Home > Lists, Reviews > New Additions: “Battleship Potemkin,” “The Fourth Kind,” “Of Human Bondage”

New Additions: “Battleship Potemkin,” “The Fourth Kind,” “Of Human Bondage”

“Battleship Potemkin” (Sergei Eisenstein) – 1925

A film that definitely needs no introduction. One of the great Sergei Eisenstein’s first feature films, “Battleship Potemkin” tells the sort of true, yet highly sensationalized story of an uprising on a Russian warship during the Soviet Revolution. One really has to look beyond the fact that this is a blindingly strong piece of propaganda to realize that it is probably one of the ten most influential films in history. The film was perhaps the first to really use editing as not just a means to advance from one scene to the next, but to actually create and manipulate the tension and overall movement of the story. The Odessa Steps sequence is as incredible now as it has ever been, and the actual uprising and its aftermath is nearly its equal. Putting aside the editing, for a moment, the film also contains some of the most brilliantly realized shots I’ve ever seen, including a dolly shot of a woman, carrying her dead child, pleading with the soldiers on the steps as she stands in their shadows (featured above). So many elements combine here to create an incredible and vital film experience.

GRADES:           A            * * * * 1/2 / * * * * *           9.4 / 10.0

 

“Of Human Bondage” (John Cromwell) – 1934

Bette Davis is easily one of my top five favorite actresses of all time. Therefore, I was really looking forward to finally see the film that really catapulted her into both stardom and acclaim (which back in that time period were basically the same thing). I was quite disappointed with the result. John Cromwell’s film is somewhere between being to sappy and two melodramatic, if those two aren’t one in the same, as well. The interpersonal relationships between the characters seemed largely superficial. Leslie Howard’s performance was flat and boring, while the direction was, for the most part, repetitive and lacking any kind of pacing to keep the viewer hooked. There were a few technical elements that helped advance the story, such as close-ups emphasizing the main characters physical disabilities. And as far as Bette Davis goes, her acting and emotions are as spot-on as ever. Yet,my God, this must have been before the job of dialect coach became one of the highest paying in Hollywood, for Davis uses one of the most absurd British accents I’ve ever heard.

GRADES:           C+            * * 1/2 / * * * * *           5.4 / 10.0

 

 

“The Fourth Kind” (Olatunde Osunsanmi) – 2009

Okay, all joking aside, this is one of the worst movies ever made. Put aside from the horrible acting,  terrible writing and absurd direction for a moment. This film’s idea and its conception are absolutely laughable and really quite insulting to any audience’s intelligence and time. The movie, about alien abductions, begins with a fourth wall breaking monologue by Milla Jovovich explaining that everything in the film is real and is supported by actual video-recordings. The film uses this “actual” footage through achingly irritating and distracting split-screen throughout the entire film. And yet, the kicker is that this actual footage completely fabricated. They use fake footage on the right to recreate fake footage, and all of it is terribly done. This movie actually pulls off a pretty fantastic feat in its ability to be two different horrible movies at the same time. I mean, really. What’s the fucking point? Either make a straight-up narrative movie, or a hardcore docudrama. Don’t try to do both as this colossally atrocious farce attempts. An epic fail of a movie.

GRADES:           D-            1/2 / * * * * *           1.4 / 10.0

 

Advertisements
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: