Spielberg month, who knows what we will be diving into next week but if its anything like E.T its going to be pretty magical.

Want to buy this weeks movie? click the link below to get in from Amazon, I recommend subscribing to Amazon Prime to get fast next day delivery as well a lot of other benefits.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/E-T-Extra-Terrestrial-Blu-ray-Region/dp/B00LY0T7MM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1491602069&sr=8-1&keywords=et+blu+ray

You can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com