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I'm heartily disappointed that this didn't produce sequels. If any fine actor/director of the period was perfect for the role of @#$% Tracy, it was Beatty. He does very good work here. It's as if he took Tim Burton's template for 'Batman' and simply adjusted it for his comic-book picture. Madonna isn't bad here either, simply because she's pretending to be Marilyn Monroe, something she'd been wanting to do all of her career to that point. And the rogues gallery here is perhaps second in quality only to the aforementioned DC Caped Crusader. In retrospect, that perhaps was the picture's weakest link--no true criminal really dominated proceedings and stuck in one's mind. Had they tried the time-tested hookup of two baddies to get in @#$%'s hair just enough to rile him, it may have worked better. Still one of the most enjoyable, and underrated, comic-book pictures of the past three decades.
I've been reading sic-fi for almost 40 years and here I found concepts I have never seen before. I'm not a fan of short stories--I like a wide, deep, rich world to lose myself in--and this delivered that even though it is made up of separate short stories. The stories are linked through one family, one home and, for the most part, one robot who has never heard of most every story ended with my closing the Kindle and uttering, "Wow" to myself. I was constantly surprised, caught off-guard, and left contemplating the new direction the author took me. There are also moral issues to contemplate with many of the stories: if you could have paradise, would you grab it at the expense of your human form? If mankind was standing in the way of forward progress for another species and the whole planet, would you make sure the planet had it's chance?I'm so glad I bought this book and discovered this classic sic-fi author. I can see re-reading this book many times in the future.
Really great collection of short stories/novellas. Addition of narrator to fill in "history" of stories is ingenious. Only downside of work, to me, is that it shies away from more scientific exploration/explanation of (spoilers!) both mutli-dimensional universes and doggy psychology. Read it, or definitely give it as a gift to a dog-person sci-fi geek!
True classic that only got better with time passing!!I read and enjoyed Clifford Simak's writings when I was young and started reading science fiction. My appreciation grew as I read more and even as I got older. Having wanted to reread some at my more advanced age I was worried that they wouldn't hold up. They do!!
This very good science fiction holds up well even 70 years old. It is good solid Sci-Fi using the best principals of the genre. It is grandiose and sweeping and the writing style is somewhat pretentious, but Simak has something to say in a complexly structured book and is not bothered much by catchy dialogue or face paced story line.
This story spans about 10k years of future changes to human civilization. A lot of sci fi I've read on same topic is focused on what happened out there while Earth was assumed to be destroyed by man or nature. I like this angle; it's less arrogant in a way. Humanity's decline is not the end of Earth because other animals have their own kind of civilization and potential for unique metimes I found it a hard read, either because it was slow (but so is this kind of change) or hard to grasp concepts written from the perspective of a non-human mind. It worked well for me to skim those sections and then grok them better on a second reading after another 'good part.'This would be a really great addition to a high school English class reading list, especially if coordinated with topics in History and Science. Lots to think about and refreshingly non-dystopian.
Simak is classic. There are writers that I read every few years, I always enjoy them, Simak is one of those authors. City is a favorite. I often wonder if it's because I'm a dog person. my hairy friends seem intelligent and filled with compassion. They look at us with such sad knowing eyes.
The stories contained in the book cross over ten thousand years. You get a view of the rise and fall of cultures, from a ten thousand foot level and a micro level. The author somehow seamlessly melds the epic and the the personal together. It's a slow but excellent read for any sci-fi fan.
Visceral, Visionary, Visual, Sin City kicks the big un! Three grizzled stories from Basin City comprise the basis for Robert Rodriguez's adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novels (Miller along for co-directing duties as well). Man mountain Marv is out to avenge a murdered hooker, Dwight attempts to help the red light girls stay independent from the mob, and aging cop Hartigan is trying to protect a beautiful dancer from a sadistic pervert. I think the first thing I should say is that I have no frame of reference as regards the adaptation here, I have never read (or seen) a Frank Miller story, but from what I can gather from the IMDb site is that fans of Miller's graphic stories were well pleased with the final result. I'm pleased to see that, because too many times comic book adaptations are roundly panned by the hard core fan base of each respective franchise for not being close to the spirit of the source, so here I'm doubly relieved mainly because I find Sin City to be a majestic assault on the senses. Sin City is a stark place, full of seedy residents thriving on misery and mistrust, and here we are privy to three stories that only serve to remind us that we don't want to be anywhere near the place. Playing out as some sort of horror comic noir, Sin City is for sure a very violent picture, yet the violence is formed so perfectly in its style, it cloaks the film in artistic class. Once viewed, Sin City is never forgotten, and I for one literally do tip my hat towards Frank Miller & Robert Rodriguez for bringing such a great and interesting movie to the masses. All of the cast do great work, so I'll not single anyone out for praise, the techniques and the whole structure of the piece is quite simply marvellous, and as for the writing? Well get a load of it! Sin City, a dark horrible place, Sin City, a wonderful wonderful movie. 9/10
Some couples dance, others go to Mars. It was the year of two Mars based movies, with the other being Red Planet, of Pitch Black and the chaotic history that produced the Supernova. Plenty of sci-fi around but sadly few decent offerings. Mission to Mars is a film you can see had good ideas on the page, some brainy and emotion based narrative threads. Effects work is OK for the era, while there's a very impressive cast put together to tell the story. Yet the script stinks to high heaven, the surprises are as absent as Martians are, while the steals from previous sci-fi movies grate on the nerves. The odd sequence has quality about it (dancing in space, woo-hoo, storm attack, yay), while the finale - all be it still a steal - is well constructed and further proof that someone somewhere had the kernel of a good story idea, but it's laborious trite and devoid of the basic film principals - to entertain and engage. So many things wrong here, so much so the names of all involved have been spared. Join this Mission to Mars at your own peril. 4/10
This review is of the Director's Cut. Welcome To Shell Beach. Dark City is directed by Alex Proyas who also co-writes the screenplay with Leon Dobbs and David S. Goyer. It stars Rufus Sewell, William Hurt, Jennifer Connelly, Kiefer Sutherland, Richard O'Brien and Ian Richardson. Music is by Trevor Jones and cinematography by Dariusz Wolski. A man wakes up in a grotty hotel bathroom and upon finding a dead girl in another room he realises he has no recollection of who he is or how he got there... There's a lot of Blade Runner fans still out there waiting for that film's sexual partner to happen along. What many of them don't realise is that Alex Proyas has already made that movie. More than a cult film yet still criminally ignored in certain circles, Dark City, by way of poor box office and studio interference, never got off to the best of starts. The problems were compounded with the release of The Matrix the following year, where that film's popularity, and its sci-fi linkage to Dark City, led many to think that Proyas' movie was a Matrix rip-off; pushing it further (unjustly) back in the sci-fi noir pantheon. Fact is is that Dark City homages much great cinema from previous years, but it has influenced much that followed, with Inception fans asked to note that Nolan himself was taking notes... Stolen Memories. Dark City is a feverish film noir dressed up in stunning sci-fi clothes. The amazing visuals have led many to state that it's a film with much style and little substance, something which Proyas has fiercely argued against; and he's right to do so, especially once his own preferred director's cut became available to view. The story is a complex one, pulsing with human characters living in a world where there is no daylight, with their respective memories scratchy to say the least, it quickly becomes evident that a creepy alien race are overseeing things. The aliens, wonderfully attired in black trench-coats and hats to match, and aided by Kiefer Sutherland's shifty - stammer affected - doctor, have special powers and their reasons for being here unfold in deftly constructed stages. One man stands in their way, John Murdoch (Sewell), but he is an olde noir amnesia sufferer supreme and his battle to unravel what is going on is our task as well. Do you think about the past much Mrs. Murdoch? The search for identity and the truth is what propels the picture forward. Murdoch in his confused state is not only at the center of an existential dilemma, he's also the focal point for a serial killer murder investigation. This also as he tries to come to terms with matters of the heart, it seems he has a beautiful wife (Connelly), and that she may have cheated on him? And why is he drawn to the place known as Shell Beach? A simple narrative hidden by visual splendours? Don't make me laugh! But hell you have to say the visual look and atmosphere of the design is very much attention grabbing. I have become the monster you were intended to be. With the film noir characters in place; Hurt's dour sleuth, Sewell's amnesiac and Connelly's sultry torch singer, Proyas brings German expressionism in abundance whilst overseeing an eye splintering neo-noir colour palette. Greens and reds often ping from the screen, while the murky browns and golds down on the angular city streets pave the way for changed perceptions and revelations of plotting. There are reoccurring motifs throughout, with swirls and circles integral to mood and meanings, while at the mid-point we then get to see Proyas' tricks of the trade, where the city shifts and moves to create a meeting of Metropolis and Gotham, all as the humans slumber away. Watch those clocks folks... You know how I was supposed to feel. That person isn't me... never was. You wanted to know what it was about us that made us human. Well, you're not going to find it... Acting performances are hardly top of the line (Sutherland especially irritates more than he impresses), but they actually don't need to be, and they all look terrific in their respective dressage. The story is of course bonkers and one which I myself found was much better whilst consuming mucho alcohol! (I watched it three times in 48 hours!) While Proyas himself is on record as saying it's a far from flawless picture. Again he is right, but he also knows that his film is still under valued and in need of more to seek out his director's cut. The late Roger Ebert championed Dark City with much gusto, and he provides very good input on the DVD, much like Roger I have to say, this is a unique and fabulous sci-fi noir experience. A film in fact fit to watch alongside Blade Runner; And I do not say that lightly. 9/10
While the sequences that _Mission: Impossible_ is most famous for (the ceiling-descent and train-top) are truly thrilling, absolutely everything in between these scenes is obvious and uninspired. Rarely can a movie have you so completely engaged one minute, and then immediately back to checking the time the next. An important film, pop-culturally speaking, but not a very good one. _Final rating:★★ - Had some things that appeal to me, but a poor finished product._
Being a huge fan of Al Pacino (from the likes of 'Heat', the 'Godfather' movies, and 'Dog Day Afternoon' especially) and having had a huge crush on Bridget Fonda ('Single White Female', anyone?) back in the day (Peter Fonda's famous daughter was named 85th sexiest star in film history, and Mrs. Danny Elfman hasn't been involved in film, unfortunately, since 2002), I was hugely disappointed in this film, especially since I had loved director Harold Becker's previous 'Sea of Love', which also starred Pacino. The first half was decent and involving, but it kind of slid off the rails, interest-wise for me, the rest of the way and got too talky and uninspired. I don't really know if the problem was with the script or its direction. I know I'm not the greatest John Cusack fan in the world (I find he's much better in comedy, like his sister Joan), but he had pretty good co-stars, whose talents were basically wasted, in Martin Landau, Anthony Franciosa and Danny Aiello (these guys were BORN for these roles and films, so on paper, this should have really worked out well). I had always wondered why this film had bombed so miserably, and now I know why. In cases like this, more should have been done to alter the story arc, just some basic tweaks, to make it more suspenseful and/or (though I usually balk at such 'Hollywood' tendencies) some romantic tension (a beauty such as Fonda's was misused--they may as well have hired someone else). All in all, a wasted opportunity that's worth a look if you like dramas about corruption--just don't go in with big expectations, and don't bother with a rewatch.
15 February 1999 | by Marc Bulandr ) (Arlington Heights, IL) This is the type of movie that I still cannot get over has not been more known. A virtual "B" movie in terms of popularity, it is one of my favorites. It follows the life and times of several men, from boyhood to their adult lives...and the changes that occur in those relationships over time. This movie has a real Chicago feel (I'm born and raised here) and in my opinion is a refined "About Last Night." There is deeper meaning and developments of the relationships, and the ending ought to bring a tear to one's eye. John Shea is absolutely outstanding.
Shocking what Prohibition causes some people to drink these days. The weight of expectation for City Heat was massive, two iconic Hollywood actors together in a buddy buddy cop movie, one with nods and homages to film noir and old school gangster movies, it wasn't unreasonable to expect a movie to sit with the best on Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynold's then CV's circa 1984. Unfortunately it's no masterpiece or close to being in the upper echelon's of each actor's respective works. But that doesn't make it a bad film. A change of director saw Blake Edwards replaced by Richard Benjamin after Eastwood and Edwards, ahem, couldn't see eye to eye, so that immediately put the film on the back foot in many critic's eyes. Ironically Benjamin does OK - working from Edwards' script (there's a whole bunch of back stories and tittle-tattle assigned to this film if you care to search for it). Lots of fun here, though, as Clint and Burt, one a cop, the other an ex-cop turned PI, reluctantly team up to cut a swathe through the gangsters ruling the roost in prohibition era Kansas City. Eastwood does his straight backed machismo act, throwing awesome punches along the way, while Reynolds is wonderfully cheerful as a tough guy who all things considered, would rather not get hurt! The script is full of zingers, delivered with customary sardonic self parody by the stars, while the roll call of supporting actors is not to be sniffed at. Period detail is high end, with Nick McLean's photography carrying the requisite neo-noir impact, while the music tracking is pleasingly nostalgic. It's over the top of course and needlessly convoluted as per its yearning to be noirish, yet if you can cut back your expectation levels? And you can simply enjoy the sight of Eastwood and Reynolds having fun romping in this period? Then you just might enjoy this more than you dared to believe. 7/10
I don't play cards. I don't even touch coins. Out of Hammer Films, Hell is a City is directed by Val Guest, who also adapts the screenplay from Maurice Proctor's novel of the same name. It stars Stanley Baker, John Crawford, Billie Whitelaw, Maxine Audley, Donald Pleasence, Vanda Godsell, Joseph Tomelty and George A. Cooper. Music is by Stanley Black and cinematography in HammerScope is by Arthur Grant. When violent criminal Don Starling (Crawford) escapes from prison, Manchester cop Inspector Harry Martineau (Baker) correctly assumes he is on his way back to the area to collect some hidden loot from a previous job. Sure enough a serious crime rocks the city and all roads lead to Starling, but what price will Martineau pay to nail a man whose mere name strikes fear into the locals? Has some @#$%!&? been passing me snide money? British crime drama at its best, absorbing as a suspense tale, clinically unflinching in its characterisations and directed with a deft hand by the multi talented Val Guest. Hell is a City is without question a very British movie, but in the same way that greats like Brighton Rock and They made Me A Fugitive were Britannia Rule Grimarannia, so it be here where Guest makes the most of Manchester's gloomy locales to pump bad blood into the edgy narrative. It's a Manchester of creaky terraced houses, working class bars, soiled streets and the unforgiving Moors. The latter of which a visual beauty to the eye, but home of misery both in fact and fiction. A Starling in the Attic. Tale unfolds as a sort of warts and all semi-documentary police procedural. Harry Martineau is the lead man, but this is no cliché addled copper, he is a tough @#$%!&? who is not adverse to using strong arm and dishonest tactics to get results. He's a hero, of sorts, but the happiness he craves outside of his work, at home, is moving further away from him. He's not alone, either, for many of the vivid characters on show here are either life's losers, illicit gamblers, unfaithful wives, lonely hearts, or cheaters and beaters, and that's before we get to Crawford's villain. Don Starling infects everyone with his evil stink, a robber, a rapist and a murderer, he may not look much physically in Crawford's shoes, but his name, voice and mere appearance has all but Martineau in a cold sweat. If a man ain't got kids he's still fair game! The script is devoid of pointless filler and no scene is wasted, there's an air of realism throughout. Sure there's a little leap of faith to be taken at times, but nothing that remotely could hurt the movie. The performances are from the better end of the scale, with Baker excelling as a stoic, but lonely man of the force, and Whitelaw and Godsell impressively force themselves up above the parapet to be rightly noticed in a movie predominantly beefed by machismo. Could Don Starling have been played by a better actor? Yes of course. Or just have been played by someone more menacing in appearance (like Baker in his villain roles for instance)? Again, yes of course. But the more you watch the more you will see that it's a frightening portrayal because it's very human, just like that given to Harry Martineau. Some scenes shock and distress, others hold you and enthral, Hell is a City is one hell of a film and highly recommended to crime and noir fans. 9/10
