A Clockwork Orange

Anthony Burgess's novel "A Clockwork Orange" is one of those books whose appeal is mostly derived from its ingenious use of language. Accordingly, any visual interpretation stands to lose much of the impact of the original work. However, with a visionary like Stanley Kubrick at the helm, the results can be equally great in a different way.

Kubrick wrote the screenplay himself and he managed to retain enough of the book's unique language to give the film a sense of the novel's style. Burgess wasn't happy that Kubrick dropped the events of the final chapter of his novel but I feel that movie's ending is more effective. Overall, a challenging adaptation for which Kubrick was rightly rewarded with an Oscar nomination.

As for the direction (also Oscar-nominated), Kubrick delivered a typically outstanding effort. His direction is arguably as dexterous as Burgess's prose. The cinematography is also stunning while the score, which is rife with classical music, is memorable as well.

As far as acting goes, this is Malcolm McDowell's picture. That's not to say that the supporting actors are forgettable (they aren't); he just delivers a towering performance that few could hope to match. The fact that he was denied an Oscar nomination for his work is nothing short of mind-boggling.

Ultimately, "A Clockwork Orange" succeeds both as entertainment and as a piece of art. The novel is a tough yardstick to measure up to but Kubrick accomplished the task mainly by remaining true to the source but also by adding a few touches of his own. I highly recommend it as one of the best films of the seventies.


Guy Ritchie's `Snatch', is a hilarious look into the world of a small known `businessman' and his partner, slugging it out with a big-time criminal mastermind who always gets his way. This compelling new age flick, has all the right ingredients to what makes a great, black farce film, which is exactly what it is.

The story starts with the robbery of an eighty-six carat diamond. This leads to the introduction of some of Britain's underground gangsters. The hunt for the diamond is on, with a little illegal boxing, gambling and a bunch of Pikeys (Gypsies) on the side. As you watch the multi-plot structures, and the movies black humour combine, you will be truly fascinating by the way the characters handle such occurrences.

 The frantic paced camerawork enables the audience to feel enthralled in the movies twists and turns.

A range of characters in the movie intersect theirs paths with others. This leads to the sub-narrative threads being linked together into a firm ball of fun and laughter. Through the inclusion of devices such as split screens and a '1980's British Pop' sounding soundtrack, Ritchie has managed to incorporated sequences including decades of cinematic style and cultural differences.

Although it is hard to pin point a particular character to take the part of the main, from an observer's point of view it would be Turkish and his side kick Tommy. Some of the best scenes in the movie are between the strained relationship of Turkish and Tommy as they try to avoid becoming a meal for the pigs. At the same time, Turkish is trying to control the unpredictable Pickey, Mickey (Brad Pitt) to do as he is told. As the story unravels, it takes twists and turn that prove to be lethal and leave you praying that you are never faced with a similar situation.

Ritchie's endless energy in this film makes `Snatch' a must see. One hundred and three minutes of twists and turns that will leave you wanting to watch it repeatedly, incase you missed any of the minor details. A movie that has made its mark for incredible acting, and insightful directing.


First things first: Oldboy isn't a movie for everyone. It probably isn't even a movie for most people. It likely would rate as one of the worst date movies of all time, and it isn't something you could comfortably watch with your parents. Children definitely shouldn't see this, nor should anyone without a high tolerance for cringe-inducing torture scenes.

 Whom does that leave? People who aren't all that squeamish who place a premium on original presentations of ancient plots, in this case, Revenge. It is a foreign film, but I attributed the weirdness to originality rather than any cultural differences. Finally, I detest implausible movies. While the events in this movie seem highly improbable, I never felt like I was being jerked around by the director.

The plot in brief: After being imprisoned for 15 years without knowing why or by whom, Dae-su is let out just as abruptly. In a typical movie, he would meet a cute girl and the two of them would follow clues to track down the antagonist for the big showdown.

Here, he actually learns the identity of his captor fairly early on, but when he is given the opportunity to deal out his revenge that he's fantasized about for the past 15 years, he realizes he can't do it without learning the truth about why he was imprisoned, and so his captor remains untouched.

For the rest of the movie, Dae-su and the girl he's fallen for, Mi-do, eventually do piece together the truth, with the emphasis on why he was released rather than why he was imprisoned.

A lot of other comments have made reference to Count of Monte Cristo or Fight Club, but the movie I was reminded most of was Se7en, right down to the use of a box.

Blade Runner

Blade Runner is a film very much like the androids that are in it: innovative creations that appear one way on the outside but are another on the inside. Blade Runner has the facade of an action sci-fi epic, but is more a futuristic drama that poses questions about humanity and questions the future.

Forget that it's Ridley Scott, epic action filmmaker. Forget that its Harrison Ford, 80s action film extraordinaire. Blade Runner is not even close to those genres--it is science-fiction, but with a focus on the purpose, not on the technology. While Blade Runner offers some stunning visual effects (for 1982) and some terrific art direction, it's only meant to create the sci-fi aura needed to make the ideas hit harder.

Ford stars as Rick Deckard, a Blade Runner in Los Angeles in 2019. A Blade Runner is a cop in charge of hunting down Nexus 6 androids that were banned from Earth under punishment of extermination because they exceeded human strength and knowledge. When 4 of these "Replicants" hijack a ship and find their way to Earth (they are supposed to remain in Earth's off-planet colonies), Deckard is put in charge of taking them down, and he goes around trying to do just that.

"Blade Runner" moves rather slowly, taking a lot of time with its scenes. Especially when the sci-fi leads you to expect action, it can get really slow. It's the images and the use of darkness and light that make this film good and interesting. While confusing, you start to get the film towards the end.

While not Ford's best role because it doesn't call on him to do much, he still continues to be the best protagonist to get his butt handed to him in every film. He's always the most realistic of any hero because he never does it without help or without getting something for his grief.

Once you get what the film says about humans and emotions and what truly is human, then you appreciate how the film goes about getting there. An action film simply wouldn't do that. Once again, the sci-fi is simply to establish and set the tone for future L.A., it is not an integral part of the film. Expect some more thought-provoking sci-fi along the lines of an Assimov, Wells or Orwell and "Blade Runner' will surely give you something you enjoy munching on.


Remember, the movie Heat? well this is almost it except with clown masks. The amount of bullets you fire is unreal. Obviously it's not very fun to play solo but with friends it sure deserves to be played through. Graphics are mediocre so even older PC can definately run it. Unfortunately it only has 6 missions which are about 20 minutes long maximum. Though the gameplay seems very repetetive, every now and then you will just have to face the swat assault and just keep on moving. There is also difficulty levels, what make the game a lot harder but the main problem is that you will run out of ammo.
     Anyway get some friends and do some heists.

Seven ( Se7en )

Se7en is an odd movie to enjoy so much. I've seen bits of pieces of it in the past, but it was only recently that I watched the whole thing. I was gripped to it for every minute. It's just a smart and intriguing crime thriller, but don't eat anything while watching it!

None of the scenes really grossed me out when I watched it recently, but that's only because I knew what I was getting into. I probably was a little queasy after watching some of those scenes the first time. Yet we never see the crimes being done, only the aftermath. Seeing those murders actually take place may have been a bit much.

Nevertheless, Se7en rides on some great storytelling, gritty direction, and an all-around great cast. One of the things I enjoyed most about the movie was the chemistry between the main characters. This was most evident at the dinner scene as we were introduced to a friendlier, civilian side of the characters played by Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt, as well as a strong supporting role played by Gwyneth Paltrow.

And I should not forget the classic ending to this movie. You will remember it for a long time as well as the villain, who is played by an un-credited famous actor. You probably already know whom it is, but in the spirit of limiting any spoilers, I won't go further.

All in all, Se7en is just a great flick. It's fun, it's interesting, it keeps you guessing, and it's memorable. The only drawback being that it may not be for the faint of heart.