It's all gone feverish in Los Angeles. City of Fear is directed by Irving Lerner and stars Vince Edwards, Lyle Talbot, John Archer and Steven Ritch. The latter of which co-wrote the screenplay with Robert Dillon. Music is scored by Jerry Goldsmith and cinematography by Lucien Ballard. "Last night a convict by the name of Vince Ryker escaped from San Quentin. After stealing what he believed to contain a pound of pure heroin.....does not contain heroin, it contains Cobalt-60 in granular form." Cheap, compact but very effective "B" thriller from the tail end of the first noir cycle, City of Fear thrives on sweaty paranoia played out amongst Los Angeles locations. It's a ticking time bomb structure, convict man thinks he has a gold mine in his hands but actually holds something that is killing him by the hour. This lets in the police procedural aspects as the cops and scientists try to locate convict man and his radiation container. Urgent! Not only to save the convicts life, but also the city from probable disaster! OK, the science does not add up, nor does the fact that convict man never once gets to open the container to inspect his supposed golden haul! But the claustrophobic feel is high and the sense of doom married up to the helplessness of the protagonist, brings it into the noir universe. Ballard photographing is always a plus, though he does not get to show his considerable talents much here, while Goldsmith, in one of his first musical scoring assignments, couples dramatic thrusts with jazzy reflections to great effect. Edwards (Murder by Contract) makes for a good noir loser. 7/10
Avalanche of Action! Dangerous Mission is directed by Louis King and written by Charles Bennett, W.R. Burnett, James Edmiston and Horace McCoy. It stars Victor Mature, Piper Laurie, Vincent Price, William Bendix, Betta St. John and Dennis Weaver. Music is by Roy Webb and cinematography by William E. Snyder. Produced by Irwin Allen and filmed in Technicolor 3-D, Dangerous Mission is an absolute riot of a film. A campy classic awash with laughs and corner cutting techniques. Plot for what it’s worth finds Louise Graham (Laurie) hiding out at the Glacier National Park after witnessing a gangland murder. Two men turn up and show great interest in her movements, Matt Hallett (Mature) and Paul Adams (Price), both of whom have different motives in mind. A super cast, super scenery, even some super action scenarios that point where Irwin Allen was heading in the annals of cinema, yet it’s also a pretty laborious story acted out by film stars in zombie mode. King, Allen and the ream of writers (did they all get to put one plot point in each?) insert an action scene wherever possible, but it all feels like cheap gimmicks over story telling worth. In fact some scenes have absolutely no worth to the story what so ever! Technically it’s suspect as well, the editing is awful, as is the back projection work, so to the fake sets and the sight of dummies being flung about the place. On the plus side there’s bullet brassieres and square shoulder padded suits, while Mature – when he breaks off from his @#$%ing contest with Price – gets to dally in heroic machismo by fighting the might of electricity. Wonderful! It’s a fun movie for all the wrong reasons, but still fun none the less. 5/10
Proposed Railroad Is Threat To Carson City. Carson City is directed by André De Toth and written by Sloan Nibley and Winston Miller. It stars Randolph Scott, Lucille Norman, Raymond Massey, Richard Webb and James Millican. Music is scored by David Buttolph and cinematography by John Boyle. Plot finds Scott as engineer Jeff Kincaid, who clashes with bandits and town locals when he is hired to build a new rail track through Carson City. Based in Nevada but filmed in Bronson Canyon in California, Carson City is routine stuff that still manages to come out in credit by the end. Story is set up around the building of the railroad between Carson City and Virginia, Scott and his rugged band of engineers have their work cut out in more ways than one. When a major player who is opposed to the railroad is murdered, it's no surprise who is going to get the blame. Cue dastardly goings on, sabotage, heroics and much macho posturing. In the mix is a love interest for Randolph, courtesy of a lifeless Lucille Norman, but naturally the trajectory of true love is not straightforward. Railroad Workers Terrorise Town! De Toth came on board late in production after Michael Curtiz baulked at trying the new Warnercolor process (this was the first film to use the process). De Toth went on record to say he only did the film for the money, but he gets much entertainment from a pretty standard script. Action quota is high, with exploding rocks, wagon over a cliff, stagecoach heist, train robbery, saloon brawls and great drama garnered out of a landslide/rescue passage of play. For Scott fans it's a pleasurable watch as it finds him in typically upright and stoic form, in fact the first time we see him he is indulging in a good old knuckle fight. Though asking us to accept his romance with Norman when there is 20 years between the two actors is a bit of a stretch. The scenery is pleasing yet the Warnercolor is as lifeless as Norman's performance, but the print of the film is in good shape and as long as Western fans prepare for standard formula dressed up nicely, then they should enjoy it well enough. 6.5/10
I'm unashamedly a James Cagney enthusiast--in fact, he's my very favourite actor (like me, he's at least part-Irish, and he's more versatile than Orson Welles), so yes, I tend to be overly generous when I'm watching his films. But I really enjoyed this gangster/boxing hybrid film from the early 40's that, not only sported great acting by Cagney but also had wonderful performances by Ann Sheridan (I'm rather fond of redheads too), Anthony Quinn and a rare acting role for top-notch director Elia Kazan. Yes, it was melodramatic, a tearjerker and overly predictable--people talk about those qualities as if they were bad things. Also being an aficionado of many types of music, particularly jazz and classical, I found it highly compelling of the filmmakers to utilize music as a way of communicating the inexpressible (the trials and tribulations, dreams and pitfalls). Highly recommended for anyone who likes seeing filmmakers think outside of the box for once, and dare to try something different. Especially if you love Cagney and classic cinema as much as I do, I highly doubt you'll be disappointed.
It must have been so gloriously invigorating, making films during the first decade since the inception of sound. It seemed both in the pre-Code era and in serials (which I unabashedly adore) that writers and filmmakers threw everything but the kitchen sink at unsuspecting viewers. Though the cynical among contemporary cinephiles could just as well toss it off as creaky filmmaking, since Lord Almighty, it's in black-and-white with no CGI, it's a load of fun (although it does carry the racial stereotypes that were prevalent in cinema at that time, unfortunately). The mid-30's weren't too different from 2016, four full generations later, in that current successes=tons of spinoffs (just like the plethora of ultraviolent comedies after 'Pulp Fiction', and gazillions of comic book films in the wake of 'Iron Man'). Since then-recent smash hits like 'King Kong', Johnny Weissmuller's 'Tarzan' films and mad-scientist of James Whale's outstanding 'Frankenstein' movies made those aspects hugely popular, they all get tossed together here in a cinematic ratatouille, with a crazed scientist in an desolate African jungle, of all places, threatening the world with global domination, by destroying hundreds of cities worldwide through electrical storms. An electrical engineering genius, Bruce Gordon, discovers this, and plots an expedition there to find the root cause and destroy it. Along the way, he and his party are continually double-crossed by everyone and their half-brother, as each person with any sense of duplicity whatsoever puts the two-and-two together that kidnapped elderly scientist Dr. Manyus' ability to make zombie-like giant slaves from the African natives could mean a fortune in dubious hands. One of my favourite character actors of the era, George 'Gabby' Hayes, plays one of those dubious people, the explorer Butterfield, and Claudia Dell is downright deliciously captivating as Dr. Manyus' daughter, the picture's damsel in distress. Yes, there are excruciating plot holes galore, but that's never the point with these delightful films. Just turn your brain off for the 3+ hours, that the 2 parts of the film (edited from the 4-hour, 12-part serial) have to offer. Not everything has to be Hamlet.
Started going to this Church in 2007, then left for the military in 2009. Whenever I come back home (Miami, Florida) to visit I always made it my business to visit the one place I've always felt at home and always felt I was being fed spiritual! Now I can have Pastor Troy's teaching with me all the time
Great app... Love that I can get caught up on episodes but two things would make this a 5* app... 1) ability to save content to SD card... I change my phone often and would like to not have to download content over and over... 2) Please update notification pulldown area to support Android 4.1+... And while I'm on that, please make this more visually neutral or Android-like... I dislike the UI/layout of iOS and this app is flooded with that... Clearly this was ported over from iOS...
I've been trying to use it for about a week and it says that "the page is temporarily unavailable. Please try again in a few minutes" and it's not t be first time. It works well for a while and then it doesn't work at all. I'll just use the browser, works better.
The end user experience on this banking app is horrendous! Both this app and their banking website are very unreliable. If the app work as it should more consistently I would rather this much higher. Due to the unreliability I can only give it to stars, for when it works it's great.
The app just stopped working a few days ago. The processing wheel spins and spins and if left alone for long enough pops up with a message to try back another time. This has been for a few weeks now and I use my two Citi credit cards specially because of the ease of paying them through the app.
Usually unresponsive to the point of being useless. Even when it does work it's painfully slow, taking far too long to "update" (why does the app need to update before I even log in?), or to process accepting terms, or to sign in, or to do each step in the payment process. Just make it like the web app and be done with it.