Once Upon A Time In America

The legendary filmmaker Sergio Leone has pulled off quite a feat in the making of 'Once Upon a Time in America', taking a story about brutal gangsters and weaving it together in such an artistic way, paradoxical as that may seem.

'Once Upon a Time in America' is an almost 4 hour long experience about the lives of four Jewish friends who grew up in the lower east side of New York in the 1920s. It focuses primarily on the life of David Aranson, better known as 'Noodles'. A spunky kid, with an awkward yet flamboyant personality, Noodles begins an unlikely friendship with Max Bercovitz, which leads him into a life of crime.

It's fair to say that this film is much more character-driven than it is action-driven. Each of the characters come alive as the story progresses from the 1920s to the 1930s and eventually to the late 1960s where the culmination of this lifelong drama occurs.

There are a number of very clear distinctions between this gangster movie and others of its genre. For one, it's not a very talkative film, relying rather on slow well-shot scenes and facial expressions to tell its story. The entire movie has a surreal dream-like quality to it, and is replete with symbolism and allegory. The soundtrack is great addition to the film, and the playing of John Lennon's "Yesterday" intermingled with the childhood flashbacks brought tears to my eyes.

Just to give an example of the great symbolism in this film, there's a scene which seems rather insignificant, but upon further contemplation one realizes its allegorical meaning. When young 'Patsy' brings the cream pie in return for a sexual favor from Peggy. As Patsy waits for Peggy to exit her apartment, he can't resist the temptation of the delicious cake, and begins picking at its sides, figuring she won't notice. Then eventually he eats the cherry, then goes on to greedily devour the entire delicacy, leaving him with nothing to offer Peggy. This symbolizes the lives of these men, who with a little patience and forbearing could have lived much more meaningful lives, but they could never withstand the temptation of instant gratification and pleasure, which ultimately was their downfall.

If I would have to use one word to describe this film though, it would be 'ambiguous'. Many scenes and lines can be interpreted in a myriad of ways. In fact, the meaning of many of its scenes have been widely debated over the years. Not the least of which being the opening and closing scenes of the movie in which Noodles is seen smoking in an opium den, prompting many to speculate that the entire movie, or all that happens from that point on, is an 'opium dream'.

Nothing is more ambiguous and ambivalent than the central character of 'Noodles', played masterfully by Robert DeNiro. He is awkward and clumsy, yet he is cool and quick-witted. He is calm and collected, yet extraordinarily passionate. He is cruel, yet compassionate. Tough, yet very tender.

One thing is for certain, to be able to watch this film and appreciate it properly one needs a lot of patience. Sergio Leone is notorious for his slow-paced movies, and this one tops it all. In fact, originally Leone wanted to release a 6 hour version, but was persuaded to cut it down to a 'mere' 3 hours and 47 minutes.

Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas

On one very boring day I decided to take a trip to the rental store to see what was out. There was nothing, so I decided pick up this movie called Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I didn't quite know who this gilliam guy was, but I did like the animations that I saw on the TV show Monty Pythons flying circus so I decided to pick it up. Shortly after, Fear and loathing became one of my favorite movies of all time and terry gilliam one of my favorite directors.

The opening line to the film pretty much sums it all up...

"We Were at the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold."

 The acting job shown here by Johnny Depp is brilliant. I think Depp is one of the best actors we've got in hollywood today and can play any sort of role. Compare Edward Scissorhands to Raoule Duke and you'll see what I mean. Fear and loathing became one of my favorite movies of all time and terry gilliam one of my favorite directors.

 Terry Gilliam, though Brazil is his best work, has done a magnificent job here. Watching the film, you seriously feel like your in a drunken haze by the way the camera tips.

 This is a film that shatters the use of the word genre.

I showed this film to a few friends of mine. Half of them thought it was great, the other half thought it sucked. I think that can really sum up how people feel about this film as well. Some love it and some hate it. Make your choice by seeing, I don't think you'll regret it.